Ordinance review and approval process - MRCCA

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 amendments for compliance with the rules and uses the model ordinance for this assessment. 

Instructions for local governments

This process is designed so that local governments adopt an ordinance that has been conditionally approved by the DNR within one year of notification. Key milestones in this process are shown below. Local governments may start the process of adopting the MRCCA model ordinance before DNR notification. Local governments may use the Guide to MRCCA Zoning Updates to educate the public about the MRCCA ordinance

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Action step

Begin process upon DNR notification (Step 1)

Submit rough draft ordinance to DNR for preliminary review. (Step 2)

Submit near-final ordinance to DNR for conditional approval. (Begin Step 3)

DNR conditionally approves ordinance (End of step 3)

Hold public hearing (Step 4)

Adopt conditionally approved ordinance within one year of notification (Begin Step 5)

DNR issues final approval (End of Step 5)

Step-by-step instructions 

Step 1: Begin process upon DNR notification

The DNR will notify local governments to begin the process of adopting MRCCA regulations to comply with state rules. Once notified, local government have one year to adopt DNR-approved regulations.

Local governments may start the process before DNR notification. In this case, please complete the form below and email it to the DNR using the submission button at the bottom of this page.

Step 2: Submit rough draft ordinance to DNR for preliminary review (optional)

A preliminary review is intended to help local governments develop “near final” language ready for conditional approval. This step is important if the community is requesting flexibility to the provisions in the model ordinance under Minn. Rule 6106.0070 Subp. 6 or not planning on using the model.To request a DNR preliminary review of a rough draft ordinance, submit the following items as soon as the proposed ordinance is ready.

  1. The proposed ordinance as a MS Word document:
    1. Showing all additions, deletions, and other changes from the model ordinance, and
    2. Commentary explaining why provisions have been added, deleted, or otherwise modified.
  2. Email summarizing:
    1. What you are trying to accomplish with the proposed changes.
    2. Anticipated schedule for public meetings, public hearings and adoption.

Send the email, along with your proposed ordinance to the DNR using the submission button below.

Step 3: Submit near-final ordinance to DNR for conditional approval (required)

The DNR will review the proposed ordinance and provide comments for review at a public hearing. 

To request DNR conditional review, submit the following items at least 90 days before a public hearing. The MRCCA rules provide for a 90-day review process for the DNR to review and make an approval determination.

  1. The proposed ordinance as a MS Word document:
    1. Showing all additions, deletions, and other changes from the model ordinance, and
    2. Commentary explaining why provisions have been added, deleted, or otherwise modified.
  2. Email summarizing:
    1. What you are trying to accomplish with the proposed changes.
    2. Anticipated schedule for public meetings, public hearings and adoption.
  3. The Administrative Checklist, demonstrating readiness to begin administering the ordinance.

Send the email, along with your proposed ordinance to the DNR using the submission button below

The DNR will provide a conditional approval letter within 90 days if the ordinance is substantially compliant with the MRCCA rules. If there are significant differences, the DNR will return the ordinance for modification and provide a letter explaining the needed modifications. When an ordinance is returned for modification, the local government must revise the ordinance and submit it to the DNR within 60 days. 

Step 4: Hold public hearing (required)

The local government holds a public hearing to consider the ordinance. The DNR comments and conditional approval letter are reviewed and entered into the public record. The ordinance is then revised according to the DNR conditions of approval letter. Any other proposed changes resulting from public and planning commission comments must be presented to the DNR for review before final adoption.

Step 5: Adopt conditionally approved ordinance and request DNR final review and approval

The local government governing body adopts the ordinance. 

To request DNR final review and final approval of the adopted ordinance, submit the following items within 10 days of adoption:

  1. The adopted ordinance, signed and dated by the chief elected official (PDF)
  2. Summary of changes made to the ordinance that deviate from conditions of approval, if any.
  3. Completed Ordinance Processing Checklist, and copies of all items require on the checklist.

Send these materials to the DNR using the submission button below.

The DNR will provide a final approval letter to the LGU within 30 days if the adopted ordinance is consistent with that receiving conditional approval. The DNR will submit the final adopted ordinance with evidence of adoption to the Met Council and NPS consistent with rules.

Extensions

At any time in the process, local governments may request an extension. If an extension is needed, local governments must demonstrate they have made a good faith effort to meet the deadline and include schedule and plan for completing the ordinance. Send DNR your request using the submission button below.

Submit materials

Email all proposed draft ordinances/amendments, extension requests, checklists and public hearing notices using the submission button below. Please copy your area hydrologist.

Submit your materials