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 model ordinance, adoption and amendment process

Local governments in the MRCCA must have a MRCCA ordinance that complies with the state’s MRCCA rules. The DNR reviews local government MRCCA ordinances and subsequent amendments for compliance with the rules and uses the model ordinance for this assessment. Learn more at the model ordinance, adoption and amendment process page.


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.

Bluff and slope protections

Resources are available for development standards on or near bluffs and mitigation strategies to help local governments identify bluffs meeting the shoreland definition in their communities.

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.

Vegetation clearing and restoration permits

Land alteration permits

Variances and conditional use permits


GIS data

Districts and boundaries

Primary conservation areas

Vegetation restoration priorities


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