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(A) Statutory authorization and policy.
(1) Statutory authorization. This shoreland section is adopted pursuant to the authorization and policies contained in M.S. Chapter 103F, as it may be amended from time to time, Minnesota Regulations parts 6120.2500 to 6120.3900, and the planning and zoning enabling legislation in M.S. Chapter 394 (for counties) or Chapter 462 (for municipalities), as they may be amended from time to time.
(a) The uncontrolled use of shorelands of the city affects the public health, safety and general welfare not only by contributing to pollution of public waters, but also by impairing the local tax base. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the public health, safety and welfare to provide for the wise subdivision, use and development of shorelands responsibility to local governments of the state to regulate the subdivision, use and development of the shorelands of public waters and thus preserve and enhance the quality of surface waters, conserve the economic and natural environmental values of shorelands, and provide for the wise use of waters and related land resources.
(b) This responsibility is hereby recognized by the city.
(B) General provisions and definitions.
(1) Jurisdiction. The provisions of this section shall apply to the shorelands of the public water bodies as classified in §§ 152.030 through 152.053 of this chapter. Pursuant to Minnesota Regulations parts 61200.2500 to 6120.3900, no lake, pond or flowage less than ten acres in size in municipalities or 25 acres in size in unincorporated areas need be regulated in a local government’s shoreland regulations. A body of water created by a private user where there was no previous shoreland may, at the discretion of the governing body, be exempt from this section.
(2) Compliance. The use of any shoreland of public waters; the size and shape of lots; the use, size, type and location of structures on lots; the installation and maintenance of water supply and waste treatment systems, the grading and filling of any shoreland area; the cutting of shoreland vegetation; and the subdivision of land shall be in full compliance with the terms of this section and other applicable regulations.
(3) Enforcement. The city is responsible for the administration and enforcement of this section. Any violation of the provisions of this section or failure to comply with any of its requirements (including violations of conditions and safeguards established in connection with grants of variances or conditional uses) shall constitute a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as defined by law. Violations of this section can occur regardless of whether or not a permit is required for a regulated activity pursuant to division (C)(1) below.
(4) Interpretation. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this section shall be held to be minimum requirements and shall be liberally construed in favor of the governing body and shall not be deemed a limitation or repeal of any other powers granted by state statutes.
(5) Severability. If any section, clause, provision or portion of this section is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this section shall not be affected thereby.
(6) Abrogation and greater restrictions. It is not intended by this section to repeal, abrogate or impair any existing easements, covenants or deed restrictions. However, where this section imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this section shall prevail. All other ordinances inconsistent with this section are hereby repealed to the extent of the inconsistency only.
(7) Definitions. Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases used in this section shall be interpreted so as to give them the same meaning as they have in common usage and so as to give this section its most reasonable application. For the purpose of this section, the words “must” and “shall” are mandatory and not permissive. All distances, unless otherwise specified, shall be measured horizontally.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE OR FACILITY. Any building or improvement subordinate to a principal use which, because of the nature of its use, can reasonably be located at or greater than normal structure setbacks.
BLUFF. A topographic feature such as a hill, cliff or embankment having the following characteristic (an area with an average slope of less than 18% over a distance for 50 feet or more shall not be considered part of the BLUFF):
1. Part or all of the feature is located in a shoreland area;
2. The slope rises at least 25 feet above the ordinary high water level of the waterbody;
3. The grade of the slope from the toe of the bluff to a point 25 feet or more above the ordinary high water level averages 30% or greater; and
4. The slope must drain toward the waterbody.
BLUFF IMPACT ZONE. A bluff and land located within 20 feet from the top of a bluff.
BOATHOUSE. A structure designed and used solely for the storage of boats or boating equipment.
BUILDING LINE. A line parallel to a lot line or the ordinary high water level at the required setback beyond which a structure may not extend.
COMMERCIAL PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS. Typically uses that provide transient, short-term lodging spaces, rooms or parcels and their operations are essentially service-oriented. For example, hotel/motel accommodations, resorts, recreational vehicle and camping parks, and other primarily service-oriented activities are COMMERCIAL PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS.
COMMERCIAL USE. The principal use of land or buildings for the sale, lease, rental or trade of products, goods and services.
COMMISSIONER. The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.
CONDITIONAL USE. A land use or development as defined by ordinance that would not be appropriate generally but may be allowed with appropriate restrictions as provided by official controls upon a finding that certain conditions as detailed in the zoning regulations exist, the use or development conforms to the comprehensive land use plan of the community and the use is compatible with the existing neighborhood.
DECK. A horizontal, unenclosed platform with or without attached railing, seats, trellises or other features, attached or functionally related to a principal use or site and at any point extending more than three feet above ground.
DUPLEX, TRIPLEX AND QUAD. A dwelling structure on a single lot, having two, three and four units, respectively, being attached by common walls and each unit equipped with separate sleeping, cooking, eating, living and sanitation facilities.
DWELLING SITE. A designated location for residential use by one or more persons using temporary or movable shelter, including camping and recreational vehicle sites.
DWELLING UNIT. Any structure or portion of a structure, or other shelter designed as short- or long-term living quarters for one or more persons, including rental or timeshare accommodations such as motel, hotel and resort rooms and cabins.
EXTRACTIVE USE. The use of land for surface or subsurface removal of sand, gravel, rock, industrial minerals, other nonmetallic minerals and peat not regulated under M.S. §§ 93.44 to 93.51, as they may be amended from time to time.
FOREST LAND CONVERSION. The clear cutting of forested lands to prepare for a new land use other than reestablishment of a subsequent forest stand.
GUEST COTTAGE. A structure used as a dwelling unit that may contain sleeping spaces and kitchen and bathroom facilities in addition to those provided in the primary dwelling unit on a lot.
HARDSHIP. The same meaning as that term is defined in M.S. Chapter 394 (for counties), as it may be amended from time to time, or M.S. Chapter 462 (for municipalities), as it may be amended from time to time.
HEIGHT OF BUILDING. The vertical distance between the highest adjoining ground level at the building or ten feet above the lowest ground level, whichever is lower, and the highest point of a flat roof or average height of the highest gable of a pitched or hipped roof.
INDUSTRIAL USE. The use of land or buildings for the production, manufacture, warehousing, storage or transfer of goods, products, commodities or other wholesale items.
INTENSIVE VEGETATION CLEARING. The complete removal of trees or shrubs in a contiguous patch, strip, row or block.
LOT. A parcel of land designated by plat, metes and bounds, registered land survey, Auditor’s plot or other accepted means and separated from other parcels or portions by the description for the purpose of sale, lease or separation.
LOT WIDTH. The shortest distance between lot lines measured at the midpoint of the building line.
NONCONFORMITY. Any legal use, structure or parcel of land already in existence, recorded or authorized before the adoption of official controls or amendments thereto that would not have been permitted to become established under the terms of the official controls as now written, if the official controls had been in effect prior to the date it was established, recorded or authorized.
ORDINARY HIGH WATER LEVEL. The boundary of public waters and wetlands, and shall be an elevation delineating the highest water level which has been maintained for a sufficient period of time to leave evidence upon the landscape, commonly that point where the natural vegetation changes from predominantly aquatic to predominately terrestrial. For watercourses, the ORDINARY HIGH WATER LEVEL is the elevation of the top of the bank of the channel. For reservoirs and flowages, the ORDINARY HIGH WATER LEVEL is the operating elevation of the normal summer pool.
PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT. A type of development characterized by a unified site design for a number of dwelling units or dwelling sites on a parcel, whether for sale, rent or lease, and also usually involving clustering of these units or sites to provide areas of common open space, density increases, and a mix of structure types and land uses. These developments may be organized and operated as condominiums, time-share condominiums, cooperatives, full free ownership, commercial enterprises, or any combination of these, or cluster subdivisions of dwelling units, residential condominiums, townhouses, apartment buildings, campgrounds, recreational vehicle parks, resorts, hotels, motels and conversions of structures and land uses to these uses.
PUBLIC WATERS. Any waters as defined in M.S. § 103G.005, subds. 15 and 15a, as they may be amended from time to time.
RESIDENTIAL PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT. A use where the nature of residency is nontransient and the major or primary focus of the development is not service-oriented. For example, residential apartments, manufactured home parks, time-share condominiums, townhouses, cooperatives and full fee ownership residences would be considered as RESIDENTIAL PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS. To qualify as a RESIDENTIAL PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT, a development must contain at least five dwelling units or sites.
SEMIPUBLIC USE. The use of land by a private, nonprofit organization to provide a public service that is ordinarily open to some persons outside the regular constituency or the organization.
SENSITIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT. The preservation and management of areas unsuitable for development in their natural state due to constraints such as shallow soils over groundwater or bedrock, highly erosive or expansive soils, steep slopes, susceptibility to flooding or occurrence of flora or fauna in need of special protection.
SETBACK. The minimum horizontal distance between a structure, sewage treatment system or other facility and an ordinary high water level, sewage treatment system, top of a bluff, road, highway, property line or other facility.
SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM. A septic tank and soil absorption system or other individual or cluster type sewage treatment system as described and regulated in division (E)(8) below.
SEWER SYSTEM. Pipelines or conduits, pumping stations, and force main, and all other construction, devices, appliances or appurtenances used for conducting sewage or industrial waste or other wastes to a point of ultimate disposal.
SHORE IMPACT ZONE. Land located between the ordinary high water level of a public water and a line parallel to it at a setback of 50% of the structure setback.
SHORELAND. Land located within the following distances from public waters: 1,000 feet from the ordinary high water level of a lake, pond or flowage; and 300 feet from a river or stream, or the landward extent of a floodplain designated by ordinance on a river or stream, whichever is greater. The limits of SHORELANDS may be reduced whenever the waters involved are bounded by topographic divides which extend landward from the waters for lesser distances and when approved by the Commissioner.
SIGNIFICANT HISTORIC SITE. Any archaeological site, standing structure or other property that meets the criteria for eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places or is listed in the State Register of Historic Sites, or is determined to be an unplatted cemetery that falls under the provisions of M.S. § 307.08, as it may be amended from time to time. A HISTORIC SITE meets these criteria if it is presently listed on either register or if it is determined to meet the qualifications for listing after review by the Minnesota State Archaeologist or the Director of the State Historical Society. All unplatted cemeteries are automatically considered to be SIGNIFICANT HISTORIC SITES.
STEEP SLOPE. Land where agricultural activity or development is either not recommended or described as poorly suited due to slope steepness and the site’s soil characteristics, as mapped and described in available county soil surveys or other technical reports, unless appropriate design and construction techniques and farming practices are used in accordance with the provisions of this section. Where specific information is not available, STEEP SLOPES are lands having average slopes over 12%, as measured over horizontal distances of 50 feet or more, that are not bluffs.
STRUCTURE. Any building or appurtenance, including decks, except aerial or underground utility lines, such as sewer, electric, telephone, telegraph, gas lines, towers, poles and other supporting facilities.
SUBDIVISION. Land that is divided for the purpose of sale, rent or lease, including planned unit developments.
SURFACE WATER-ORIENTED COMMERCIAL USE. The use of land for commercial purposes, where access to and use of a surface water feature is an integral part of the normal conductance of business. Marinas, resorts and restaurants with transient docking facilities are examples of that use.
TOE OF THE BLUFF. The lower point of a 50-foot segment with an average slope exceeding 18%.
TOP OF THE BLUFF. The higher point of a 50-foot segment with an average slope exceeding 18%.
VARIANCE. The same meaning as that term is defined or described in M.S. Chapter 394 (for counties), as it may be amended from time to time or M.S. Chapter 462 (for municipalities), as it may be amended from time to time.
WATER-ORIENTED ACCESSORY STRUCTURE OR FACILITY. A small, above-ground building or other improvement, except stairways, fences, docks and retaining walls, which, because of the relationship of its use to a surface water feature, reasonably needs to be located closer to public waters than the normal structure setback. Examples of these structures and facilities include boathouses, gazebos, screen houses, fish houses, pump houses and detached decks.
WETLAND. A surface water feature classified as a wetland in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Circular No. 39 (1971 edition).
(1) Permits required.
(a) A permit is required for the construction of buildings or building additions (and including those related activities such as construction of decks and signs), the installation and/or alteration of sewage treatment systems, and those grading and filling activities not exempted by division (E)(3) below. Application for a permit shall be made to the Zoning Officer on the forms provided. The application shall include the necessary information so that the Zoning Officer can determine the site’s suitability for the intended use and that a complaint sewage treatment system will be provided.
(b) A permit authorizing an addition to an existing structure shall stipulate that an identified nonconforming sewage treatment system, as defined by division (E)(8) below shall be reconstructed or replaced in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) Certificate of zoning compliance. The Zoning Officer shall issue a certificate of zoning compliance for each activity requiring a permit as specified in division (C)(1) above. This certificate will specify that the use of land conforms to the requirements of this chapter. Any use, arrangement or construction at variance with that authorized by permit shall be deemed a violation of this section and shall be punishable as provided in division (B)(3) above and § 152.999.
(a) Variances may only be granted in accordance with M.S. Chapter 394 (for counties), as it may be amended from time to time or M.S. Chapter 462 (for municipalities), as it may be amended from time to time, as applicable. A variance may not circumvent the general purposes and intent of this section. No variance may be granted that would allow any use that is prohibited in the zoning district in which the subject property is located. Conditions may be imposed in the granting of a variance to ensure compliance and to protect adjacent properties and the public interest. In considering a variance request, the Board of Adjustment must also consider whether the property owner has reasonable use of the land without the variance, whether the property is used seasonally or year-round, whether the variance is being requested solely on the basis of economic considerations, and the characteristics of development on adjacent properties.
(b) The Board of Adjustment shall hear and decide requests for variances in accordance with the rules that it has adopted for the conduct of business. When a variance is approved after the Department of Natural Resources has formally recommended denial in the hearing record, the notification of the approved variance required in division (C)(4)(b) below shall also include the Board of Adjustment’s summary of the public record/testimony and the findings of facts and conclusions which supported the issuance of the variance.
(c) For existing developments, the application for variance must clearly demonstrate whether a conforming sewage treatment system is present for the intended use of the property. The variance, is issued, must require reconstruction of a nonconforming sewage treatment system.
(4) Notifications to the Department of Natural Resources.
(a) Copies of all notices of any public hearings to consider variances, amendments or conditional uses under local shoreland management controls must be sent to the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designated representative and postmarked at least ten days before the hearings. Notices of hearings to consider proposed subdivisions/plats must include copies of the subdivision/plat.
