Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area

Aerial Photograph of the Mississippi River through Coon RapidsThe MRCCA is a 72-mile corridor of land along both sides of the Mississippi River through the Twin Cities, including Coon Rapids. Development of this land has been regulated by a shared set of zoning rules since 1976 to preserve natural, recreational and cultural resources while accommodating growth and redevelopment.

Read about MRCCA in the City's Comprehensive Plan.

What is happening now?

Zoning rules along the Mississippi River have been updated by the state and must now be adopted by cities, including Coon Rapids.

The Minnesota Legislature updated the MRCCA rules in 2017. Now, cities must adopt and comply with these coordinated regulations. The City of Coon Rapids is expected to approve updated ordinance language that aligns with the new regulations in 2022.

The City hosted a virtual open house on the new regulations in October 2021.  The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the ordinance on September 15, 2022 and City Council consideration is expected to occur in October 2022.  

What is changing?

  • Permits will be required for certain land alterations and vegetation removal.
  • Design standards for river access – including paths, stairways, water-oriented structures, patios and decks – will be updated to reflect new MRCCA rules.

What is not changing?

  • Where buildings can be placed – structure height and setback standards will NOT change for most properties.
  • Protection for nonconforming structures. These are structures that were legally established prior to the code change and can remain as allowed under Minnesota law.

When do these changes begin?

Zoning updates will go into effect after the City Council adopts a new ordinance. The Council is expected to approve the ordinance by late Fall of 2022, following a public hearing and review process. Until then, existing zoning standards will apply.

Video Overview

Watch an overview of the MRCCA and proposed zoning changes from CTN Studios.

Virtual Open House

The City held a Virtual Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 via Zoom Webinar. View a recording of the full presentation.


More Resources for Property Owners

The Minnesota DNR created a detailed guide to MRCCA Zoning Updates and additional resources.


If you have questions about the ordinance update or the virtual open house, please contact Matt Brown, Planning and Development Manager, by email or call 763-767-6430.