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Lower Minnesota River Watershed District Proposed Bluff Standard

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The Lower Minnesota River Watershed District (the District) recently amended its Watershed Management Plan (the Plan), which was officially adopted October 24, 2018.  The City has 18 months to come into compliance with any required changes to its official controls. Study sessions to discuss potential City Code amendments will be held Spring 2019, and are yet to be scheduled with the Planning Commission, the Sustainability Commission, and the City Council.  Dates will be posted at this webpage under Bluff Protection Overlay Standards Update once meetings are scheduled.

Among the many updates to the Plan, the District is establishing new standards related to land-disturbing activity near the Minnesota River Bluffs and other steep slope areas within the District.  The full Plan can be viewed at the DIstrict's webpage:

Please note that the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District is fully independent of the City of Bloomington. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the amendments or wish to submit comments to the District please contact:  Linda Loomis or Della Schall Young.

Previous updates

July 2018

The City was notified in July, 2018 that the Watershed District had submitted their 90-day draft of the Watershed Management Plan amendment to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).  The following documents were submitted:

  1. Summary of Revisions Memo
  2. Final 90-Day Draft Amended Plan_June 2018
  3. Final 90-Day Draft Amended Plan_June 2018_Redlined Copy
  4. Comment/Response Log Transmittal Memo_June 2018
  5. Final 60-day Draft Plan Comment/ Response Log
  6. Public notices for the October 2017 (A) and April 2018 (B) hearings

These documents can be found on the District website by following this link.

January 2018

In late January, 2018 the District released a modified version of the proposed Bluff Standard.  Rather than a restrictive standard as previously proposed; the modified version proposes a permissive standard which requires certification from a qualified individual that the proposed activity will not adversely impact downstream properties or water resources or create unstable slope conditions.

  • The District has revised the Bluff Standard since the 60-day comment period and public hearing.  Here is a link to the revised Standard, now called "Bluff and Steep Slope Standard", which can be found on the Meetings page of the District's website.
  • The draft plan is provided in its entirety on the LMRWD website.

November 2017

On November 6, 2017 the Bloomington City Council approved a Resolution opposing the proposed Minnesota River Watershed District Bluff Standard. The Resolution can be seen  PDF iconhere.

October 2017

On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, the District held a public hearing on the proposed Watershed Management Plan Amendment where the Managers made a motion to recess the public hearing to a date, time, and location to be determined and re-noticed. In addition, the Managers directed District staff to provide additional informational meetings for residents and, at a minimum, coordinate local informational meetings in the cities of Bloomington and Eden Prairie.

  • The Watershed District is continuing to accept comments on the proposed changes to their Watershed Management Plan through the date of the future public hearing.

September 2017

On September 20, 2017, the City of Bloomington submitted written comments on the Plan. The comment letter can be seen PDF iconhere .

Interactive Map

This map allows users to identify the extents of the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District’s originally proposed bluff standard for specific properties within the City of Bloomington. Please note, the below map represents standards as they were originally proposed.  The actual standards are represented in the Appendices of the District's final Plan: