DNR Shoreland Rules Revision

Action Alert! Your action is needed to make sure the current Shoreland Rules Update is implemented statewide. Minnesota Waters; the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA); 1,000 Friends of Minnesota, and other partners are working to promote the timely implementation and enactment of improved statewide shoreland rules.

The Shoreland Rules Update would implement important, increased shoreland protection rules—a process originally scheduled for completion in 2009. Please contact Governor Tim Pawlenty and DNR Commission Mark Hanson today.

Recent history of Shoreland Rules Update process

During the past two years stakeholder groups, local government unit representatives and citizens from across the state have been participating in Minnesota’s statewide Shoreland Rules Update A similar process to develop the alternative shoreland standards was completed in 2005. In the past several years, Minnesotans have collectively spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to create the much needed and more protective shoreland rules. To date, none of these rules has been adopted statewide.

The present shoreland rulemaking process was originally scheduled for completion in 2009, yet strategic steps in that process have yet to begin.  Minnesota Waters, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), 1,000 Friends of Minnesota, and several other partnering organizations are working to promote the timely implementation and enactment of improved statewide shoreland rules.  The partnering organizations are now focusing on updating key legislators to work with the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s office for the implementation of the updated shoreland rules in 2010.

Your help is needed to ensure these rules are implemented statewide – and ultimately provide the shoreland protection needed for Minnesota’s irreplaceable lakes, streams and wildlife. Citizens are often the most effective advocates in our work.  Please contact your legislators, Governor Tim Pawlenty and DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten today. Let them know the time has come for statewide shoreland rules that will truly protect Minnesota’s unique waterscape for future generations.

Policymaker contact information

Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.St. Paul, MN 55155


DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten
500 Lafayette Road

St. Paul, MN 55155-4040



District and Legislator Finder:

Act Now To Protect Your Property Value-Contact Your Representative Today
ACTION ALERT-From The COLA Collaborative and MN Waters

The Situation

A bill is moving forward in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature that will lower the standards for granting variances.  This bill (House File 52) backed by counties, cities, and developers is being pitched as a “jobs bill”. While the parts of the bill that create consistent variance standards between cities and counties are good, the proposal to lower standards below those that exist today must not stand. In many counties the total shoreland property value is a substantial percentage and sometimes more than 50% of the total property values in the county. The proposed lower standards put the future at risk and will devalue property values and the property tax base.                        

Long term property values, property tax base, and the tourism and recreation based economy depend on reasonable development standards. Common sense backed by research dictates that property values are higher when people know that the character of their property and their neighbors’ will meet certain standards.  Even the possibility of significantly weaker variance standards for building heights, setbacks, lot widths and sizes, and septic system placement will result in declines in neighboring property values. View the attached factsheet for more information. 

The Solution

The bill must be rejected outright or strengthened so that clear consistent standards for variance decisions are put in place.  Reasonable standards are needed, not more liberal standards that will open the door to grant virtually every variance request no matter how ridiculous. The bill must be strengthened so that local governments are required to carefully consider and justify granting variances only in exceptional circumstances.  Adding reasonable language that strengthens the bill will ensure long term property values and still provide local governments flexibility to grant variances.


Who Represents Me?


Contact your Representative and Senator by email or phone today and let them know that HF 52 needs to be rejected outright or strengthened so that reasonable standards are put in place for granting variances.  The future of your property tax value depends on putting common sense standards in place for granting variances.