Is a claim that a local zoning ordinance violates the Shoreland Protection Act brought in the District Court or the Court of Appeals?

Dead Lake Ass’n v. Otter Tail County (Minn. No. A03-750) (April 28, 2005).

Shoreland protection rules of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources permit a planned unit development within shoreland if this use is identified as a conditional use in the zoning district in question and if the zoning district is based on the DNR lake classification. The lake association, which had initiated its appeal by petitioning the Court of Appeals for certiorari review, asserted that the County’s approval of a mixed commercial and clustered residential development was illegal because it was based on a zoning ordinance that improperly classified the entire shoreland of Dead Lake as a single zoning district. The Supreme Court ruled that a challenge to a zoning ordinance must be litigated in the district court. It ruled that the Court of Appeals was without jurisdiction to issue the writ, and vacated that court’s ruling that the County had the authority to approve the conditional use.