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Continued: DNR land-use rules draw concerns along the Mississippi riverfront

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 3, 2014 - 11:49 PM

Dan Petrik, who is coordinating the project for the DNR, said some of the fears about riverfront properties being classed as “nonconforming” are overblown and based on a misperception of what the new rules will mean. That’s why the agency has gone to great lengths to gather feedback and explain their implications.

The river corridor is also a national park — the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area. For that reason, said John Anfinson, the park’s acting superintendent, the resulting rules should protect what makes the river not just a local and state resource but one with national and even global significance.

“Our job is to help cities on the river to look beyond their own boundaries, to see the bigger picture,” he said. “I get very clearly that locals want to do their own thing — that’s just natural. But the Mississippi River is worthy of high consideration.”

He said the federal agency supports rules that set a high protective standard, are consistently enforced and reflect why the area known as the Mississippi Corridor Critical Area was created.

“If we really believe this is a great river, one of the great rivers of the world, shouldn’t that reflect what we do along it?” Anfinson asked. “Why can’t we have a corridor that celebrates the river and does the right thing by it? The better we do by the river, the better we do by the cities along the river.”


Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039

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  • St. Paul riverfront.

  • DNR listening sessions

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold three public information meetings in July to present information and receive comments on proposed rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area. The meetings will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m.:

    • July 16, Greenhaven Golf Course, 2800 Greenhaven Road, Anoka.

    • July 22, Nova Classical Academy, 1455 Victoria Way W., St. Paul.

    • July 24, Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center (Spring Lake Park Reserve), 8395 127th St. E., Hastings.

    Each meeting will include a presentation and discussion scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m. and opportunities to visit with DNR staff the rest of the time.

    The DNR will accept comments on its working draft of rules 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.

    More information is available on the DNR’s project website at

    Jim Anderson

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