On June 2, the DNR issued a request for comments (RFC) on the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) working draft rules. The RFC established a comment deadline of August 15, 2014. Since publishing the RFC, DNR has received several requests for additional time to comment. Given that this is an informal phase of the rulemaking process, DNR will continue to accept comments through September 30, 2014. However, DNR staff will begin revising the working draft rules in mid-August. We encourage interested parties to submit comments by August 15 or as soon thereafter as possible. Comments received closer to August 15 will be more helpful as we identify specific topics for additional consultation and develop revisions to the working draft rules.
The Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) is a unique land corridor along the Mississippi River within the seven-county metropolitan area. Land development in the 54,000-acre corridor is currently guided by state regulations that are implemented through local plans and zoning ordinances.
The MRCCA was established in the 1970s by Executive Order, a type of state regulation that cannot be readily changed or updated. In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature directed the DNR to establish rules to replace the outdated standards in the Executive Order. The rulemaking process was put on hold in 2011 and the DNR's authority expired. In 2013, the Legislature restored DNR's rulemaking authority and made changes to the statutory language guiding rule development to better address local government concerns.
What do the proposed rules mean for local governments, homeowners, and businesses within the MRCCA? Local governments will eventually need to update their plans and ordinances for this area. Most homeowners and businesses should see little if any change in their status.
For more information, and to comment on the working draft rules, see below.