The permitting program protects area lakes, streams, and wetlands by requiring erosion control and stormwater management best practices.
I Need a Permit
The District issues permits under approved rules that address Stormwater Management; Erosion Control; Lake, Stream, and Wetland Buffers; Watercourse and Basin Crossings; and Floodplain and Drainage Alterations. Most District permits will be issued under the rule requirements for Stormwater Management and/or Erosion Control.
Your project will require a permit if one or more of the following conditions are met:
Rule 2.0 – Stormwater Management: District rules may require onsite stormwater treatment. If required, applicants must install a best-management practice that is approved by the district, see complete rules for specific information. Stormwater management is required when a project subdivides a tract into 3 or more lots, is a non-residential or multifamily-residential development that creates at least 5,000 square feet of new or reconstructed impervious surface, is a public linear project that creates at least 5,000 square feet of new or reconstructed impervious surface, or any project on a parcel riparian to a public water requiring a variance from the current local impervious surface requirements for the property.
Rule 3.0 – Erosion Control: All sites within CLFLWD must install sediment and erosion control practices regardless of if a permit is required or not. Common examples of sediment and erosion control practices include silt fences and biologs. However, a permit must be obtained in the following situations:
(1) Grading, filling, or other land alteration activity that involves movement or stockpiling of fifty (50) cubic yards or more of earth or erodible material. Surface disturbance or removal of vegetative cover on five thousand (5,000) square feet or more of land.
(2) Any land disturbance with wetland impacts, grading within public waters, or grading within 40-feet of the bluff line.
(3) Land disturbance of greater than 100-square feet requiring a variance from the Local Governing Unit’s shoreland setback requirement for the property.
Rule 4.0 – Lake, Stream, Wetland Buffers: In order to protect the water resources of CLFLWD a buffer will be required adjacent to water features. The width of the buffer is determined by the quality and type of waterbody, they are required in the following situations
(1) If any lot within a buffer zone of a water resource is subdivided into two or more lots. □
(2) If a lot within a buffer zone is subject to land disturbance for the purpose of a new primary use that requires a rezoning; or a land use variance for lot hard surface percentage or structure setback from a water resource.
Rule 6.0- Watercourse and Basin Crossing: CLFLWD requires a permit for any use of the bed of a waterbody within the District for the placement of a roadway, utility or water control structure. The planned project must retain hydrology, navigability, and water quality of the body being crossed.
Rule 7.0 – Floodplain and Drainage Alterations: A permit must be obtained if a project proposing filling below the 100-year flood elevation of a waterbody or wetland in a municipality that does not have a state-approved floodplain ordinance or a project proposing to obstruct natural surface water flow or redirect flow across drainage boundaries. This ensures floodplains retain their water storage capacity and to prevent property damage.
Please review the District’s Permit Guide or contact permitting staff if you have any questions or would like additional information regarding permit requirements.
Complete applications require at a minimum the three following items:
1) Completed permit application (CLFLWD Permit Application Form),
2) Permit and field inspection fee deposit
3)An erosion and sediment control plan (ESCP). Please include the required notes on your plan.
Please note: Larger Projects may require additional submittals. The permitting coordinator will work with applicants to identify any additional requirements.
All permit applications require a completed sediment and erosion control plan (ESCP). Plans must include identification of perimeter sediment control (silt fence or other BMP), stockpile sediment control (silt fence or other BMP), and construction entrance location and size. Plans must also state, “Silt fence (or other practice whichever applies) must be installed prior to work commencing,” and “All disturbed portions of the site must be stabilized with temporary or permanent cover within 14 days after construction activity has temporarily or permanently ceased, or within 24 hours if that portion of the site is within 200 feet of- and draining to a waterbody.” Additional guidance can be found in the example plan.
Please complete the Fee and Deposit section of the permit application. Payment must be made by check and made payable to the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District. The CLFLWD cannot accept cash or credit card payments.
The District will respond within a 60-day timeframe once a completed application is submitted with all application requirements (in accordance with Minnesota Statutes §15.99). You will be notified by District staff if your application is incomplete.
No activity that requires a permit is allowed until the District has issued its approval. This includes, but isn’t limited to, grading, concrete work, or stockpiling of soil.
It is the responsibility of the permittee to determine what additional permits may be needed from other entities for the completion of their projects.
I Have a Permit
Your permitted project will be inspected at least once every two weeks during the spring, summer and fall with decreased inspections during the winter months. A permitting staff member will come and check that all requirements are met and will send a brief follow-up email with any compliance issues that need to be corrected. You can review an example inspection report here.
A portion of your deposit may be returned once the permit closeout process is completed. The amount will vary and depends on the final cost of engineer review and costs related to District inspections. You will receive an itemized receipt after the project is completed and the permit is closed. A refund check will be issued to the individual or organization that submitted the initial deposit and is mailed after the next regular board meeting.
Permits can be transferred if there are no outstanding issues with the permit. A permit can be transferred as a whole, or a partial transfer can take place. Partial transfers are typically used to transfer a lot within a development to a builder or buyer.
To request a permit transfer, complete the appropriate transfer form (for full transfers or partial transfers). Both parties must sign the transfer form. The new permit holder must provide the required fees and deposits equal to the original amounts (any existing portion of the original deposit will be returned). This process must be completed before the permit’s expiration date (one year after the permit is issued). The original permit holder is legally responsible for upholding all the permit requirements until the transfer is finalized. Permit Transfer Form.
A permit will be closed out once all permit conditions are met, including the CLFLWD definition permanent cover, which requires evenly distributed perennial vegetative cover without large bare areas and with a density of 70% of background vegetative cover. Permanent cover does not include temporary erosion control practices.
Mike SandagerPermitting Coordinator