The Brainerd City Council on Monday took the first step in allowing hunting within Brainerd city limits.
The council agreed to start the process of amending the city code to allow hunting only in the outlying areas zoned rural agriculture.
Minnesota statutes require hunters to be 500 feet away from buildings, unless permitted to do so by the owner, when discharging their firearms.
The Brainerd Planning and Zoning Committee is still working to create the rural residential districts, which would require at least 20 acres of land for the zoning designation, said Brainerd City Planner Al Cottingham. He said anything smaller would have to be rezoned.
The hunting ordinance was proposed for those property owners, such as those in Unorganized Territory, who have annexed their land into the city but won't receive city services for some time.
"The larger tracts will come in as rural agricultural and stay until such time as sewer and water is available," said Cottingham. "Then they will be rezoned. Then they will lose those hunting privileges."
Despite being in the city, the large tracts are still rural.
"What's the difference between today or after annexation? It's still 40 acres," Cottingham said.
The ordinance requires three readings before it is adopted.
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