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Lakeshore owners: grading of ice ridges is regulated by county ordinance

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Crow Wing County is informing property owners the winter that almost wasn’t in the lakes area has not come and gone without leaving its natural mark along the area lakeshore landscapes.

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Land service specialists, while conducting routine property inspections throughout the county this winter, have noticed more activity in regards to new ice ridges along area shorelines.

There are two types of ice ridges — annual and historic. Annual ice ridges are a linear mound of lake bed materials pushed up onto the lakeshore by the action of ice within a calendar year. Historic ice ridges are a linear mound of lake bed materials pushed up onto the lakeshore by the action of ice during a period of two or more years upon which well-established herbaceous and woody vegetation is growing.

The Crow Wing County Land Use Ordinance Article 28 allows an annual ice ridge to be regraded back to original grade as long as the work is done prior to Sept. 1 of the year in which the ice ridge occurred. A historic ice ridge cannot be altered or regraded except to remove a 15-foot wide area on residential lots and 25 feet on commercial lots to provide access to the lake. Both activities require a shoreland alteration permit from the Land Services Department.

“Permits are not required for regrading of annual ice ridges that occur upon sand beach areas if the grading is conducted in the year of occurrence” stated Land Services Supervisor Chris Pence in a news release. “However, a shoreland alteration permit is required for regrading of annual ice ridges that occur upon shoreland areas that consist of topsoil, sod or have a root system.”

The county jurisdiction regarding shoreland alterations only covers the area of the property landward of the Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL) of the lake. Depositing any sand or any alteration below the OHWL is subject to DNR public waters permit rules and may require approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and/or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Land Services Department is committed to providing excellent customer service while helping landowners make wise choices that protect Crow Wing County’s extraordinary natural resources,” the county reported.

For more information, contact the Environmental Services Office at 824-1125 or environmental.services@co.crow-wing.mn.us to discuss shoreland alterations or other land use questions before starting any construction projects. Information about land use in Crow Wing County may be found at www.co.crow-wing.mn.us.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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