Council Establishes Interim Ordinance: So What Is It?

On Tuesday, February 26, the Rogers City Council discussed and ultimately approved what is called an interim ordinance. More commonly, an interim ordinance is called a moratorium. So, what is it specifically, why was this action taken and, what properties are affected?

Interim, by definition, is a temporary period of time. From a community development perspective, a moratorium is a temporary delay of development activities. In other words, it pushes the pause button. Minnesota Statute enables cities the ability to take such action provided there is study of a specific issue. For Rogers, the 2040 Plan and related zoning codes are that study. So What Is It?

The Rogers draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan is complete and is in the public review phase. As the 2040 Plan moves through the formal review process to approval, the Planning Commission has also commenced its review of zoning code. As the 2040 Plan does propose some changes in land uses – from Industrial to Mixed Use, for example – the interim ordinance tries to prevent conflicts with uses allowed today versus those allowed tomorrow

It also gives the City time to identify ways to mitigate conflicts between land uses, such as residential next to industrial. And, with the 2040 Plan and zoning updates completed together, City staff will be more effective in assisting landowners and developers with land development. Bottom line: the interim ordinance is an important step in helping the community achieve its 2040 vision and long-term goals.

Only those properties to be guided as Commercial or Mixed Use (MURegional, MU-Downtown and MU-Neighborhood) fall under the interim ordinance. Active development is not affected by this action. All current land uses – homes and businesses – are also not affected. The ordinance is in effect through December 31, 2019, but may be lifted earlier, as soon as the 2040 Plan and new zoning codes are adopted.