Downtown Design Review District

Downtown Stillwater Design Review District Map
Downtown Stillwater Design Review District Map


Design review is the process which provided for the review and approval for the design of developments and improvements in downtown Stillwater. The goal of this review is to promote functional, safe, innovative and attractive development which enhances and retains the historic rivertown image of Stillwater and is consistent with the natural environment of the St. Croix Valley.  Review is for all structures located within the Downtown Design Review District, whether a part of the Downtown Commercial Historic District or not. 

Elements of Design Review

The elements of a design review are: the layout and design of all existing and proposed improvements, including but not limited to, buildings, structures, parking and circulation areas, outdoor storage areas, landscape areas, service and deliverv areas, outdoor recreation areas and open space, trash areas, signs, pedestrian walkways, buffering and screening measures, building materials, windows, lighting, detailing, facade openings, roofs, awnings and plazas.


All additions or alterations to existing structures and new infill development will require design review following the design review guidelines of the Downtown Plan (refer to design review area). New development in the North Main Street area requires additional design review guidelines to each specific site as stated in the Downtown Plan (see specific site).

  1. The application shall be reviewed on a case basis by the design review committee. The design review committee, in reviewing the application , shall consider among other things, the purpose of the downtown plan policies and the historic and architectural value and significance of downtown Stillwater.
  2. In reviewing the application, the design review committee shall take into consideration the elements of the existing guidelines in the downtown plan, features of the historic buildings and the natural setting of the St. Croix Valley.

Contributing structures in the Downtown Commercial Historic District are subject to Site Alteration provisions identified in City code Section 22-7, Subd. 6.  For determination if your structure is located in the Downtown Design Review District or the Downtown Commercial Historic District, click on the District Map (above).

Please use the Downtown Design Manual, below, for design guidance in downtown Stillwater.

For questions, please contact the Community Development Department at 651-430-8820.