Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Project development

Engineering process | Preliminary Design

Municipal Consent


The purpose of this guidance is to direct you to the correct processes you need to follow to obtain consent from local agencies involved in your project.

When to use this subject

Projects that require municipal consent

You must obtain municipal consent on any trunk highway project within a municipality that results in the following:

  • Altered access
  • Increased or reduced traffic capacity
  • Required acquisition of permanent right of way 

Altering access means opening or closing an access point to the trunk highway.

Increasing or reducing traffic capacity means increasing or reducing the number of through lanes on the highway.  For example, adding an auxiliary lane is not a capacity change.

Acquisition of permanent right of way includes acquisition of permanent easements (e.g. drainage easements).

For specific process information, see the process page or contact the individuals on the contacts page.

Projects that are exempt

Do not request municipal consent from a city unless you are required to do so.

You are not required to request municipal consent for maintenance activities or:

  • High occupancy vehicle (high-occupancy vehicle (HOV)) lanes/dynamic shoulders according to Minnesota Statutes, section 160.93, subdivision 3
  • Traffic safety measures according to Minnesota Statutes Section 161.163, subdivision 2 (i.e. projects that regulate traffic, install traffic control devices, or incorporate other safety measures)

The term “other safety measures” refers to traffic safety measures.  For example, the addition of a turn lane is a traffic safety measure, but the replacement of a structurally deficient bridge is not.  Some other examples include safety improvements for pedestrians/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) facilities and roundabouts.

Sometimes a city may choose to waive the municipal consent for a specific project.  In that case, the city council must pass a resolution clearly identifying the project and waiving its right to municipal consent for that project. Please discuss waiving of municipal consent with the Office of Chief Counsel if the city raises the topic. 

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

Submit a request for municipal consent after you have a geometric layout. The basic process that occurs to obtain a response from the city should not take more than 150 days. If the city disapproves the layout and you decide to go through the appeals process, it takes about 104 days. If the appeal board recommends to disapprove the layout or approve it with modifications, any ensuing work can take 254 days or more. The project cannot move forward unless you have municipal consent.

If you have any changes to the construction plans following approval that affect access, capacity, or right of way, you must submit the changed portion of the plan to the city for approval.

Organizations involved