(b) A copy of approved amendments and subdivisions/plats, and final decisions granting variances or conditional uses under local shoreland management controls must be sent to the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designated representative and postmarked within ten days of final action.
(D) Designation of types of land use.
(1) Shoreland management classification. In order to guide the wise development and utilization of shorelands of protected waters for the preservation of water quality, natural characteristics, economic values and the general health, safety and welfare, certain public waters in the city have been given a shoreland management classification, consistent with the criteria found in Minnesota Regulations part 6120.3300 and the Protected Waters Inventory Map for St. Louis County, Minnesota.
(2) Classifications. These protected waters of the city have been classified as follows:
Natural Environment Lakes
Recreational Development Lakes
Sections 6, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 in 58-14
Sections 19, 20, 30 in 58-14 beginning at County Road 666 in Section 20
Sections 33, 59-14 and Sections 4 and 5, 58-14
Section 23, 24, 26, 27, 34 in 59-14 and Sections 3 and 4, 58-14
Unnamed to Colby Lake
From Section 31, T59, R14 to Section 6, T58, R14 to Section 6, T58, R14
* All protected watercourses in the city shown on the Protected Waters Inventory Map for St. Louis County, a copy of which is hereby adopted by reference, shall be considered tributary.
The following water classifications are not present in the jurisdiction of the city: general development lakes; remote rivers; forested rivers; transition rivers; agricultural rivers; and urban rivers.
(3) Land use district descriptions.
(a) Criteria for designation. The land use districts in the delineation of land use district’s boundaries on the official zoning map, must be consistent with the goals, policies and objectives of the comprehensive land use plan (when available) and the following criteria, considerations and objectives.
(b) General considerations and criteria for all land uses.
1. Preservation of natural areas;
2. Present ownership and development of shoreland areas;
3. Shoreland soil types and their engineering capabilities;
4. Topographic characteristics;
5. Vegetative cover;
6. In-water physical characteristics, values and constraints;
7. Recreational use of the surface water;
8. Road and service center accessibility;
9. Socioeconomic development needs and plans as they involve water and related land resources;
10. The land requirements of industry which, by its nature, requires location in shoreland areas; and
11. The necessity to preserve and restore certain areas having significant historical or ecological value.
(c) Factors and criteria for planned unit developments.
1. Existing recreational use of the surface waters and likely increases in use associated with planned unit developments;
2. Physical and aesthetic impacts of increased density;
3. Suitability of lands for the planned unit development approach;
4. Level of current development in area; and
5. Amounts and types of ownership of undeveloped lands.
(E) Zoning and water supply/sanitary provisions.
(1) Lot area and width standards. The lot area (in square feet) and lot width standards (in feet) for single, duplex, triplex and quad residential lots created after the date of enactment of this section for the lake and river/stream classifications are the following.
(a) Unsewered lakes.
1. Natural environment.
2. Recreational development.
3. General development.
(b) Sewered lakes.
1. Natural environment.
2. Recreational development.
3. General development.
(c) River/stream lot width standards. There is no minimum lot size requirements for rivers and streams. The lot width standards for single, duplex, triplex and quad residential developments for the six river/stream classifications are:
(d) Additional special provisions.
1. Residential subdivisions with dwelling unit densities exceeding those in the tables in divisions (E)(1)(b) and (E)(1)(c) above can only be allowed if designed and approved as residential planned unit developments under division (H) below. Only land above the ordinary high water level of public waters can be used to meet lot area standards, and lot width standards must be met at both the ordinary high water level and at the building line. The sewer lot area dimensions in division (E)(1)(b) above can only be used if publicly owned sewer system service is available to the property.
2. Subdivisions of duplexes, triplexes and quads on natural environment lakes must also meet the following standards:
a. Each building must be set back at least 200 feet from the ordinary high water level;
b. Each building must have common sewage treatment and water systems in one location and serve all dwelling units in the building;
c. Watercraft docking facilities for each lot must be centralized in one location and serve all dwelling units in the building; and
d. No more than 25% of a lake’s shoreline can be in duplex, triplex or quad developments.
3. One guest cottage may be allowed on lots meeting or exceeding the duplex lot area and width dimensions presented in divisions (E)(1)(a), (E)(1)(b) and (E)(1)(c) above, provided the following standards are met:
a. For lots exceeding the minimum lot dimensions of duplex lots, the guest cottage must be located within the smallest duplex-sized lot that could be created including the principal dwelling unit;
b. A guest cottage must not cover more than 700 square feet of land surface and must not exceed 15 feet in height; and
c. A guest cottage must be located or designed to reduce its visibility as viewed from public waters and adjacent shorelands by vegetation, topography, increased setbacks or color, assuming summer leaf-on conditions.
4. Lots intended as controlled accesses to public waters or as recreation areas for use by owners of nonriparian lots within subdivisions are permissible and must meet or exceed the following standards:
a. They must meet the width and size requirements for residential lots, and be suitable for the intended uses of controlled access lots; and
b. If docking, mooring or over-water storage of more than six watercraft is to be allowed at a controlled access lot, then the width of the lot (keeping the same lot depth) must be increased by the percent of the requirements for riparian residential lots for each watercraft beyond six, consistent with the following table:
Controlled Access Lot Frontage Requirements
Ratio of Lake Size to Shore Length (Acres/Mile)
Required Increase in Frontage (Percent)
Less than 100
Greater than 400
c. They must be jointly owned by all purchasers of lots in the subdivision or by all purchasers of nonriparian lots in the subdivision who are provided riparian access rights on the access lot; and
d. Covenants or other equally effective legal instruments must be developed that specify which lot owners have authority to use the access lot and what activities are allowed. The activities may include watercraft launching, loading, storage, beaching, mooring or docking. They must also include other outdoor recreational activities that do not significantly conflict with general public use of the public water or the enjoyment of normal property rights by adjacent property owners. Examples of the nonsignificant conflict activities include swimming, sunbathing or picnicking. The covenants must limit the total number of vehicles allowed to be parked and the total number of watercraft allowed to be continuously moored, docked or stored over water, and must require centralization of all common facilities and activities in the most suitable locations on the lot to minimize topographic and vegetation alterations. They must also require all parking areas, storage buildings and other facilities to be screened by vegetation or topography as much as practical from view from the public water, assuming summer leaf-on conditions.
(2) Placement, design and height of structures.
(a) Placement of structures on lots. When more than one setback applies to a site, structures and facilities must be located to meet all setbacks. Where structures exist on the adjoining lots on both sides of a proposed building site, structure setbacks may be altered without a variance to conform to the adjoining setbacks from the ordinary high water level, provided the proposed building site is not located in a shore impact zone or in a bluff impact zone. Structures shall be located as follows.
1. Structure and on-site sewage system setbacks (in feet) from ordinary high water level.*
Classes of Public Waters
Sewage Treatment System
Classes of Public Waters
Sewage Treatment System
Agriculture, urban and tributary
Forested and transition
* One water-oriented accessory structure designed in accordance with division (E)(2)(b) below may be set back a minimum distance of ten feet from the ordinary high water level.
2. Additional structure setbacks. The following additional structure setbacks apply, regardless of the classification of the waterbody:
Setback (in feet)
Right-of-way line of federal, state or county highway
Right-of-way line of town road, public street or other roads or streets not classified
Top of bluff
3. Bluff impact zones. Structures and accessory facilities, except stairways and landings, must not be placed within bluff impact zones.
