Comprehensive Plan Amendments

The information below will guide you through the comprehensive plan amendment process. This includes administrative review and waiver of adjacent community review. Comprehensive Plan Amendments (CPAs) can now be submitted online through your Community Page. You can also use the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Submittal Guide. If you have any questions throughout this process, contact your Sector Representative.

If your community changes any part of your adopted comprehensive plan, you must submit the comprehensive plan amendment to the Council for review. Communities amend their comprehensive plans for various reasons, such as:

  • Changes resulting from neighborhood or small area planning activities

  • Land use changes to allow a proposed development

  • Proposed forecast changes or proposed MUSA changes in service or staging

  • Text changes to revise a policy or land use category

  • Routine updates to incorporate new information or update a public facilities element

The new deadline for amendments to 2030 comprehensive planshas passed. Please keep in mind the following as you consider potential amendments to your 2040 comprehensive plan:

  • Your community’s existing 2030 comprehensive plan will remain in full force and effect until your community has adopted your 2040 comprehensive plan after authorization from the Metropolitan Council.

  • If your community has not yet submitted your 2040 comprehensive plan for review, any changes that would otherwise be proposed as amendments should be incorporated into your submittal prior to the Council reviewing and acting on the proposed plan.

  • You should ensure to continue to meet the adjacent and affected jurisdictional review requirements for any changes to your draft 2040 comprehensive plans.

  • Your community can amend your 2040 comprehensive plan following formal adoption by the City and transmittal of the final document to the Council. 

Contact your Sector Representative if you have additional questions. 

Before submitting a comprehensive plan amendment to the Council for review, you must take the following steps:

  • Recommendation of the local planning body

  • Local governing body authorization for the amendment to be submitted for Metropolitan Council review

  • Adjacent governmental units, affected special districts, and affected school districts review

If the proposed comprehensive plan amendment is in support of a development project that meets any of the thresholds for mandatory environmental review (Minn. Rules 4410.4300, 4410.4400), the environmental review process must be completed before your amendment is submitted to the Council for review.‚Äč

Adjacent Review Period

Your community must allow adjacent governments, affected special districts, and affected school districts up to 60 days to review the comprehensive plan amendment. This waiting period allows others to review and comment on the amendment before our review. If you receive written comments from all jurisdictions prior to the end of 60 days, you may submit your plan at that time. We’ve gathered an example of notification to local governments to initiate adjacent community review.

Adjacent Review Period Waiver

The Council may allow a shorter review and comment period for amendments or may waive the review and comment period if an amendment involves lands that are not contiguous to other local governmental units. This waiver must be approved prior to submittal to the Council for review. Contact your Sector Representative before completing your amendment.
For an amendment, a community may receive a waiver for the adjacent review and comment period if all of the following are met:

  1. The amendment involves a site of 40 acres or less;

  2. The amendment does not change the community’s growth forecasts or the TAZ allocations; and

  3. The amendment site is either:

  • More than one quarter (1/4) of a mile from an adjacent jurisdiction, or

  • Beyond the distance or area which the community’s adopted ordinances require notice to adjacent or affected property owners, whichever distance is less.

A community may be eligible to waive the adjacent community review and comment period for a text change in your plan, whose cumulative impacts meet the criteria described above.
Remember, this waiver must be approved prior to submittal to the Council for review. Contact your Sector Representative for more information.

Submit the completed comprehensive plan amendment online on your Community Page. Include in your submittal the following information for each comprehensive plan amendment:

  1. Color maps (8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17) showing the following:

    -  General location of proposed changes
    -  Current planned land use and proposed planned land use
    -  Current and proposed sewer staging changes

  2. Staff report to planning commission or local governing body.

  3. Other relevant information related to the amendment including:

    - Whether or not the proposed amendment has impacts on regional systems including transportation, wastewater, and regional parks.
    - Whether the proposed amendment includes any land within the Mississippi Critical Area boundary.
    - How stormwater generated from the site will be managed.
    - Whether there are changes to the projected water use due to the amendment.

  4. Comments from adjacent jurisdictions review.

  5. Copy of adopted local resolution, authorizing the amendment to be submitted for review.

The timeline for review of a comprehensive plan amendment follows:

Adjacent and affected jurisdictions review and comment
  • 60 days prior to submitting amendment to the Council for review

  • Satisfaction of this requirement is one of the criteria for determining whether an application is complete for review

Council reviews for completeness
  • 15 business days from date of receipt of application

Council reviews for conformance, consistency, and compatibility
  • 60 days from the date of submittal (upon determination by the Council that the application is complete for review)

Administrative Reviews
  • 60 business days from receipt of application

  • During the 15 business day completeness review, we determine if the amendment is eligible for administrative review and typically the review is finalized within the first 15 business days.

