Low Water Declaration & Termination
When the Lake Minnetonka water level falls below 928.0 NGVD, the Board may declare low water by resolution. When this occurs, the public will be notified. Some options are in place to extend dock length upon certain conditions. When the water levels reach 928.6 NGVD for 5 consecutive days, the Low Water Declaration is automatically cancelled.
Situation 1. General Permit for Temporary Extensions- Residential Docks
Residential properties may extend their docks without a permit if all the following conditions are met:
- The dock is a seasonal and temporary type.
- The length of the dock is 30 ft beyond the dock use area if 928.0 ft NGVD, and 60 ft if 927.0 NGVD.
- The water depth may not be greater than 5 ft depth at the 928.0 NGVD.
- The dock must not impair navigation or create a hazard.
- The property has no past variances.
- The dock must be readily visible- designed, constructed, elevated, lighted and/or reflectorized.
- The dock must be secured and constructed so dock sections don’t float away during higher water or wave conditions.
- The docks are subject to inspection at reasonable times.
- The property owner must register the dock extension request with the LMCD using the LMCD form. Registration is required for each low water event.
Standards and Removal for temporary dock extensions.
- Compliance. If the dock is not in compliance, it is grounds for revocation and future permit ineligibility.
- Modification. Modification may be required upon notice and a public hearing.
- Removal. Lawful temporary dock extensions are require to be removed by November 15th, even if low water is cancelled. Property owners that do not move their docks inward or keep extending their docks often create additional navigation issues as the sediment settles within their dock use areas.
Situation 2. Temporary Low Water Permit- Commercial & Multiple Docks
Commercial, multiple dock, and mooring facilities may apply for a temporary dock extension permit.
Situation 3. Temporary Low Water Variance- Otherwise Ineligible Sites Option
Properties that are not eligible for temporary dock extensions or low water permits may be eligible for a temporary low water variance for a specified time period. A public hearing is required unless the board waives the requirement. Further, the board may waive formal application requirements. Transferee sites may also be eligible. If approved, the following conditions apply:
- Submit an Application Permit to the LMCD on the form that includes site plan showing location and proposed length. The site must be in compliance with density and size requirements.
- Removal or relocation of the dock for the winter season may be required.
- The property may not be eligible if past variances or other limitations are in place per LMCD Code 10-2.03.
- Renewal. Permits issued after 03/01/2013 may be eligible for automatic renewal if there are no changes to the approved dock, no violation, or notice of violation.