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There are new rules to protect a 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River

These rules layout new developmental guidelines.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to protect a 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that runs through the Twin Cities area.

On Tuesday, the department published new development rules for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA), which will take effect Jan. 4, 2017.

According to the DNR, the land along this stretch – from Hastings to Ramsey – was designated a state critical area in 1976 to protect the area's scenic, environmental, and economic values. The DNR just updated and replaced those rules to better protect land as well as existing developments.

“Developing modern rules will go a long way toward improving efficiency and consistency while protecting the essential values that led to the MRCCA’s original designation,” DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a statement.

The updated rules are also meant to provide clear standards for what landowners can and cannot do.

What do the rules say?

There are provisions to keep buildings and other developments away from shorelines – especially areas that are prone to erosion. There are also rules that address building height to make sure the view isn't obstructed.

Different districts have different standards. You can find all the rules and other information on the DNR’s project website.

If you live in the area and might be affected by the new rules, the DNR recommends you contact your local government to make sure you understand what applies to your property.

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