4. Uses without water-oriented needs. Uses without water-oriented needs must be located on lots or parcels without public waters frontage, or, if located on lots or parcels with public waters frontage, must either be set back double the normal ordinary high water level setback or be substantially screened from view from the water by vegetation or topography, assuming summer leaf-on conditions.
(b) Design criteria for structures.
1. High water elevations. Structures must be placed in accordance with any floodplain regulations applicable to the site. Where these controls do not exist, the elevation to which the lowest floor, including basement, is placed or flood-proofed must be determined as follows:
a. For lakes, by placing the lowest floor at a level at least three feet above the highest known water level, or three feet above the ordinary high water level, whichever is higher;
b. For rivers and streams, by placing the lowest floor at least three feet above the flood of record, if data is available. If data is not available, by placing the lowest floor at least three feet above the ordinary high water level, or by conducting a technical evaluation to determine effects of proposed construction upon flood stages and flood flows and to establish a flood protection elevation. Under all three approaches, technical evaluations must be done by a qualified engineer or hydrologist consistent with Minnesota Rules parts 6120.5000 to 6120.6200 governing the management of floodplain areas. If more than one approach is used, the highest flood protection elevation determined must be used for placing structures and other facilities; and
c. Water-oriented accessory structures may have the lowest floor placed lower than the elevation determined in this division (E)(2)(b)1.c. if the structure is constructed of flood-resistant materials to the elevation, electrical and mechanical equipment is placed above the elevation and, if long duration flooding is anticipated, the structure is built to withstand ice action and wind-driven waves and debris.
2. Water-oriented accessory structures. Each lot may have one water-oriented accessory structure not meeting the normal structure setback in division (E)(2)(a) above if this water-oriented accessory structure complies with the following provisions:
a. The structure or facility must not exceed ten feet in height, except for boat houses which must not exceed 14 feet in height, exclusive of safety rails, and cannot occupy an area greater than 250 square feet. Detached decks must not exceed eight feet above grade at any point;
b. The setback of the structure or facility from the ordinary high water level must be at least ten feet;
c. The structure or facility must be treated to reduce visibility as viewed from public waters and adjacent shorelands by vegetation, topography, increased setbacks or color, assuming summer leaf-on conditions;
d. The roof may be used as a deck with safety rails, but must not be enclosed or used as a storage area;
e. The structure or facility must not be designed or used for human habitation and must not contain water supply or sewage treatment facilities; and
f. As an alternative for general development and recreational development water bodies, water-oriented accessory structures used solely for watercraft storage, and including storage of related boating and water-oriented sporting equipment, may occupy an area up to 400 square feet provided the maximum width of the structure is 20 feet as measured parallel to the configuration of the shoreline.
3. Stairways, lifts and landings. Stairways and lifts are the preferred alternative to major topographic alterations for achieving access up and down bluffs and steep slopes to shore areas. Stairways and lifts must meet the following design requirements:
a. Stairways and lifts must not exceed four feet in width on residential lots. Wider stairways may be used for commercial properties, public open-space recreational properties, and planned unit developments;
b. Landings for stairways and lifts on residential lots must not exceed 32 square feet in area. Landings larger than 32 square feet may be used for commercial properties, public open-space recreational properties and planned unit developments;
c. Canopies or roofs are not allowed on stairways, lifts or landings;
d. Stairways, lifts and landings may be either constructed above the ground on posts or pilings, or placed into the ground, provided they are designed and built in a manner that ensures control of soil erosion;
e. Stairways, lifts and landings must be located in the most visually inconspicuous portions of lots, as viewed from the surface of the public water assuming summer leaf-on conditions, whenever practical; and
f. Facilities such as ramps, lifts or mobility paths for physically handicapped persons are also allowed for achieving access to shore areas, provided that the dimensional and performance standards of divisions (E)(2)(b)3.a. to (E)(2)(b)3.f. are complied with in addition to the requirements of Minnesota Regulations Chapter 1340.
4. Significant historic sites. No structure may be placed on a significant historic site in a manner that affects the values of the site unless adequate information about the site has been removed and documented in a public repository.
5. Steep slopes. The Zoning Officer must evaluate possible soil erosion impacts and development visibility from public waters before issuing a permit for construction of sewage treatment systems, roads, driveways, structures or other improvements on steep slopes. When determined necessary, conditions must be attached to issued permits to prevent erosion and to preserve existing vegetation screening of structures, vehicles and other facilities as viewed from the surface of public waters, assuming summer leaf-on vegetation.
(c) Height of structures. All structures in residential districts, except churches and nonresidential agricultural structures, must not exceed 25 feet in height.
(3) Shoreland alterations. Alterations of vegetation and topography will be regulated to prevent erosion into public waters, fix nutrients, preserve shoreland aesthetics, preserve historic values, prevent bank slumping and protect fish and wildlife habitat.
(a) Vegetation alterations.
1. Vegetation alteration necessary for the construction of structures and sewage treatment systems and the construction of roads and parking areas regulated by division (E)(4) below are exempt from the vegetation alteration standards that follow.
2. The removal of natural vegetation (i.e., trees, shrubs and plants) within the shore and bluff impact zones is restricted and limited to the following:
a. The trimming and pruning of trees, shrubs and plants;
b. The random pattern removal of 25% of trees (greater than two inches in diameter at breast height), shrubs and plants. Note: this means that no more than 25% of the trees may be removed between the principal structure and the waterbody within the impact zone, and 25% vegetative removal standard throughout the shore impact zone. The random pattern removal means that clear cutting is not permitted with the exception that a clear cut path of no greater width than ten feet for access to the shoreline is permitted. This path clearing is to be included in determining the not to exceed total clearing of 25%;
c. Authorized removal of trees, shrubs and plants shall be accomplished through human means (i.e., hands, ax, chain saw, saw and the like), and shall not be done by heavy equipment; and
d. If for any reason the above 25% maximum is exceeded (such as the removal of dead, diseased, dangerous and storm or fire damaged trees, plants or shrubs) then the vegetation must be replaced except under the following conditions:
i. The vegetation removed is replaced with trees, shrubs and plants that have similar, or more, beneficial ecological, erosion preventative and screening values than previously existed;
ii. Forest management activity where the intent is to have an ongoing timber producing area and not to convert the area to residential, commercial, recreational or other more intensive use will use best management practices as developed by the state; and
iii. The removal of more than 25% of trees is permitted when the trees were planted as part of a plantation and thinning is needed to ensure continued viability of the plantation.
(b) Topographic alterations/grading and filling.
1. Grading and filling and excavations necessary for the construction of structures, sewage treatment systems and driveways under validly issued construction permits for these facilities do not require the issuance of a separate grading and filling permit. However, the grading and filling standards in this section must be incorporated into the issuance of permits for construction of structures, sewage treatment systems and driveways.
2. Public roads and parking areas are regulated by division (E)(4) below.
3. Notwithstanding divisions (E)(3)(b)1. and (E)(3)(b)2. above, a grading and filling permit will be required for:
a. The movement of more than ten cubic yards of material on steep slopes or within shore or bluff impact zones; and
b. The movement of more than 50 cubic yards of material outside of steep slopes and shore and bluff impact zones.
