In accordance with legislation effective July 1, 2005, the services provided by the Local Planning
Assistance Center are no longer available. However, resources produced by the Local Planning Assistance
Center through June 30, 2005, will remain available from this web site. The LPA site has also been
archived and can be downloaded via
Please direct requests for information packets to:
Professor Tony Filipovitch, Chair
Urban and Regional Studies Institute
Minnesota State; University at Mankato
106 Morris Hall
Mankato MN 56001
Regional development act
The following contains excerpts from the Laws of Minnesota, 1999,
Chapter 462. By going to the Revisor
of Statutes web site, you can search by keyword or chapter number to
see the complete law.
462.383 Purpose: government cooperation
Subdivision 1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that
problems of growth and development in urban and rural regions of the state
so transcend the boundary lines of local government units that no single
unit can plan for their solution without affecting other units in the
region; that coordination of multijurisdictional activities is essential
to the development and implementation of effective policies and programs;
that intergovernmental cooperation is an effective means of pooling the
resources of local government to approach common problems; and that the
assistance of the state is needed to make the most effective use of local,
state, federal, and
private programs in serving the citizens of such urban and rural regions.
Subd. 2. By creating regional commission. It is the purpose of
sections 462.381 to 462.398 to authorize the establishment of regional
development commissions to work with and on behalf of local units of
government to develop plans or implement programs to address economic,
social, physical, and governmental concerns of each region of the state.
The commissions may assist with, develop, or implement plans or programs
for individual local units of government.
Subd. 2. Governmental unit. "Governmental unit" means a
county, city, town, school district, or other political subdivision of the
Subd. 3. Municipality. "Municipality" means a city.
Subd. 4. Commission. "Commission" means a regional
development commission created under sections 462.381 to 462.398.
Subd. 5. Development region, region. "Development region"
or "region" means a geographic region composed of a grouping of
counties as established by sections 462.381 to 462.398.
Subd. 6. Subregion, subdistrict. "Subregion" or "subdistrict"
means any combination of governmental units formed under sections 462.371
to 462.375, 471.59 or under any other statute combining or enabling the
combination of governmental units for special purposes.
462.385 Designation of regions.
Subdivision 1. By governor's order; hearings. Development regions for the
state shall consist of the following counties:
Region 1: Kittson, Roseau, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, and
Region 2: Lake of the Woods, Beltrami, Mahnomen, Clearwater, and Hubbard.
Region 3: Koochiching, Itasca, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Aitkin, and Carlton.
Region 4: Clay, Becker, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Grant, Douglas, Traverse,
Stevens, and Pope.
Region 5: Cass, Wadena, Crow Wing, Todd, and Morrison.
Region 6E: Kandiyohi, Meeker, Renville, and McLeod.
Region 6W: Big Stone, Swift, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, and
Region 7E: Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Pine, Isanti, and Chisago.
Region 7W: Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, and Wright.
Region 8: Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, Pipestone, Murray,
Cottonwood, Rock, Nobles, and Jackson.
Region 9: Sibley, Nicollet, LeSueur, Brown, Blue Earth, Waseca, Watonwan,
Martin, and Faribault.
Region 10: Rice, Goodhue, Wabasha, Steele, Dodge, Olmsted,
Winona, Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston.
Region 11: Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Carver, Scott, and Dakota.
Subd. 3. Ongoing boundary studies; changes. Modification of
regional boundaries may be initiated by a county requesting assignment to
a region other than that within which it is designated. If a request for
reassignment is unacceptable to the commission whose boundaries would be
modified, the county requesting reassignment shall remain in the
originally designated region until the legislature determines the final
462.387 Regional development commissions;
Subdivision 1. Petition. Any combination of counties or
municipalities representing a majority of the population of the region for
which a commission is proposed may petition the governor or designee by
formal resolution setting forth its desire to establish, and the need for,
the establishment of a regional development commission. For purposes of
this section the population of a county does not include the population of
a municipality within the county.
Subd. 1a. Operating commission. Regional development commissions
shall be those organizations operating pursuant to
sections 462.381 to 462.398 which were formed by formal resolution of
local units of government and those which may petition by formal
resolution to establish a regional development commission.
Subd. 3. Establishment. Upon receipt of a petition as provided in
subdivision 1 a regional development commission shall be established by
the governor or designee and all local government units within the region
for which the commission is proposed shall be notified. The notification
shall be made within 60 days of the governor's receipt of a petition under
Subd. 4. Selection of membership. The governor or designee shall
call together each of the membership classifications except citizen
groups, defined in section 462.388, within 60 days of the establishment of
a regional development commission for the purpose of selecting the
Subd. 5. Name of commission. The name of the organization shall be
determined by formal resolution of the commission.
