DNR to hold 3 public meetings on draft rules for Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area

(Released June 23, 2014)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold three public information meetings in July to present information and receive comments on proposed rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA), a land corridor along the metro portion of the Mississippi River that receives special protection for its unique economic, ecological, recreational and scenic values. 

The meetings, which all run from 6:30 to 9 p.m., are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, July 16, Greenhaven Golf Course, 2800 Greenhaven Road, Anoka.
  • Tuesday, July 22, Nova Classical Academy, 1455 Victoria Way W., St. Paul.
  • Thursday, July 24, Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center (Spring Lake Park Reserve), 8395 127th Street E., Hastings.

Each meeting will have the same format and information, with a presentation and discussion scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m., and opportunities to visit with DNR staff the rest of the time. Visitors will be able to learn more about the draft rules, including key topics such as vegetation management, land alteration, setbacks, nonconformities, and shoreline facilities. DNR staff will be available to explain how the draft rules might affect individual properties. Comments at these meetings are not part of the formal rulemaking record, but they will be considered as draft rules are revised.

Stretching 72 miles from Dayton to Hastings, the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area was designated via executive order in the late 1970s. No formal rules were ever adopted, though, and over the past decade, the executive order has become increasingly outdated and difficult for state and local governments to administer. In 2009 and 2013, the Legislature directed the DNR to replace the executive order with rules establishing new districts and updated land development standards that sustain key natural, scenic, cultural and economic resources and features.

The DNR will accept comments on its working draft of rules for the MRCCA through Aug. 15. The comment period is intended to gather feedback on the draft rules before they are revised and proposed for formal rule adoption, anticipated this fall or winter. More information is available on the DNR’s project website.