4. The following considerations and conditions must be adhered to during the issuance of construction permits, grading and filling permits, conditional use permits, variances and subdivision approvals:
a. i. Grading or filling in any type 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 wetland must be evaluated to determine how extensively the proposed activity would affect the following functional qualities of the wetland:*
A. Sediment and pollutant trapping and retention;
B. Storage of surface runoff to prevent or reduce flood damage;
C. Fish and wildlife habitat;
D. Recreational use;
E. Shoreline or bank stabilization; and
F. Noteworthiness, including special qualities such as historic significance, critical habitat for endangered plants and animals or others.
ii. * This evaluation must also include a determination of whether the wetland alteration being proposed requires permits, reviews or approvals by other local, state or federal agencies such as a watershed district, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The applicant will be so advised.
b. Alterations must be designed and conducted in a manner that ensures only the smallest amount of bar ground is exposed for the shortest time possible;
c. Mulches or similar materials must be used, where necessary, for temporary bare soil coverage, and a permanent vegetation cover must be established as soon as possible;
d. Methods to minimize soil erosion and to trap sediments before they reach any surface water feature must be used;
e. Altered areas must be stabilized to acceptable erosion control standards consistent with the field office technical guides of the local soil and water conservation districts and the United States Soil Conservation Service;
f. Fill or excavated material must not be placed in a manner that creates an unstable slope;
g. Plans to place fill or excavated material on steep slopes must be reviewed by qualified professionals for continued slope stability and must not create finished slopes of 30% or greater;
h. Fill or excavated material must not be placed in bluff impact zones;
i. Any alterations below the ordinary high water level of public waters must first be authorized by the Commissioner under M.S. § 103G.245, as it may be amended from time to time;
j. Alterations of topography must only be allowed if they are accessory to permitted or conditional uses and do not adversely affect adjacent or nearby properties; and
k. Placement of natural rock riprap, including associated grading of the shoreline and placement of a filter blanket, is permitted if the finished slope does not exceed three feet horizontal to one foot vertical, the landward extent of the riprap is within ten feet of the ordinary high water level, and the height of the riprap above the ordinary high water level does not exceed three feet.
5. Connections to public waters. Excavations where the intended purpose is connection to a public water, such as boat slips, canals, lagoons and harbors, must be controlled by local shoreland controls. Permission for excavations may be given only after the Commissioner has approved the proposed connection to public waters.
(4) Placement and design of roads, driveways and parking areas.
(a) Public and private roads and parking areas must be designed to take advantage of natural vegetation and topography to achieve maximum screening from view from public waters. Documentation must be provided by a qualified individual that all roads and parking areas are designed and constructed to minimize and control erosion to public waters consistent with the field office technical guides of the local soil and water conservation district, or other applicable technical materials.
(b) Roads, driveways and parking areas must meet structure setbacks and must not be placed within bluff and shore impact zones, when other reasonable and feasible placement alternatives exist. If no alternatives exist, they may be placed within these areas, and must be designed to minimize adverse impacts.
(c) Public and private watercraft access ramps, approach roads and access-related parking areas may be placed within shore impact zones provided the vegetative screening and erosion control conditions of this division (E)(4)(c) above are met. For private facilities, the grading and filling provisions of division (E)(3)(b) above must be met.
(5) Storm water management. The following general and specific standards shall apply.
(a) General standards.
1. When possible, existing natural drainageways, wetlands and vegetated soil surfaces must be used to convey, store, filter and retain storm water runoff before discharge to public waters.
2. Development must be planned and conducted in a manner that will minimize the extent of disturbed areas, runoff velocities, erosion potential, and reduce and delay runoff volumes. Disturbed areas must be stabilized and protected as soon as possible and facilities or methods used to retain sediment on the site.
3. When development density, topographic features and soil and vegetation conditions are not sufficient to adequately handle storm water runoff using natural features and vegetation, various types of constructed facilities such as diversions, settling basins, skimming devices, dikes, waterways and ponds may be used. Preference must be given to designs using surface drainage, vegetation and infiltration rather than buried pipes and human-made materials and facilities.
(b) Specific standards.
1. Impervious surface coverage of lots must not exceed 25% of the lot area.
2. When constructed facilities are used for storm water management, documentation must be provided by a qualified individual that they are designed and installed consistent with the field office technical guide of the local soil and water conservation districts.
3. New constructed storm water outfalls to public waters must provide for filtering or settling of suspended solids and skimming of surface debris before discharge.
(6) Special provisions for commercial, industrial, public/semipublic, agricultural, forestry and extractive uses and mining of metallic minerals and peat.
(a) Standards for commercial, industrial, public and semipublic uses.
1. Surface water-oriented commercial uses and industrial, public, or semipublic uses with similar needs to have access to and use of public waters may be located on parcels or lots with frontage on public waters. Those uses with water-oriented needs must meet the following standards:
a. In addition to meeting impervious coverage limits, setbacks and other zoning standards in this section, the uses must be designed to incorporate topographic and vegetative screening of parking areas and structures;
b. Uses that require short-term watercraft mooring for patrons must centralize these facilities and design them to avoid obstruction of navigation and to be the minimum size necessary to meet the need; and
c. Uses that depend on patrons arriving by watercraft may use signs and lighting to convey needed information to the public, subject to the following general standards:
i. No advertising signs or supporting facilities for signs may be placed in or upon public waters. Signs conveying information or safety messages may be placed in or on public waters by a public authority or under a permit issued by the County Sheriff;
ii. Signs may be placed, when necessary, within the shore impact zone if they are designed and sized to be the minimum necessary to convey needed information. They must only convey the location and name of the establishment and the general types of goods or services available. The signs must not contain other detailed information such as product brands and prices, must not be located higher than ten feet above the ground, and must not exceed 32 square feet in size. If illuminated by artificial lights, the lights must be shielded or directed to prevent illumination out across the public waters; and
iii. Other outside lighting may be located within the shore impact zone or over public waters if it is used primarily to illuminate potential safety hazards and is shielded or otherwise directed to prevent direct illumination out across public waters. This does not preclude use of navigational lights.
2. Uses without water-oriented needs must be located on lots or parcels without public waters frontage, or, if located on lots or parcels with public waters frontage, must either be set back double the normal ordinary high water level setback or be substantially screened from view from the water vegetation or topography, assuming summer leaf-on conditions.
(b) Agriculture use standards.
1. General cultivation farming, grazing, nurseries, horticulture, truck farming, sod farming and wild crop harvesting are permitted uses if steep slopes and shore and bluff impact zones are maintained in permanent vegetation or operated under an approved conservation plan (Resource Management Systems) consistent with the field office technical guides of the local soil and water conservation districts or the United States Soil Conservation Service, as provided by a qualified individual or agency. The shore impact zone for parcels with permitted agricultural land uses is equal to a line parallel to and 50 feet from the ordinary high water level.
2. Animal feedlots must meet the following standards:
a. New feedlots must not be located in the shoreland of watercourses or in bluff impact zones and must meet a minimum setback of 300 feet from the ordinary high water level of all public waters basins; and
b. Modifications or expansions to existing feedlots that are located within 300 feet from the ordinary high water level or within a bluff impact zone are allowed if they do not further encroach into the existing ordinary high water level setback or encroach on bluff impact zones.
(c) Forest management standards. The harvesting of timber and associated reforestation must be conducted consistent with the provisions of the Minnesota Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment-Forestry and the provisions of Water Quality in Forest Management Best Management Practices Minnesota.
