Shoreland Development and Erosion & Sediment Control

The Minnesota Legislature has delegated responsibility to local governments to regulate the subdivision, use, and development of the shorelands of public waters.  Regulations are in place to preserve and enhance the quality of surface waters, conserve the economic and natural environmental values of shorelands, and to provide for the wise use of waters and related resources.

Shoreland areas are defined as land located within the following distances of public waters:

  • 1,000 feet from the ordinary high water mark of a lake, pond, or flowage.
  • 300 feet from a river or stream, or the landward extension of a designated floodplain

The Waseca County Shoreland Ordinance (which is contained in the Waseca County Unified Development Code) was adopted by the Waseca County Board to regulate development within shoreland areas.  Permits are required for most development within shoreland areas throughout Waseca County.  Please contact the Land & Water Resources office prior to any shoreland related development or alteration.  

Any alterations below the ordinary high water level of public waters must first be authorized by the Commissioner of the DNR under Minnesota Statutes, Section 103G.245. Contact the local area DNR hydrologist Erynn Jenzen at 507-389-8809.

Erosion and Sediment Control

An Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) permit, including an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan is required for the following land alteration activities:

  • Disturbs a total land surface area of 3,000 square feet or more;
  • Involves excavation or filling, or a combination of excavation and filling, in excess of 400 cubic yards of material;
  • Involves the laying, repairing, replacing or enlarging of an underground utility, pipe or other facility, or the disturbance of road ditch, grass swale or other open channel for a distance of 300 feet or more; or
  • Is a land-disturbing activity, regardless of size, that the county determines is likely to cause an adverse impact to an environmentally sensitive area or other property, or may violate any other erosion and sediment control standard set forth in the county ordinance.

Exemptions. The following activities are exempt and do not need an Erosion and Sediment Control Permit:

  • Emergency work to protect life, limb or property; and
  • Routine agricultural activity. Tilling, planting, harvesting and associated activities. Other agricultural activities such as feedlots and storage sheds are not exempt.