Minneapolis Critical Area Plan
The City of Minneapolis is required to prepare and adopt a plan to meet the requirements of the Mississippi River Critical Areas act of 1973. Final approval is contingent on review by both the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The plan was approved by the City Council on June 16, 2006, by the Metropolitan Council on October 11, 2006, and by the DNR on January 29, 2007.
Staff Report to City Planning Commission May 8, 2006
Proposed Text Changes to Draft for Public Comment (approved by City Planning Commission May 8, 2006).
The plan was approved by the Citys Zoning and Planning Committee on June 8, 2006. ( Zoning & Planning Committee June 8, 2006)
The Mississippi River Critical Area Program is a joint local and state program that provides coordinated planning and management for 72 miles of the Mississippi River, four miles of the Minnesota River, and 54,000 acres of adjacent corridor lands. The designated Mississippi River Critical Area Corridor stretches from Ramsey, Minnesota, north of the Twin Cities, to the southern boundary of Dakota County, and runs through the heart of Minneapolis-St. Paul. A complete program description and map are available online at:
The purposes of the state’s Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area designation are to:
- protect and preserve a unique and valuable state and regional resource for the benefit of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens for the state, region, and nation;
- prevent and mitigate irreversible damage to this state, regional, and national resource;
- preserve and enhance the corridor’s natural, aesthetic, cultural, and historic values for the public use;
- protect and preserve the river as an essential element in the national, state, and regional transportation, sewer and water, and recreational systems; and
- protect and preserve the biological and ecological functions of the corridor.
Local units of government are required to adopt critical area plans and regulations that comply with the Mississippi River Critical Area Program. Local units of government and regional and state agencies shall permit development in the corridor only in accordance with those adopted plans and regulations.
The Minneapolis Critical Area Plan is an update of the 1989 Critical Area Plan and includes additional policies. It documents the City's river corridor resources and sets forth those policies and implementation strategies the City has adopted to protect the natural, cultural, historic, commercial, and recreational value of the river corridor. (Note that the plan generally does not address the holdings of the University of Minnesota and higher levels of government over which the City has no control. The University has prepared its own Critical Area Plan. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is subject to all City of Minneapolis land use policies and regulations.)
This plan is guided by many past plans and ordinances and will guide future planning and regulatory actions. For the most part, this plan brings together ideas from the City’s comprehensive plan, the zoning ordinance, and several sub-area plans. In response to state or federal requirements, it does include some policies that were not specifically and clearly articulated in other documents, but those policies are consistent with past City practices or broader policies. Plans that address land in the Critical Area will be consistent with all applicable state laws. In the case of overlap of plans and/or policies, the policy most protective of the Critical Area will prevail.
Last updated Mar. 5, 2012