The Council may extend the review period
  • An additional 60 days if needed

  • Beyond 120 days if agreed to by the local government

After your plan is adopted, it is common for there to be amendments to the plan over time as a result of new development projects, completion of planning studies, changes in policy direction, or routine updates with new information.

Online Submittal

We developed a registration and online submittal tool to receive comprehensive plan amendments and supplemental information for your amendments. This new tool will make the submittal process easier, reduce the need for paper copies, provide a simplified form, and eliminate delays in receiving your amendments and initiating review of your amendments. The online submittal requires a simple registration for users. Once registered and logged in, you can complete a short form online and upload your document for review. Check out the online submittal on your Community Page and read How To Submit Online for detailed instructions on How to Register and submit your amendment.

Alternative Submittal By Mail

We still accept hard copies of amendments. If you prefer to print your amendment documents, you must also include an electronic copy (via email or CD). The electronic version must be a single PDF document of your entire amendment and supporting documents, and it must be a searchable PDF (not scanned image).
Your hard copy must also include other materials with your amendment which includes the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Submittal Form, color maps, comments from affected jurisdictions, the staff report for the amendment, and a copy of your adopted local resolution authorizing your plan to be submitted to us for review. You will need to submit one hard copy of your plan. Mail this information to us at the address below:

Reviews Coordinator
Metropolitan Council
390 North Robert Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

The Metropolitan Council has adopted guidelines for administratively reviewing comprehensive plan amendments. Administrative reviews are evaluated by staff, do not require that the Council take action to approve, and apply to comprehensive plan amendments, local water management plans, and water supply plan amendments. Amendments reviewed administratively must meet the criteria outlined below. Administrative review typically occurs within 15 business days after receiving a complete comprehensive plan amendment submittal. Contact your Sector Representative before you submit your amendment. 
For all eligible comprehensive plan amendments, local water management, and local water supply plan amendments:
The community must show that it has addressed or is committed to addressing through a resolution, any outstanding issues with the most current adopted Comprehensive Plan update or other Council actions.
Eligible Comprehensive Plan Amendments must satisfy all of the following:

  1. Meet the submittal requirements of the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (MLPA) for content or be determined to be complete for review by the Council.

  2. Be consistent with local applicable controls, or the jurisdiction supplies evidence that the local controls will be modified to be consistent with the proposed amendment.

  3. Be within five percent of the Council’s forecasts.

  4. Conform to the regional systems plans.

  5. Be consistent with the Metropolitan Urban Service Area (MUSA) guidelines if residential units are proposed.

  6. Be consistent with Thrive MSP 2040.

  7. Be consistent with the Council’s housing policies.

  8. Be compatible with the plans of adjacent jurisdictions.

  9. If an adjacent jurisdiction is potentially impacted by the amendment, the Council has received documentation that the adjacent jurisdiction has been notified.

  10. Propose a land use change of less than 80 acres, unless the land use change is for Agricultural Preserves enrollment.

  11. Propose a land use change that will result in less than 100 housing units.

  12. Propose a land use change to guide land at no more than one unit per 40 acres to meet the requirements of the Agricultural Preserves Program (Minn. Stat. Ch. 473H)

  13. Does not have the potential for a cumulative impact.

Local water management plans that are submitted as comprehensive plan amendments may be reviewed administratively if they meeting all of the following conditions:

  1. The plan conforms to Council policy plans and regional systems plans.

  2. The plan does not present a substantial departure from regional plans or present a substantial impact on regional systems.

  3. The plan includes ordinances or refers to adopted ordinances as identified in the Council’s 2040 Water Resources Policy Plan to aid in plan implementation.

  4. The plan includes all required elements of local water management plans as outlined in the 2040 Water Resources Policy Plan.

Local water supply plans that are submitted as comprehensive plan amendments may be reviewed administratively if they meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The plan is consistent with Council policy plans.

  2. The plan is not proposing new wells in the Mt. Simon Hinckley aquifer.

  3. The plan is not proposing interconnection with other communities as the main source of water for the community.

  4. The plan is not proposing a residential gallons/capita/day of more than 100 gallons per capita day (gpcd).

  5. The plan includes all required elements of a local water supply plan as outlined in the 2040 Water Resources Policy Plan.

  6. The community does not have any known significant contamination problems with their water supply source.