Landscape surfaces rules challenged [UPDATED]Published 11:10am Thursday, March 31, 2011 Updated 11:37am Thursday, March 31, 2011
Proposed amendments to the county’s Shoreland Management Ordinance, specifically rules pertaining to landscape rock and impervious surface, resulted in opposition Tuesday evening during a public hearing.
People maintained that landscape rock does not meet the definition of impervious surface.
An impervious surface is any surface such as pavement, buildings, patios and sidewalks that does not allow water to seep through to the soil below. Minnesota statute says that impervious surface coverage shall not exceed 25 percent of a lake lot.
“I use the Aqua Brick system at Lake Lizzie, near Pelican Rapids. The bricks allow for natural drainage in an environmentally friendly manner,” said lakeshore homeowner Dave Butenhoff who lives along Seifert Beach Road. “My system is pervious, not impervious.”
In the county’s definition, examples of impervious surfaces are landscape rock, decks, rooftops, sidewalks, patios, storage areas and concrete, asphalt or gravel driveways. The goal is to prevent water runoff, including nutrients, into lakes or into a neighbor’s property.
“The main issues are water quality and lake preservation,” said Bill Kalar, who heads the county’s land and resource department. “We all want to maintain lakes as a valuable resource in Otter Tail County.”
Attorney Robert Bigwood, Jr., said that many of the amendments to the county’s Shoreland Ordinance are subjective, hard to quantify, put restrictive uses on owners and make for unnecessary financial burdens to property owners.
“Why are decks part of impervious surfaces?” asked Bigwood. “These proposals too much muddy the intent of the amendments.”
Realtor Milt Paulson agreed with Butenhoff and Bigwood.
“I’m against adding landscape rock as impervious surface,” said Paulson. “New technology allows for permeable pavers that are self-draining systems.”
Those who install permeable pavers at lake property and other locations say the system allows for water to filter through the surface and reach the underlying soils.
Butenhoff added that this type of system calls for the owner to properly maintain the paver system each year.
Others opposed to amendments to the Shoreland Management Ordinance e-mailed their concerns to Kalar. All of the concerns will be taken into consideration by the five-member Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners.
The purposed amendments for the Shoreland Management Ordinance are aimed to coordinate the document with the recently adopted Wind Energy Conversion Systems Ordinance.
The county board met Tuesday evening at the Government Services Center in Fergus Falls, deferred action until a later date.