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County to host land use workshops

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news Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

The Crow Wing County Land Services Department will host four workshops designed for residents to have a better understanding of what the new law requires for land use permits.  

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Workshops will be 9-11 a.m. Sept. 12, at the Ideal Town Hall and 1-3 p.m. at the Lake Edward Town Hall and 9-11 a.m. Sept. 16 at the Deerwood Town Hall from and 1-3 p.m. at the Maple Grove Town Hall.

The primary change in the law is the creation of performance standards for lake lots that need to be adhered to as a condition for receiving land use permits from the county. 

These site-based performance standards apply practical approaches based on the actual characteristics of a property and are designed to achieve measurable results in achieving the goal of keeping our lakes healthy, the county reported. Rather than a one size fits all approach to land use, site specific performance standards such as stormwater management, vegetated buffers and septic system maintenance are part of the new ordinance, the county reported. 

In addition to performance standards, below is a summary of other significant changes in the new Land Use Ordinance:

• Guest cabins are now allowed (up to 700 square feet).

• 120 square feet water-oriented accessory structure (shed) allowed by shoreline (must be 20 feet from lake or river).

• Home businesses allowed in all zoning districts with a conditional use permit.

• Building on a non-conforming lot now allowed without a variance if setbacks can be met.

• 160 square feet shed (or less) allowed without a building permit.

• Travel trailers allowed as a year-round structure with a permit.

• Allowances for more resort expansion and rebuilding of resort cabins.

• Land Use (Zoning) Classification Changes: Created one Shoreland Zone for areas 1000 feet from lakes, 300 feet from rivers; Rural residential districts 1, 10, and 20 were added to the existing 2.5 and 5 acre districts; greenspace zoning eliminated (Interim zoning for greenspace parcels: RR20); 

• Shore; land Alteration Permit: $150 fee for a wide variety of activities including: Stairways, retaining walls, patios, beaches (sand blankets), ice ridge and vegetation removal.

• Impervious surface coverage limit set at 25 percent for all zoning districts.

• Stormwater management required on all permits for riparian lots where impervious surfaces exceed 15 percent.

• Shoreline buffers required on all permits for riparian lots where impervious surfaces exceed 20 percent.

• Footing inspection required to verify that newly constructed buildings meet lake/river setbacks in the shoreland.

• Setback changes: Natural Environment Lake (from 200 feet to 150 feet); wetland (from 16.5 feet to 15 feet) bluff (now 30 feet from top, toe, and sides versus just the top); DNR approved harbors (now: half of the building setback from the lake).

• Consolidation of classified lake/river list.

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