2008-2010 Shoreland Rules Update Project

From 2008-2010, the DNR undertook an extensive public involvement effort to update Minnesota's Shoreland Management rules. The project began in 2008 after the Minnesota Legislature passed a law directing the DNR to commence rulemaking to update the statewide shoreland development standards. The DNR initiated a rulemaking process, including holding many public information and advisory group meetings to guide rule development. Proposed rules were developed and submitted to the Governor for approval. However, Governor Pawlenty did not approve the rules and returned the rules to the DNR, and the DNR's authority to complete the rulemaking lapsed.

The DNR encourages local governments to use the draft rules when updating their shoreland ordinances. Minnesota Statute, §103F.221, allows local governments to adopt standards that are stricter than the statewide minimum shoreland standards found in current rules (MR 6120.2500 – 6120.3900). The current shoreland rules have a flexibility provision that allows local governments to deviate from the strict adherence to certain standards in certain situations if they can demonstrate that their alternative approach satisfies the intent of the standard.

The DNR will consider ordinance amendments that follow the draft rules as substantially meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements. Because certain elements of the draft rules deviate from current rules (e.g. different height and lot size restrictions in cities), it is necessary that a local government request flexibility approval from the DNR in order to use them. Following are the draft rules and documents summarizing the changes.

Project Reports

Draft Documents


Dan Petrik, Land Use Specialist, 651-259-5697