Before you work on your shoreline, make sure you have the right permit
Douglas County Land and Resource Management can help with permit questions.
DOUGLAS COUNTY — As the weather warms up and lakeshore owners start their spring and summer projects, they need to decide if the project they are working on needs a permit or not.
Shoreland alteration permits are needed for several types of projects and Dave Rush, Douglas County Land and Resource Management director, shared information about permits, requirements and other helpful advice for those who own lakeshore.
A shoreland alteration permit is required in Douglas County for the following items:
- Retaining walls.
- Ice ridge removal.
- Sand beach areas.
- Stairs, patios and decks.
- Removal of any trees, shrubs or vegetation (limited removal) or alteration of vegetation in shore and bluff impact zones.
- Movement of up to 10 cubic yards of fill or soil in the impact zones or steep slopes.
Projects of greater scope may require additional levels of permitting, such as from the Department of Natural Resources, when it comes to any control of aquatic vegetation and the use of herbicides in public water; removal of beaver lodges and dams from private lakeshore; and placement of fill in a lake.
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A clearing, grading and drainage shoreland alteration permit is required for the clearing of vegetation and/or land disturbing activity on an area 2,000 square feet or greater and within 500 feet of the ordinary high-water level of a protected water.
A separate clearing and grading permit would not be required when another permit has been granted for construction or land disturbing activity and a grading and erosion control plan was included in the application, according to information supplied by Rush.
When it comes to riprap, natural rock riprap can only be used for the stabilization of an active erosion problem. Natural rock riprap must be consistent with standards set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and it must be placed within the lakeshore use area, according to Rush’s information.
However, natural rock riprap may be permitted for use outside the lakeshore area, but there are requirements that must be followed, including the following:
- A synthetic geotextile may not be placed under rock riprap located outside the use area.
- At least 30% of the entire shore impact zone must be maintained in a natural shoreline vegetative condition.
- If the shore impact zone is not in a natural shoreline vegetative condition, the area must be restored so that 30% of the entire shore impact zone is returned to a native shoreline vegetative condition following an approved buffer plan.
A buffer plan must be submitted with an application for a shoreland alteration permit and must include the following:
- At least seven native grass species as a new seeding or live plugs on a 1-foot spacing and five native grass species as a new seeding or as live plugs on a 2-foot spacing. State seed mixture 34-261 or equivalent.
- At least three native shrub species space on a 4-foot grid evenly throughout the restoration area.
- Buffer plans must be implemented within the first growing season immediately following riprap installation.
Before doing any major work on a shoreline, it is best to check with Douglas County Land and Resource Management. Call 320-763-3863 or visit www.douglascountymn.gov/shoreland .