Land Use

Members of the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) spend about $2.5 million per year on land use claims, representing about 22 percent of all liability costs. The average cost of a land use claim is $35,000, more than 85 percent of which is spent to cover defense costs. In other words, these claims generally are not about paying damages to someone but rather about paying for legal defense of the city.

Because land use costs to Minnesota cities are significant, and because the only way to avoid many land use claims is by making informed, thoughtful and appropriate land use decisions, LMCIT offers a unique loss control program to address these risks.

Land Use Incentive Program helps cities save
The Land Use Incentive program rewards Property/Casualty program member cities that successfully complete online training about land-use.

Qualifying member cities earn a savings of as much as $3,750 per land use claim. Cities that do not meet the training requirements will pay a greater rate for each land use claim.

The website-based training is designed to make land use decisions less confusing, and will help cities avoid expensive land use claims and lawsuits. Cities can qualify for the incentive at any time by meeting the training requirement, at which point the city will receive an endorsement. Any land use claims made against the city after the city gets the endorsement will qualify for the savings.

The incentive is available on an ongoing basis to all member cities that certify at their renewal that all the following city officials successfully completed the training:

  • A quorum of the city council;
  • The chair and another planning commission member;
  • The city planner or another staff person with lead responsibility for planning activities.

Read more about the online class, "Land Use Basics: Grasping the Ground Rules," and register

Brainerd has qualified for the incentive—read about it in the Brainerd Dispatch

Land Use Litigation Coverage
Litigation relating to a city's land use regulation decisions, development and redevelopment activities, franchising, or city enterprise operations can be very expensive. LMCIT has developed a specialized approach to cover this type of litigation. The LMCIT Liability Coverage Guide explains land use litigation coverage.
View the LMCIT Liability Coverage Guide (pdf) (see Section III-J)

Land Use Team Provides Consultation, Training, Information
A team of LMCIT land use attorneys works with members to provide customized information and training, and acts as a resource to elected and appointed city officials and to city attorneys. Land use loss control staff addresses topics including the different roles elected officials must play in making land use decisions, and specific legal requirements related to things like planning, zoning, development, redevelopment, franchising, and more.
Read more about Land Use Services
Read more about Land Use Materials