The Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area (MRCCA) is a 72-mile corridor of land along both sides of the Mississippi River through the Twin Cities, including South St. Paul. 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.
The Minnesota Legislature updated the MRCCA rules in 2017 and subsequently cities were required to adopt and comply with these coordinated regulations. These updated rules provided additional measures to protect Primary Conservation Areas (PCAs) such as the City's bluffs and land within 20 feet of the bluff, areas with significant existing tree coverage, areas of land directly adjoining waterbodies, and native plant communities. As part of the required update, South St. Paul needed to amend both the Critical Area Plan in the City's comprehensive plan and its zoning rules to reflect the State's rules. The City of South St. Paul adopted updated MRCCA regulations that are consistent with the new rules on August 21, 2023. These regulations guide building and construction, vegetation management and removal, and land alteration.
If you want to perform work on your property and your property falls within the Mississippi River Critical Corridor area, you may need to obtain additional permits aside from a building permit. To determine if your property is located within the MRCCA boundary, you can use this map. Permit applications can be found here: