Lower Minnesota River Watershed District Proposed Bluff Standard
The Lower Minnesota River Watershed District (the District) is in the process of amending its Watershed Management Plan (the Plan). Among the many updates to the Plan, the District is proposing to establish new standards related to land-disturbing activity near the Minnesota River Bluffs and other steep slope areas within the District.
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:
- Summary of Revisions Memo
- Final 90-Day Draft Amended Plan_June 2018
- Final 90-Day Draft Amended Plan_June 2018_Redlined Copy
- Comment/Response Log Transmittal Memo_June 2018
- Final 60-day Draft Plan Comment/ Response Log
- 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.
BWSR is anticipated to complete their review by October 1, 2018. If approved by BWSR the District would have 120 days from the date of the BWSR approval to officially adopt the Plan amendment. Once adopted by the District Board the City would have 18 months to come into compliance with any required changes to its official controls.
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 for the District to consider please contact: Linda Loomis or Della Schall Young.
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.
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 here.
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.
On September 20, 2017, the City of Bloomington submitted written comments on the Plan. The comment letter can be seen here .
This map allows users to identify the extents of the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District’s proposed bluff standard for specific properties within the City of Bloomington.