(d) Extractive use standards.
1. Site development and restoration plan. An extractive use site development and restoration plan must be developed, approved and followed over the course of operation of the site. The plan must address dust, noise, possible pollutant discharges, hours and duration of operation, and anticipated vegetation and topographic alterations. It must also identify actions to be taken during operation to mitigate adverse environmental impacts, particularly erosion, and must clearly explain how the site will be rehabilitated after extractive activities end.
2. Setbacks for processing machinery. Processing machinery must be located consistent with setback standards for structures from ordinary high water levels of public waters and from bluffs.
(e) Mining of metallic minerals and peat. Mining of metallic minerals and peat, as defined in M.S. §§ 93.44 to 93.51, as they may be amended from time to time, shall be a permitted use provided the provisions of M.S. §§ 93.44 to 93.51, as they may be amended from time to time, are satisfied.
(7) Conditional uses. Conditional uses allowable within shoreland areas shall be subject to the review and approval procedures, and criteria and conditions for review of conditional uses established community-wide. The following additional evaluation criteria and conditions apply within shoreland areas:
(a) Evaluation criteria. A thorough evaluation of the waterbody and the topographic, vegetation and soils conditions on the site must be made to ensure:
1. The prevention of soil erosion or other possible pollution of public waters, both during and after construction;
2. The visibility of structures and other facilities as viewed from public waters is limited;
3. The site is adequate for water supply and on-site sewage treatment; and
4. The types, uses and numbers of watercraft that the project will generate are compatible in relation to the suitability of public waters to safely accommodate these watercraft.
(b) Conditions attached to conditional use permits. The city, upon consideration of the criteria listed above and the purposes of this section, shall attach conditions to the issuance of the conditional use permits as it deems necessary to fulfill the purposes of this section. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Increased setbacks from the ordinary high water level;
2. Limitations on the natural vegetation to be removed or the requirement that additional vegetation be planted; and
3. Special provisions for the location, design and use of structures, sewage treatment systems, watercraft launching and docking areas, and vehicle parking areas.
(8) Water supply and sewage treatment.
(a) Water supply. Any public or private supply of water for domestic purposes must meet or exceed standards for water quality of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
(b) Sewage treatment. Any premises used for human occupancy must be provided with an adequate method of sewage treatment, as follows.
1. Publicly-owned sewer systems must be used where available.
2. All private sewage treatment systems must meet or exceed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s standards for individual sewage treatment systems contained in the document titled, Individual Sewage Treatment Systems Standards, Chapter 7080, a copy of which is hereby adopted by reference and declared to be a part of this section.
3. On-site sewage treatment systems must be set back from the ordinary high water level in accordance with the setbacks contained in division (E)(2)(a) above.
4. a. All proposed sites for individual sewage treatment systems shall be evaluated in accordance with the criteria in divisions (E)(8)(b)1. through (E)(8)(b)4. If the determination of a site’s suitability cannot be made with publicly available, existing information, it shall then be the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient soil borings and percolation tests from on-site field investigations.
b. Evaluation criteria:
i. Depth to the highest known or calculated ground water table or bedrock;
ii. Soil conditions, properties and permeability;
iii. Slope; and
iv. The existence of lowlands, local surface depressions and rock outcrops.
5. Nonconforming sewage treatment systems shall be regulated and upgraded in accordance with division (F)(3) below.
(F) Nonconformities. All legally established nonconformities as of the date of this section may continue, but they will be managed according to applicable state statutes and other regulations of this community for the subjects of alterations and additions, repair after damage, discontinuance of use, and intensification if use; except that the following standards will also apply in shoreland areas.
(1) Construction on nonconforming lots of record.
(a) Lots of record in the office of the County Recorder on the date enactment of local shoreland controls that do not meet the requirements of division (E)(1) above may be allowed as building sites without variances from lot size requirements provided the use is permitted in the zoning district, the lot has been in separate ownership from abutting lands at all times since it became substandard, was created compliant with official controls in effect at the time, and sewage treatment and setback requirements of this section are met.
(b) A variance from setback requirements must be obtained before any use, sewage treatment system or zoning permit is issued for a lot. In evaluating the variance, the Board of Adjustment shall consider sewage treatment and water supply capabilities or constraints of the lot and shall deny the variance if adequate facilities cannot be provided.
(c) If, in a group of two or more contiguous lots under the same ownership, any individual lot does not meet the requirements of division (E)(1) above the lot must nor be considered as a separate parcel of land for the purposes of sale or development. The lot must be combined with the one or more contiguous lots so they equal one or more parcels of land, each meeting the requirements of division (E)(1) above as much as possible.
(2) Additions/expansions to nonconforming structures.
(a) All additions or expansions to the outside dimensions of an existing nonconforming structure must meet the setback, height and other requirements of division (E) above. Any deviation from these requirements must be authorized by a variance pursuant to division (C)(3) above.
(b) Deck additions may be allowed without a variance to a structure not meeting the required setback from the ordinary high water level if all of the following criteria and standards are met:
1. The structure existed on the date the structure setbacks were established;
2. A thorough evaluation of the property and structure reveals no reasonable location for a deck meeting or exceeding the existing ordinary high water level setback of the structure;
3. The deck encroachment toward the ordinary high water level does not exceed 15% of the existing setback of the structure from the ordinary high water level or does not encroach closer than 30 feet, whichever is more restrictive; and
4. The deck is constructed primarily of wood, and is not roofed or screened.
(3) Nonconforming sewage treatment systems.
1. A sewage treatment system not meeting the requirements of division (E)(8) above must be upgraded, at a minimum, at any time a permit or variance of any type is required for any improvement on, or use of, the property. For the purposes of this division (F)(3), a sewage treatment system shall not be considered nonconforming if the only deficiency is the sewage treatment system’s improper setback from the ordinary high water level.
2. The governing body of the city has by formal resolution notified the Commissioner of its program to identify nonconforming sewage treatment systems. The city will require upgrading or replacement of any nonconforming system identified by this program within a reasonable period of time which will not exceed two years. Sewage systems installed according to all applicable local shoreland management standards adopted under M.S. § 105.485 (now M.S. §§ 103F.201-.221, as they may be amended from time to time) in effect at the time of installation may be considered as conforming unless they are determined to be failing, except that systems using cesspools, leaching pits, seepage pits or other deep disposal methods, or systems with less soil treatment area separation above groundwater than required by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Chapter 7080 for design of on-site sewage treatment systems, shall be considered nonconforming.
(G) Subdivision/platting provisions.
(1) Land suitability. Each lot created through subdivision, including planned unit developments authorized under division (H) below, must be suitable in its natural state for the proposed use with minimal alteration. Suitability analysis by the local unit of government shall consider susceptibility to flooding existence of wetlands, soil and rock formations with severe limitations for development, severe erosion potential, steep topography, inadequate water supply or sewage treatment capabilities, near-shore aquatic conditions unsuitable for water-based recreation, important fish and wildlife habitat, presence of significant historic sites, or any other feature of the natural land likely to be harmful to the health, safety or welfare of future residents of the proposed subdivision or of the community.
(2) Consistency with other controls. Subdivisions must conform to all official controls of this community. A subdivision will not be approved where a later variance from one or more standards in official controls would be needed to use the lots for their intended purpose. In areas not served by publicly owned sewer and water systems, a subdivision will not be approved unless domestic water supply is available and a sewage treatment system consistent with divisions (E)(2) and (E)(8) above can be provided for every lot. Each lot shall meet the minimum lot size and dimensional requirements of division (E)(1) above, including at least a minimum contiguous lawn area, that is free of limiting factors sufficient for the construction of two standard soil treatment systems. Lots that would require use of holding tanks must not be approved.
(3) Information requirements. Sufficient information must be submitted by the applicant for the community to make a determination of land suitability. The information shall include at least the following:
(a) The surface water features required in M.S. § 505.021, subd. 8, as it may amended from time to time, to be shown on plats, obtained from United States Geological Survey quadrangle topographic maps or more accurate sources;
(b) Adequate soils information to determine suitability for building and on-site sewage treatment capabilities for every lot from the most current existing sources or from field investigations such as soil borings, percolation tests or other methods;
(c) Information regarding adequacy of domestic water supply; extent of anticipated vegetation and topographic alterations; near-shore aquatic conditions, including depths, types of bottom sediments and aquatic vegetation; and proposed methods for controlling storm water runoff and erosion, both during and after construction activities;
(d) Location of 100-year floodplain areas and floodway districts from existing adopted maps or data; and
(e) A line or contour representing the ordinary high water level, the “toe” and the “top” of bluffs, and the minimum building setback distances from the top of the bluff and the lake or stream.
(4) Dedications. When a land or easement dedication is a condition of subdivision approval, the approval must provide easements over natural drainage or ponding areas for management of storm water and significant wetlands.
(5) Platting. No permit for construction of buildings or sewage treatment systems shall be issued for lots created after these official controls were enacted unless the lot was approved as part of a formal subdivision.
(6) Controlled access or recreational lots. Lots intended as controlled accesses to public waters or for recreational use areas for use by nonriparian lots within a subdivision must meet or exceed the sizing criteria in division (E)(1)(d) above.
(H) Planned unit developments (PUDs).
(1) Types of PUDs permissible. Planned unit developments (PUDs) are allowed for new projects on undeveloped land, redeveloped of previously built sites or conversions of existing buildings and land.
(2) Processing of PUDs. Planned unit developments must be processed as a conditional use, except that an expansion to an existing commercial PUD involving six or less new dwelling units or sites since the date this section was adopted is permissible as a permitted use provided the total project density does not exceed the allowable densities calculated in the project density evaluation procedures in division (H)(5) below. Approval cannot occur until the environmental review process (EAW/EIS) is complete.
(3) Application for a PUD. The applicant for a PUD must submit the following documents prior to final action being taken on the application request:
(a) A site plan and/or plat for the project showing locations of property boundaries, surface water features, existing and proposed structures and other facilities, land alterations, sewage treatment and water supply systems (where public systems will not be provided), and topographic contours at ten-foot intervals or less. When a PUD is a combined commercial and residential development, the site plan and/or plat must indicate and distinguish which buildings and portions of the project are residential, commercial or a combination of the two;
(b) A property owners association agreement (for residential PUDs) with mandatory membership, and all in accordance with the requirements of division (H)(6) below;
(c) Deed restrictions, covenants, permanent easements or other instruments that:
1. Properly address future vegetative and topographic alterations, construction of additional buildings, beaching of watercraft and construction of commercial buildings in residential PUDs; and
2. Ensure the long-term preservation and maintenance of open space in accordance with the criteria and analysis specified in division (H)(6) below.
(d) When necessary, a master plan/drawing describing the project and the floor plan for all commercial structures to be occupied; and
(e) Those additional documents as requested by the city that are necessary to explain how the PUD will be designed and will function.
(4) Site “suitable area” evaluation. Proposed new or expansions to existing planned unit developments must be evaluated using the following procedures and standards to determine the suitable area for the dwelling unit/dwelling site density evaluation in division (H)(5) below.
(a) The project parcel must be divided into tiers by locating one or more lines approximately parallel to a line that identifies the ordinary high water level at the following intervals, proceeding landward:
Shoreland Tier Dimensions
All river classes
General development lakes - first tier
General development lakes - second and additional tiers
Natural environment lakes
Recreational development lakes
(b) The suitable area within each tier is next calculated by excluding from the tier area all wetlands, bluffs or land below the ordinary high water level of public waters. This suitable area and the proposed project are then subjected to either the residential or commercial planned unit development density evaluation steps to arrive at an allowable number of dwelling units or sites.
(5) Residential and commercial PUD density evaluation. The procedures for determining the “base” density of a PUD and density increase multipliers are as follows. Allowable densities may be transferred from any tier to any other tier further from the waterbody, but must not be transferred to any other tier closer.
(a) Residential PUD “base” density evaluation.
1. The suitable area within each tier is divided by the single residential lot size standard for lakes or, for rivers, the single residential lot width standard times the tier depth, unless the local unit of government has specified an alternative minimum lot size for rivers which shall then be used to yield a base density of dwelling units or sites for each tier.
2. Proposed locations and numbers of dwelling units or sites for the residential planned unit developments are then compared with the tier, density and suitability analyses herein and the design criteria in division (H)(6) below.
(b) Commercial PUD “base” density evaluation.
1. Determine the average inside living area size of dwelling units or sites within each tier, including both existing and proposed units and sites. Computation of inside living area sizes need not include decks, patios, stoops, steps, garages or porches and basements, unless they are habitable space.
2. Select the appropriate floor area ration from the following table:
Commercial Planned Unit Development
Floor Area Ratios*
Public Waters Classes
*Average Unit Floor Area (Square Feet)
Sewered General Development Lakes; First Tier on Unsewered General Development Lakes; Urban, Agricultural, Tributary River Segments
Second and Additional Tiers on Unsewered General Development Lakes; Recreational Lakes; Transition and Forested River Segments
Natural Environment Lakes; Remote River Segments
Commercial Planned Unit Development
Floor Area Ratios*
Public Waters Classes
*Average Unit Floor Area (Square Feet)
Sewered General Development Lakes; First Tier on Unsewered General Development Lakes; Urban, Agricultural, Tributary River Segments
Second and Additional Tiers on Unsewered General Development Lakes; Recreational Lakes; Transition and Forested River Segments
Natural Environment Lakes; Remote River Segments
* For average unit floor areas less than shown, use the floor area ratios listed for 200 square feet. For areas greater than shown, use the ratios listed for 1,500 square feet. For recreational camping areas, use the ratios listed at 400 square feet. Manufactured home sites in recreational camping areas shall use a ratio equal to the size of the manufactured home, or if unknown, the ratio listed for 1,000 square feet.
3. Multiply the suitable area within each tier by the floor area ration to yield total floor area for each tier allowed to be used for dwelling units or sites.
4. Divide the total floor area by tier computed in division (H)(5)(b)3. above by the average inside living area size determined in division (H)(5)(b)1. above. This yields a base number of dwelling units and sites for each tier.
5. Proposed locations and numbers of dwelling units or sites for the commercial planned unit development are then compared with the tier, density and suitability analyses herein and the design criteria in division (H)(6) below.
6. Density increase multipliers.
a. Increases to the dwelling unit or dwelling site base densities previously determined are allowable if the dimensional standards in division (E) above are met or exceeded and the design criteria in division (H)(6) below are satisfied. The allowable density increases in division (H)(5)(b)6.b. below will only be allowed if structure setbacks from the ordinary high water level are increased to at least 50% greater than the minimum setback, or the impact on the waterbody is reduced an equivalent amount through vegetative management, topography or additional means acceptable to the local unit of government and the setback is at least 25% greater than the minimum setback.
b. Allowable dwelling unit or dwelling site density increases for residential or commercial planned unit developments:
Density Evaluation Tiers
Maximum Density Increase Within Each Tier (Percent)
(6) Maintenance and design criteria.
(a) Maintenance and administration requirements.
1. Before final approval of a planned unit development, adequate provisions must be developed for preservation and maintenance in perpetuity of open spaces and for the continued existence and functioning of the development.
2. Open space preservation: deed restrictions, covenants, permanent easements, public dedication and acceptance, or other equally effective and permanent means must be provided to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of open space. The instruments must include all of the following protections:
a. Commercial uses prohibited (for residential PUDs);
b. Vegetation and topographic alterations other than routing maintenance prohibited;
c. Construction of additional buildings or storage of vehicles and other materials prohibited; and
d. Uncontrolled beaching of watercraft prohibited.
3. Development organization and functioning: unless an equally effective alternative community framework is established, when applicable, all residential planned unit developments must use an owners association with the following features:
a. Membership must be mandatory for each dwelling unit or site purchaser and any successive purchasers;
b. Each member must pay a pro rata share of the association’s expenses, and unpaid assessments can become liens on units or sites;
c. Assessments must be adjustable to accommodate changing conditions: and
d. The association must be responsible for insurance, taxes and maintenance of all commonly owned property and facilities.
(b) Open space requirements. Planned unit developments must contain open space meeting all of the following criteria:
1. At least 50% of the total project area must be preserved as open space;
2. Dwelling units or sites, road rights-of-way or land covered by road surfaces, parking areas or structures, except water-oriented accessory structures or facilities, are developed areas and shall not be included in the computation of minimum open space;
3. Open space must include areas with physical characteristics unsuitable for development in their natural state, and areas containing significant historic sites or unplatted cemeteries;
4. Open space may include outdoor recreational facilities for use by owners of dwelling units or sites, by guests staying in commercial dwelling units or sites, and by the general public;
5. Open space may include subsurface sewage treatment systems if the use of the space is restricted to avoid adverse impacts on the systems;
6. Open space must not include commercial facilities or uses, but may contain water-oriented accessory structures or facilities;
7. The appearance of open space areas, including topography, vegetation and allowable uses, must be preserved by use of restrictive deed covenants, permanent easements, public dedication and acceptance or other equally effective and permanent means; and
8. The shore impact zone, based on normal structure setbacks, must be included as open space. For residential PUDs, at least 50% of the shore impact zone area of existing developments or at least 70% of the shore impact zone area of new developments must be preserved in its natural or existing state. For commercial PUDs, at least 50% of the shore impact zone must be preserved in its natural state.
(c) Erosion control and storm water management. Erosion control and storm water management plans must be developed and the PUD must:
1. Be designed, and the construction managed, to minimize the likelihood of serious erosion occurring either during or after construction. This must be accomplished by limiting the amount and length of time of bare ground exposure. Temporary ground covers, sediment entrapment facilities, vegetated buffer strips or other appropriate techniques must be used to minimize erosion impacts on surface water features. Erosion control plans approved by a soil and water conservation district may be required if project size and site physical characteristics warrant; and
2. Be designed and constructed to effectively manage reasonably expected quantities and qualities of storm water runoff. Impervious surface coverage within any tier must not exceed 25% of the tier area, except that for commercial PUDs 35% impervious surface coverage may be allowed in the first tier of general development lakes with an approved storm water management plan and consistency with division (E)(3) above.
(d) Centralization and design of facilities. Centralization and design of facilities and structures must be done according to the following standards:
1. Planned unit developments must be connected to publicly owned water supply and sewer systems, if available. On-site water supply and sewage treatment systems must be centralized and designed and installed to meet or exceed applicable standards or rules of the Minnesota Department of Health and divisions (E)(2) and (E)(8) above. On-site sewage treatment systems must be located on the most suitable areas of the development, and sufficient lawn area free of limiting factors must be provided for a replacement soil treatment system for each sewage system;
2. Dwelling units or sites must be clustered into one or more groups and located on suitable areas of the development. They must be designed and located to meet or exceed the following dimensional standards for the relevant shoreland classification: setback from the ordinary high water level; elevation above the surface water features; and maximum height. Setbacks from the ordinary high water level must be increased in accordance with division (H)(5)(c) above for developments with density increases;
3. Shore recreation facilities, including, but not limited to, swimming areas, docks and watercraft mooring areas and launching ramps, must be centralized and located in areas suitable for them. Evaluation of suitability must include consideration of land slope, water depth, vegetation, soils, depth to groundwater and bedrock, or other relevant factors. The number of spaces provided for continuous beaching, mooring or docking of watercraft must not exceed one for each allowable dwelling unit or site in the first tier (notwithstanding existing mooring sites in an existing commercially used harbor). Launching ramp facilities, including a small dock for loading and unloading equipment, may be provided for use by occupants of dwelling units or sites located in other tiers;
4. Structures, parking areas and other facilities must be treated to reduce visibility as viewed from public waters and adjacent shorelands by vegetation, topography, increased setbacks, color or other means acceptable to the local unit of government, assuming summer leaf-on conditions. Vegetative and topographic screening must be preserved, if existing, or may be required to be provided;
5. Accessory structures and facilities, except water-oriented accessory structures, must meet the required principal structure setback and must be centralized; and
6. Water-oriented accessory structures and facilities may be allowed if they meet or exceed design standards contained in division (E)(2) above and are centralized.
(7) Conversions. Local governments may allow existing resorts or other land uses and facilities to be converted to residential planned unit developments if all of the following standards are met.
(a) Proposed conversions must be initially evaluated using the same procedures for residential planned unit developments involving all new construction. Inconsistencies between existing features of the development and these standards must be identified.
(b) Deficiencies involving water supply and sewage treatment, structure color, impervious coverage, open space and shore recreation facilities must be corrected as part of the conversion or as specified in the conditional use permit.
(c) Shore and bluff impact zone deficiencies must be evaluated and reasonable improvements made as part of the conversion. These improvements must include, where applicable, the following:
1. Removal of extraneous buildings, docks or other facilities that no longer need to be located in shore or bluff impact zones;
2. Remedial measures to correct erosion sites and improve vegetative cover and screening of buildings and other facilities as viewed from the water; and
3. a. If existing dwelling units are located in shore or bluff impact zones, conditions are attached to approvals of conversions that preclude exterior expansions in any dimension or substantial alterations.
b. The conditions must also provide for future relocation of dwelling units, where feasible, to other locations, meeting all setback and elevation requirements when they are rebuilt or replaced.
(d) 1. Existing dwelling unit or dwelling site densities that exceed standards in division (H)(5) above may be allowed to continue but must not be allowed to be increased, either at the time of conversion or in the future.
2. Efforts must be made during the conversion to limit impacts of high densities by requiring seasonal use, improving vegetative screening, centralizing shore recreation facilities, installing new sewage treatment systems, or other means.
(Ord. 121, passed 5-25-1993; Ord. 137, passed 5-28-1996; Ord. 155, passed 10-26-1999; Ord. 172, passed 3-22-2005)