Dakota County, MN Park Ordinance Update (2022)


Park Ordinances are the overarching rules and regulations for a particular park system. Dakota County’s Ordinance 107 (Park Use) was enacted in 1997 and many years elapsed since revisiting it. Since this time, many changes occurred in technology and the way that visitors use County parks and greenways. The gaps between coverage in the Ordinance and new activities, as well as arising safety or social issues, created a level of uncertainty and confusion for staff tasked with education around and enforcement of park rules.


Zec Eight Insights was hired to update Dakota County Ordinance 107 (Park Use). The County approved a multi-phase project in 2018 to update the Ordinance. Phase 1, completed in September 2019, was conducted by the Office of Performance and Analysis (OPA) in conjunction with the Parks Department. It included conducting background research and providing a summary of pertinent topics and potential recommendations for revision.

Zec Eight Insights created a customized approach to updating the Park Ordinance and implemented the following process:


  • Conducted a stakeholder analysis to identify key stakeholders and determine necessary engagement throughout the project;
  • Developed a Public Engagement Plan and conducted public engagement;
  • Drafted a revised Ordinance for comprehensive County review; and
  • Assessed communication needs and made recommendations on the content/format of the new Ordinance and supporting materials.


Phase 2 of the Ordinance Update resulted in the development of a revised Ordinance presented to the County Board for adoption. The final Ordinance meets three identified project objectives:

  1. The Ordinance should be contemporary and dynamic;
  2. The Ordinance should recognize system inequalities and substantially advance inclusion; and
  3. The Ordinance should be easy for the County to communicate and easy for users to understand.

Reference (current contact information)
Jeff Bransford, PMP, CPRE
Park Development Manager
(830) 221-4358
110 Golf Course Road
New Braunfels, TX 78130