Local government administration - MRCCA

canoes resting along the shoreline of the Mississippi

Minnesota’s MRCCA program guides land development within the MRCCA to protect the corridor’s natural, cultural and scenic resources through two local government tools:

  • MRCCA plan, which is an element of each community’s comprehensive plan and contains maps, policies, and implementation actions consistent with Minn. Rule 6106.0070 Subp. 4. 
  • MRCCA zoning regulations, which implement the policies and actions in the local MRCCA plan and must be consistent with Minn. Rule 6106.0070 Subp. 5. 

MRCCA ordinance review and approval process

The DNR must review and approve all local government MRCCA ordinances and subsequent amendments

MRCCA model ordinance

The model ordinance is a tool to help local governments develop new MRCCA zoning standards consistent with the MRCCA rules (MR 6106.0070 Subp. 5). Using the model will expedite DNR review and approval of local government ordinances. The model includes two documents that are updated regularly based on user feedback and to maintain consistency with statutes and other agency rules that may change from time to time.

  • MRCCA model ordinance with commentary
    This MS Word document includes the model ordinance text AND commentary explaining provisions that may be confusing or misinterpreted. It also includes optional model ordinance text for better administration and resource protection. 
  • MRCCA model ordinance
    This MS Word document only includes the model ordinance text (including optional text) for cutting and pasting into existing local government zoning codes.

MRCCA ordinance administration

Local governments issue permits for building construction, vegetation clearing and restoration, land alteration, and septic systems as well as approvals for variances, conditional use permits, subdivisions, PUDs, and master planned projects. The following resources will help administer the MRCCA standards & requirements for these zoning applications.

MRCCA districts

Structure setbacks from the ordinary high water level (OHWL) and bluffs as well as structure height limits are determined by MRCCA district. 

Primary conservation areas (PCAs)

Standards protecting PCAs pertain to all applications. Identifying the type and location of PCAs is important for reviewing and applying the standards appropriate to the specific application.

MRCCA permit templates

Local governments may use these templates for developing their own public information documents and forms for administering vegetation clearing & restoration and land alteration permits, as well as for reviewing and approving variances and conditional use permits. These sample documents contain text consistent with the optional higher standards in the MRCCA model ordinance. Local governments should modify the content of these documents to be consistent with the adopted MRCCA ordinance. These documents are updated periodically based on feedback. Please contact the DNR if you have questions or feedback on these documents.

Vegetation clearing and restoration permits


Land alteration permits


Variances and conditional use permits


GIS data

Districts and boundaries

Primary conservation areas


Back to top