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S.F. No. 2071 - Airport Zoning Requirements
 
Author: Senator Andrew R. Lang
 
Prepared By: Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis (651/296-4791)
 
Date: March 15, 2019



 

Section 1.  Comprehensive plan.  Defines “comprehensive plan” by cross-reference to county and municipal planning and zoning statutes.

Section 2.  Creation; authorized disbursements.  Strikes the prohibition against giving a municipality assistance from the state airports fund if its comprehensive plan is incompatible with the state aviation plan.                                                        

Section 3.  Authority to establish.  States that the operation and maintenance of airports is an essential public service. Allows the commissioner of transportation to fund airport safety projects that maintain an existing infrastructure, regardless of a zoning authority’s effort to complete zoning. The commissioner may withhold funding from an airport subject to a proposed zoning ordinance.

Section 4.  Airport hazard prevention; protecting existing land uses.  Broadens the application of the section to all land uses, not just built up urban areas.  States that lighting of airport hazards is an essential public service, not just a public purpose.

Section 5.  Enforcement under police power.  A municipality may regulate the following in airport hazard areas:  land use; height restrictions; location, size, and use of buildings; and population density.  Strikes the two-mile distance limitation.

Section 6.  Joint airport zoning board.  Inserts cross-reference to proposed airport zoning regulation standards in sections 9 and 10, and strikes a reference to the section repealed in the bill.

Section 7.  Comprehensive regulations.  Requires a municipality that has adopted a comprehensive plan to include in the plan any airport zoning regulations that apply to an area in the plan.  This is permissive under current law.

Section 8.  Notice of proposed zoning regulations, hearing.  Modifies the notice provisions for hearings related to adopting or amending airport zoning regulations.

Section 9.  Airport zoning regulations based on commissioner’s standards; submission process.  Establishes the process to adopt airport zoning regulations using standards prescribed by the commissioner of transportation.  Requires review of the regulations by the commissioner of transportation.  Local ordinances may be more stringent than the commissioner’s standards.  Preserves substantive rights existing and exercised before August 1, 2018.  Provides for protection of existing uses.

Section 10.  Custom airport zoning standards.  Provides an alternate process for a local government to establish and adopt custom airport zoning regulations.  Specifies the factors that must be addressed in the custom regulations.  Requires review of the regulations by the commissioner of transportation.  Preserves substantive rights existing and exercised before August 1, 2019.

Section 11.  Reasonableness.  Strikes the nonexclusive list of considerations in determining reasonableness of regulations.

Section 12.  Federal no hazard determination.  Permits a custom regulation to allow a structure or tree higher than otherwise allowed if the Federal Aviation Administration has analyzed it and determined it does not pose a hazard, require a change in operations, or require mitigation that cannot be accomplished.

Section 13.  Membership.  Allows for staggered term length for initial terms of a board of adjustment.  For the Metropolitan Airport Commission, the commission chair makes the appointments.

Section 14.  Zoning required.  Allows the commissioner of transportation to fund airport safety projects to maintain existing infrastructure regardless of a zoning authority’s efforts to complete zoning, but otherwise prohibits funding unless the municipality, county, or joint airport zoning board is proceeding on with zoning.

Section 15.  Airport safety zone.  Defines “airport safety zone” in the county planning and zoning statute.

Section 16.  Comprehensive plan.  Requires county boards to consider the location and dimension of airport safety zones, as well as improvements identified in the airport’s most recent approved layout plan.

Section 17.  Comprehensive plans in greater Minnesota; open space.  In adopting a comprehensive plan, counties must consider encouraging land uses in airport safety zones that are compatible with safe operation of the airport and the safety of people in the area.

Section 18.  In district zoning, maps.  Requires county zoning maps to include airport safety zones.  This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to maps created or updated on or after that date.

Section 19.  Airport safety zone.  Adds a cross-reference to the definition of “airport safety zone” to municipal planning and zoning statutes.

Section 20.  Preparation and review.  When preparing or amending a comprehensive plan, a municipality must consider the location and dimensions of airport safety zones in the municipality and any improvements identified in the airport’s most recent airport layout plan.

Section 21.  Airport safety zoning on zoning maps.  Requires municipal zoning maps to include airport safety zones.  This section is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to maps created on or after that date.

Section 22.  Development goals and objectives.  When adopting municipal plans, a municipality must consider encouraging land use in airport safety zones that are compatible with safe operation of the airport and the safety of people in the area.

Section 23.  RepealerMinnesota Statutes, sections 360.063, subdivision 4 (airport zoning; airport approach); 360.065, subdivision 2 (airport zoning; regulations submitted to commissioner), 360.066, subdivision 1a (airport zoning; protection of existing neighborhoods); and 360.066, subdivision 1b (airport zoning; amendment of standards) are repealed.

Section 24.  Effective date; application.  This act is effective August 1, 2019, and applies to airport sponsors that make or plan to make changes to runways on or after that date.  This does not apply to airports that:  (1) have airport safety zoning ordinances approved on August 1, 2019; (2) have not made and are not planning to make changes to runways; and (3) are not required to update airport safety zoning ordinances.

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