Dayton reviews Mississippi Critical Area land use

By Megan Hopps

SUN PRESS Newspapers


The Dayton City Council met to discuss the draft rules from the Minnesota DNR regarding the Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area.

Staff also reviewed and made changes to a couple of ordinances regarding the care and keeping of domestic and wild animals and the width of residential driveways.



The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is updating state rules that govern land development in the Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area (MRCCA). The critical area in Dayton extends along the entire length of the river and includes the surrounding land and parts of land south of Dayton River Road.

The DNR implements guidelines and rules for land use along the river. This especially affects residents who own property along the Mississippi. The main changes the DNR has made divides these critical areas along the river into “districts” and regulates what can and can not be built in these areas. The draft rules address the height of buildings along the river and structure setbacks from the bank of the river. A new requirement requires local ordinances for new lots to include incentives for alternative design methods such a conservation design, transfer or developmental rights, or other zoning and site designing techniques that achieve better protection of primary conservation areas.

In addition, the proposed rules require design standards with a minimum amount of primary conservation area that needs to be set aside at the time of development. This ranges from 30-50 percent in some districts within the city and 10-20 percent in parts of the city including the Historic Village and areas south of Dayton River Road if the land contains native plant communities or provides connection to a regional trail system. This could potentially impact some of the development south of Dayton River Road.

Furthermore, the ordinance includes requirements for public facilities, recreational facilities and water access.



In an effort to reduce the amount of calls related to domestic and farm animals on or near roadways, the Dayton Police Department has requested a change be made in the language of the animal ordinance. The new ordinance clarifies the types of animals that fall under this ordinance. It also includes the addition of: “No person shall permit any animal, small, large, wild/exotic or farm animal which he is the owner and keeper to be at large.”

Furthermore, city staff has been working with the Planning Commission to adjust an ordinance regarding minimum and maximum driveway widths at the street. The city is requesting that driveways taper at the end for aesthetic reasons. The suggested ordinance change would involve a minimum driveway width of 12 feet and a maximum of 28 feet on straight or curvilinear street. On a cul-de-sac street driveway widths should be no less than 12 feet and not exceed 24 feet.

The Fire Department has requested that the doors at the fire stations be replaced as they are damaged and rusty. The doors have been in place for nearly 30 years and have damage on the doors and frames. The doors to the Senior Center are also in need of replacement. The city received an estimate to remove all existing exterior doors and frames and to install new exterior steel doors and frames would cost approximately $10,000. This number includes 12 door replacements. The new doors and frames would be set up for electronic locking, include weather stripping and feature heavy duty enclosures.


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