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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. I just bought a lake lot, what are the guidelines for shoreland management?

2. How far back does my cabin have to be from the lake?

3. How much dirt can I move without a permit?

4. Do I need a permit to fill the wetland on my property?

5. I am thinking about purchasing a lakelot that does not meet the minimum lot size requirements. Can I build or place a structure on it?

6. Can I construct a guesthouse or second dwelling on my lakelot?

7. Who can install my septic system?

8. I am planning to purchase a resort, what can I do with it?





1. I just bought a lake lot, what are the guidelines for shoreland management?
Review Otter Tail County's Shoreland Management Ordinance (OTC's SMO) to better understand the rules and regulations of shoreland management. If you intend to build a structure or change the landscape on your lot, develop your ideas in a drawing of your lot and the lake, then visit the Land and Resource Management Office at the Otter Tail County Courthouse in Fergus Falls.

Your drawing should be drawn to scale, including lot dimension, water frontage and setbacks from the Right of Way, lake, sewage system, and top of bluff. The drawing should also include existing structures and all impervious surfaces.


2. How far back does my cabin have to be from the lake?
A chart in section III.4.A shows the standards for lakes and rivers. The chart defines lakes in three different categories: Natural Environment, Recreational Development and General Development. Rivers are defined as Transition, Agriculture and Urban & Tributary. If you need to learn of your lake or river classification, refer to the Waters of Otter Tail County database or see the MN DNR's web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us

Section V.2.E of the Otter Tail County Shoreland Management Ordinance refers to the setback rules, also.


3. How much dirt can I move without a permit?
See Sec. IV.3.B of the Shoreland Management Ordinance, titled "Shoreland Alterations", Section B describes grading and filling regulations in the shore impact zone, bluff impact zone a wetland or elsewhere in the shoreland area.


4. Do I need a permit to fill the wetland on my property?
Wetlands are protected and in most cases are not allowed to be filled. In rare circumstances approval may be obtained to fill wetlands. Wetland protection is regulated by the State of Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act Rules Chapter 8420 (www.bwsr.state.mn.us) and the Otter Tail County Shoreland Management Ordinance, review Section.IV.3. For questions regarding wetlands in Otter Tail County contact Kyle Westergard. 218-998-8102 or kwesterg@co.ottertail.mn.us.


5. I am thinking about purchasing a lakelot that does not meet the minimum lot size requirements. Can I build or place a structure on it?
Review Section.IV.13. of the Shoreline Management Ordinance, titled "Exemptions" to learn more.


6. Can I construct a guesthouse or second dwelling on my lakelot?
Otter Tail County's Shoreline Management Ordinance Section.V.1.B states that "A lot shall contain only 1 dwelling."

See also the chart "Shoreland Classifications and Uses; Lakes and Rivers" in Section III.2,3; under Guest Houses/Bunkhouses.


> < 7. Who can install my septic system?
See: www.pca.state.mn.us for a list of licensed businesses that are licensed in Minnesota to install, inspect, design, and maintain septic systems. This list is updated semi-monthly and is available as a spreadsheet file. (On the PCA web site look under Programs, Individual Sewage Treatment Systems (ISTS).)


8. I am planning to purchase a resort, what can I do with it?
Refer to "Cluster Development" in Section. IV.11. of Otter Tail County's Shoreline Management Ordinance.



 

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