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local: CUP



  legislation > local: CUP


If an individual county or city doesn’t believe federal and/or state laws are strong enough to deal with animal issues, local officials and citizens can choose to create and enact their own local ordinances.

Example: As dog and cat breeding is often viewed as a land use issue, some counties require breeders to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). An Environmental Impact Study may also be requested, among other reports. There are differences across the State as to what constitutes humane dog and cat breeding, as witnessed by some counties who have chosen to restrict large commercial breeding kennels within their area versus other counties who approve large commercial kennels with unlimited puppy production.


Conditional Use Permit

A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is granted to businesses, within a particular zoning district, that want to use their property for certain activities. These activities sometimes conflict with adjacent properties (neighbors) or the community-at-large so some local governments require that a CUP application be submitted. The county would discuss the application and approve or deny it. The language and questions asked in each application vary by community.

As a citizen, you are allowed to attend hearings on the permit application or contact local officials with your opinion.


CUP decision criteria

The criteria for granting a conditional use permit also varies by community.

As an example, the following list of criteria was used by the Morrison County Commissioners when deciding whether or not to grant a CUP to a commercial dog breeding facility in Belle Prairie Township. To grant the permit, a majority of board members needed to vote “yes” on each criteria below. All board members voted yes to each; the permit was approved.

Note the language used in each criteria below. These type of decisions are typically evaluated based solely on commerce, planning and land use issues. Though the products are dogs or cats, the physical and psychological health of these “products” are not often considered, nor is the changing culture of Minnesota, where many households (both rural and urban) care for pets as family members and expect a higher level of protection for companion animals from the government.

  • The use will not create an excessive burden on existing parks, schools, public roadways and other public facilities and utilities which serve or are proposed to serve the area.
  • The use will be sufficiently compatible or separated by distance or screening from adjacent agricultural or residentially zoned land so that existing homes will not be depreciated in value and there will be no deterrence to development of vacant land.

  • The structure and site shall have an appearance that will not have an adverse effect upon adjacent properties.

  • The use in the opinion of the Planning Commission is reasonably related to the existing land use and the environment.

  • The use is consistent with the purposes of the Zoning Ordinance and the purposes of the zoning district in which the applicant intends to locate the proposed use.

  • The use is not in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan of the county.

  • Existing occupants of nearby structures will not be adversely affected because of curtailment of customer trade brought about by the intrusion of noise, odor, glare, or general unsightliness.

NOTE: Restrictions can be placed on a permit. These restrictions can be used later in court, if the breeder violates conditions.



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