612-250-0119
Coldwell Banker Burnet, Edina Regional Office
7550 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN
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Foul FowlCBBGoose
Canada Geese migrate from September through November and the increase in bird numbers affects the city lake water quality.

The Minneapolis Park Board estimates 25,000 Canada Geese live off the largesse of the City's lakes. Bird droppings contain phosphorus, which contribute to algae growth in water. As dead algae decays the oxygen levels in a lake decline, it leads to fish kills and foul odors. The lake becomes green, smelly and unpleasant.

Waterfowl droppings contain bacteria and viruses, are host to the parasite that causes "swimmer's itch".

Metro Minute

The 72 mile stretch of the Mississippi River through the metro area from Ramsey to Dayton is called The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.

It was established by Congress in 1988 and is administered by the National Park Service. The MNRRA contains twelve regional parks.

Rose Hart's OutSide

Shoreland in Minnesota
Minnesota has more miles of shoreland than any other state (90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.) and this makes shoreland property ownership desirable and possible for many people. Shoreland ownership is stewardship of a regulated natural resource, so what does this stewardship involve?

That is a complex question, because the shoreline and a setback of up to 150 feet may be regulated by no fewer than six government agencies, including a local property owners association, a Watershed District, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the United States Army Corp of Engineers.

Before you purchase property located on a body of water, you need to decide on your intended usage. Let's say for our example that it is a recreational summer cabin. In our example we are looking at shoreline property with an ancient, old cabin that was built long before indoor plumbing and the existence of zoning commissions.

Your plan is to purchase the lot and tear down the existing cabin and build a larger residence with a garage for all the toys. Check these dream plans with the local zoning commission first; the only thing that you may be building is frustration. If the cabin was built before any regulations were in place, the lot now may be too small for building, or meet the current standards for lot width, setback, or sewage treatment.

Sewage treatment on lakeshore property requires your attention. For our old cabin example, we would order a percolation test to determine whether the soil is suitable for septic and have the current septic system tested. The system needs to be leak-free. The soil engineer who performs the perc test may also be able to determine whether the soil can support the building you are envisioning.

If a golf course-type lawn is your ideal, then a condo on a golf course would be a better recreational summer home than a lakeshore cabin. That golf course type of "hard" land management creates a number of problems for the aquatic environment; including run-off, flooding, erosion, groundwater level decrease and fertilizer contamination, and a lack of fish and wildlife habitat and habitat diversity. The lake suffers eutrophication from "hard" shoreland; that means an overabundance of nitrogen leading to mucky lake bottom, fewer game fish and more rough fish. Nitrogen also contributes to blue-algae blooms, and its decay can make the water too toxic to drink.

All aquatic plants, submerged and emergent, are the property of the State of Minnesota. Their removal and control is regulated. As a lakeshore property steward you need to be knowledgeable about aquatic plant regulations. There are a few aquatic plants that are invasive species and their presence on your shore may require removal. Contact the regional DNR office before your shoreland purchase if you have any doubts or concerns.

Although all Minnesota lakes fall under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, every single lake has different regulations depending on its habitat and environment classification. Some of these regulations will include; shore zones that must be kept in permanent vegetation, other areas may be cut only to a maximum of fifteen feet to allow boat access.

The US Army Corp of Engineers controls designated wetlands, so if our old cabin example is located near a federally protected wetland, we will become familiar with their Section 404 permit, required for any alteration to the wetland.

The Minnesota DNR web site information on shoreland stewardship is very comprehensive and they have a useful online brochure entitled "Evaluating Shoreland Property for Purchase". http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/

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Copyright, Rose Hart, 2007