Lake Minnetonka Conservation District




How was the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) created?

The LMCD was created in 1967 by state enabling legislation, which was a result of concerned citizens working for nearly a decade to improve Lake Minnetonka.  The two primary general responsibilities included: 1) to regulate the use of the Lake, and 2) to develop a comprehensive program to eliminate pollution.

How has the LMCD evolved over the years?

Red algae blooms caused by untreated regional sanitary sewage were resolved in the early 1970’s.  Other activities have evolved subsequently.  This includes: 1) the creation of the authorized dock use area in the early 1970’s (where docks and boats must be stored), 2) the establishment of Quiet Water Areas in the early 1970’s (minimum-wake speeds), 3) the adoption of boat density regulations in 1978 (applies to both licensed and unlicensed sites), 4) the management and prevention of aquatic invasive species, and 5) the licensing and permitting of a number of activities.

What activities does the LMCD regulate?

The LMCD has adopted regulations for the licensing and permitting of a number of activities on Lake Minnetonka.  This includes: 1) Multiple Docks (approved, legal storage of five or more restricted watercraft), 2) District Mooring Areas (sailboat buoy fields), 3) Watercraft for Hire (charter boats), 4) Intoxicating Liquor, Wine, and Non-Intoxicating Malt Liquor License (for charter boats), and 5) Winter De-icing.  The LMCD also has the authority to issue permits for special events, although this has been been delegated to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol.

What rules apply to docking and boat storage on Lake Minnetonka?

All docks and boats on Lake Minnetonka must be contained within an area called the “authorized dock use area” (“DUA”).  Each site on the Lake has a DUA that is defined by a specified length from the shoreline and side setbacks that must be maintained from the side property lines of the site extended into the Lake.  See the “Rules and Regulations” section for further details on DUA requirements.

How many restricted watercraft may one store at a site?

The number of restricted watercraft (including personal watercraft) allowed at a site is as follows:

  • The General Rule is one restricted watercraft for each 50 feet of continuous shoreline (no reference to ownership of watercraft); or
  • Unless a greater number is allowed by the General Rule, up to two restricted watercraft are allowed at a residential site in existence on August 30, 1978 (no reference to watercraft); or
  • Three or four restricted watercraft may be moored or dock at all sites on the Lake, provided a number of conditions are met.  Some of these include: 1) there is only one single family residence on the site, and 2) all restricted watercraft must be owned and registered to residents to persons living in the single family residential structure.
  • An unlimited number of unrestricted watercraft may be stored on land at a site depending on city regulations.  An unrestricted watercraft is defined as: 1) 16 feet or less in length and non-motorized (or which uses a motor of 10 horsepower or less), and 2) 20 feet or less in length and non-motorized (or which is propelled soley by human power).
  • You need to contact the municipality where you reside to verify if they have rules relating to the number of watercraft that may be stored on land at a site.

Do I need a permit to install a dock at my residence?

In most cases, a permit is not needed.  However, there are two cases where a permit is needed.  First, if you have the shoreline to store five or more watercraft, you need an annual multiple dock license from the LMCD.  Second, if you would like to install a permanent dock, you need a permit from the LMCD.  A seasonal dock is a dock that is constructed so that it may be removed on a seasonal basis (although this is not required).  The most common example of a permanent dock is what you see at a number of the commercial marinas on the Lake.

What is the effect of a dockage easement over a Lot on Lake Minnetonka?

The size and location of docks and the number of watercraft that can be stored at a Lot do not change when there is an easement over the Lot.  However, the landowner and the easement holder must share the available dockage rights for that Lot. In most cases, however, adding boat storage for an easement holder decreases the total number of watercraft that can be stored at the Lot.  Some Lots can be used to store four watercraft under an exception that applies only if there is a residence on the Lot and all watercraft at the Lot are owned by and registered to people who live in that residence. In these cases, storage of a watercraft by an easement holder would disqualify that Lot from taking advantage of this exception because the easement holder’s watercraft would not be owned by and registered to a person living on the lakeshore Lot.

Can I commercially sell products on the Lake (such as a hot dog stand, beverages, or other products) from my boat to other boats on the Lake?

No.  It is unlawful for any person to sell food, beverages, supplies, or any other merchandise from any watercraft.  However, food and beverages may be sold on a watercraft to passengers who leave the shore and return on the same watercraft (charter boats).

How do I get to the LMCD Office?

The LMCD Office is located within the Centennial Building at 5341 Maywood Road, Suite 200, Mound, MN  55364.  This location is one block south at County Road 15 and Cypress Lane (0.5 miles east off of Highway 110 or 2.7 miles west from Highway 19 and 15 in Navarre).  Parking is provided on the side of the south side of the building.  Once inside, the office is located at the bottom of the stairs and to your left.

What are the office hours for the LMCD Office?

Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.