462.388 Commission membership.
Subdivision 1. Representation of various members. A commission
shall consist of the following members:
(1) one member from each county board of every county in the development
(2) one additional county board member from each county of over 100,000
(3) the town clerk, town treasurer, or one member of a town board of
supervisors from each county containing organized towns;
(4) one additional member selected by the county board of any county
containing no townships;
(5) one mayor or council member from a municipality of under 10,000
population from each county, selected by the mayors of all such
municipalities in the county;
(6) one mayor or council member from each municipality of over 10,000 in
(7) two school board members elected by a majority of the chairs of school
boards in the development region;
(8) one member from each council of governments;
(9) one member appointed by each native American tribal council located in
each region; and
(10) citizens representing public interests within the region including
members of minority groups to be selected after adoption of the bylaws of
Subd. 2. Terms, selection method. The terms of office and method of
selection of members shall be provided in the bylaws of the commission.
The commission shall adopt rules setting forth its procedures.
Subd. 5. Per diem; board members. Members of the regional
commission may receive a per diem of not over $50, the amount to be
determined by the commission, and shall be reimbursed for their reasonable
expenses as determined by the commission. The commission may provide for
the election of a board of directors and provide, at its discretion, for a
per diem of not over $50 a day for meetings of the board and expenses. A
member of the board of directors who is a member of the commission shall
receive only the per diem payable to board members when meetings of the
board of directors and the commission are held on the same day.
462.389 Development commission chair; officers and
Subdivision 1. Chair. The chair of the commission shall have been a
resident of the region for at least one year and shall be a person
experienced in the field of government affairs. The chair shall preside at
the meetings of the commission and board of directors and be responsible
for carrying out all policy decisions of the commission. The chair's
expense allowances shall be fixed by the commission. The term of the first
chair shall be one year, and the chair shall serve until a successor is
selected and qualifies. At the
expiration of the term of the first chair, the chair shall be elected from
the membership of the commission according to procedures established in
Subd. 2. Officers. Except as provided in subdivision 1, the
commission shall elect such officers as it deems necessary for the conduct
of its affairs. Times and places of regular and special meetings shall be
fixed by the commission and may be provided in the commission bylaws. In
the performance of its duties the commission may adopt bylaws, rules
governing its operation, establish committees, divisions, departments, and
bureaus, and staff the same as necessary to carry out its duties and when
specifically authorized by law make appointments to other governmental
agencies and districts. All officers and employees shall serve at the
pleasure of the commission and in accordance with this section.
Subd. 3. Executive director. The commission may appoint an
executive director to serve as the chief administrative officer. The
director may be chosen from among the citizens of the nation at large, and
shall be selected on the basis of training and experience in the field of
Subd. 4. Employees. The commission may adopt a personnel system for
its officers and employees including terms and conditions for the
employment, the fixing of compensation, their classification, benefits,
and the filing of performance and fidelity bonds, and such policies of
insurance as it may deem advisable, the premiums for which, however, shall
be paid for by the commission. Officers and employees are public employees
within the meaning of chapter 353. The commission shall make the
employer's contributions to pension funds of its employees.
Subd. 6. Consultants. The commission may contract for the services
of consultants who perform engineering, legal, or other services of a
professional nature for peak workloads, continuing advice on program
direction, and for specialized and technical services. Such contracts
shall not be subject to the requirements of any law relating to public
462.39 Powers and duties.
Subdivision 1. General powers. The commission shall have and
exercise all powers which may be necessary or convenient to enable it to
perform and carry out the duties and responsibilities of sections 462.381
to 462.398 or which may hereafter be imposed upon it by law. Such powers
include the specific powers enumerated in this section. The commission is
an instrumentality of the state for purposes of section 297A.25,
Subd. 2. Regional programs. The commission is authorized to receive
public and private funds for purposes including, but not limited to
program administration, multicounty planning, coordination, and
Subd. 3. Planning. The commission may prepare and submit for
adoption, after appropriate study and such public hearings as may be
necessary, comprehensive plans for local units of government, individually
or collectively, within the region. Plans may consist of policy
statements, goals, standards, programs, and maps prescribing guides for
orderly development within the jurisdiction subject to the plan. The plans
shall recognize and incorporate planning principles which encompass
physical, social, or economic needs of the region. In preparing
development plans the commission shall use to the maximum extent feasible
the resources studies and data available from other planning agencies
within the region, including counties, municipalities, special districts,
and subregional planning agencies, and it shall utilize the resources of
state agencies to the same purpose.
