Friday, November 4, 2016

Do Your City’s Codes Need Some TLC?

This old code book lives in the archives of the
League of Minnesota Cities' Research Library.
Chances are, your city’s codes aren’t as dusty and worn as the example pictured here…but maybe it’s still been a while since your ordinances have been given due attention.

From leash laws to zoning, codes really are the backbone of your municipality—forming the structure by which your city and your residents coexist. These ordinances help your citizens and businesses understand which regulations apply to them. In conjunction with state and federal laws, city codes help your community run smoothly.

Whether your local laws need a complete overhaul or just some minor updating, the League of Minnesota Cities has a program dedicated specifically for this purpose.

Our Codification Services will index your city’s codes into a format that is simple to both search and update. We partner with American Legal Publishing (ALP)—one of the nation’s largest producers of municipal codes—to provide this assistance. Attorneys in this program will review your city’s ordinances and make sure they are up to date and in compliance.

No matter how small or large your community, we have options for you:

  • The Livable City Code of Ordinances is best suited for Minnesota cities with populations below 500. The Livable City Code includes only the provisions that every small city needs and is intended to be adopted without change (versus the Minnesota Basic Code—more info below—which can be modified).

  • The Minnesota Basic Code (MBC) is generally designed for cities with populations below 2,000—but it may also may also be appropriate for larger cities that would like to have a comprehensive set of model ordinances. The MBC can be tailored to meet local needs, though extensive revisions are not recommended since much of the language has been tested in courts.

  • Customized codes allow you to create a code specifically for your municipality—or we can simply update your existing codes—whatever your city’s size. Periodic legal and editorial reviews ensure provisions are always current, lawful, and enforceable.

Whichever option your city chooses, the information will be supplied to your city in easy-to-use formats (a printed binder and CD-ROM are free, or you can host it online for an annual fee).

So if you’re ready to polish up your city’s code—or if you’ve just got questions about our Codification Services—please contact LMC Staff Attorney Amber Eisenschenk at (651) 281-1227,
(800) 925-1122, or

You can also find more information on this program at

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