Subd. 4. Comprehensive planning. The creation of a regional
development commission does not affect the right of counties or
municipalities to conduct subregional or district planning under sections
462.371 to 462.375 or 471.59. It is the purpose of sections 462.381 to
462.398 to encourage local and subdistrict planning capability and the
regional commission shall as far as practical use the data, resources, and
input of the local planning agencies.
462.391 Specific powers and duties.
Subd. 1a. Review of local plans. The commission may review and
provide comments and recommendations on local plans or development
proposals which in the judgment of the commission
have a substantial effect on regional development. Local units of
government may request that a regional commission review, comment, and
provide advisory recommendations on local plans or development proposals.
Subd. 2a. Staff services. To avoid duplication of staff for various
regional bodies assisted by federal or state government, the commission
may provide basic administrative, research, and planning services for all
regional planning and development bodies. The commissions may contract to
obtain or perform services with state agencies, for-profit or nonprofit
entities, subdistricts organized as the result of federal or state
programs, councils of governments organized under section 471.59, or any
other law, and with local governments.
Subd. 3a. Data and information. The commission may be designated as
a regional data center providing data collection, storage, analysis, and
dissemination to be used by it and other governmental and private users,
and may accept gifts or grants to provide this service.
Subd. 5. Research. Where studies have not been otherwise authorized
by law the commission may study the feasibility of programs including, but
not limited to, water, land use, economic development, housing,
demographics, cultural issues, governmental issues, human services,
natural resources, communication, technology, transportation, and other
subjects of concern to the citizens of the region, may institute
demonstration projects in connection therewith, and may enter into
contracts or accept gifts or grants for such purposes as otherwise
authorized in sections 462.381 to 462.398.
Subd. 10. Service to local government. The commission may contract
with local units of government to provide them with services and technical
assistance in the conduct of local planning and development activities.
Subd. 11. Program operation. Upon approval of the appropriate
authority from local, state, and federal government units, commissions may
be regarded as general purpose units of government to receive funds and
operate programs on a regional or subregional basis to provide economies
of scale or to enhance
Subd. 12. Property ownership. A commission may buy, lease, acquire,
own, hold, improve, and use real or personal property or an interest in
property, wherever located in the state for purposes of housing the
administrative office of the regional commission.
Subd. 13. Property disposition. A commission may sell, convey,
mortgage, create a security interest in, lease, exchange, transfer, or
dispose of all or part of its real or personal property or an interest in
property, wherever located in the state.
462.394 Citizen participation and advisory
The commission may appoint advisory committees of interested and affected
citizens to assist in the review of plans, programs, and other matters
referred for review by the commission. Whenever a special advisory
committee is required by any federal or state regional program the
commission shall, as far as practical, appoint such committees as advisory
groups to the commission. Members of the advisory committees shall serve
without compensation but shall be reimbursed for their reasonable expenses
as determined by the commission.
462.398 Termination of commission.
Subdivision 1. Petition; population. Any combination of counties or
municipalities representing a majority of the population of the region for
which a commission exists may petition the governor by formal resolution
stating that the existence of the commission is no longer in the public
welfare and interest and is not needed to accomplish the purposes of the
Regional Development Act. For purposes of this section the population of a
county does not include the population of a municipality within the
county. Any formal resolution adopted by the governing body of a county or
municipality for the termination of a commission shall be effective for a
period of one year for the purpose of determining the requisite population
of the region needed to petition the governor.
Subd. 2. Hearings; recommendation, termination date. Within 35 days
of the filing of the petition, the governor or designee shall fix a time
and place within the region for a hearing. The director shall give notice
of the hearing by publication once each week for two successive weeks
before the date of the hearing in a legal newspaper in each of the
counties which the commission represents. The hearing shall be conducted
by members of the commission. If the commission determines that the
existence of the commission is no longer in the public welfare and
interest and that it is not needed to accomplish the purposes of the
Regional Development Act, the commission shall recommend to the governor
or designee that the governor or designee terminate the commission. Within
60 days after receipt of the recommendation, the governor or designee
shall terminate the commission by giving notice of the termination to all
government units within the region for which the commission was
established. Unless otherwise provided by this subdivision, the hearing
shall be in accordance with sections 14.001 to 14.69.
Subd. 3. 30 months between petitions. The governor or designee
shall not accept a petition for termination more than once in 30 months
for each regional development commission.