Sunfish Lake City Code

SECTION 1244.01  PURPOSE:

 

The purpose and intent of this Section is to insure that the wetland resources within the City of Sunfish Lake are protected and conserved.  Wetland resources serve to provide food, shelter and habitat for fish and wildlife, store surface runoff and reduce flooding damages, replenish subsurface water supplies, provide outdoor recreation areas and enhance the natural beauty and biodiversity of landscapes within the City.  This section incorporates by reference the Wetland Conservation Act of 1991, Laws of Minnesota

1991, Chapter 354, as amended by Laws 1993, Chapter 175 and the accompanying rules of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (Minnesota Rules Chapter

8420, as amended) whose purpose is to:

 

A. Achieve no net loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's existing wetlands;

 

B. Increase the quantity, quality and biological diversity of Minnesota's wetlands by restoring or enhancing diminished or drained wetlands;

 

C. Avoid  direct  or  indirect  impacts  from  activities  that  destroy  or  diminish  the quantity, quality and biological diversity of wetlands; and

 

D.       Replace wetland values where avoidance of activity is not feasible and prudent.

These purposes being consistent with the City's desire to preserve areas containing low lands, marshes, wetlands, drainage areas, water bodies and waterways which are essential to the health, safety and general welfare of the City's residents.

 

SECTION 1244.02  SCOPE:

 

Wetlands shall not be drained or filled wholly or partially unless replaced by restoring or creating wetland areas of at least equal public value.   This Section, along with the above mentioned references, shall be utilized by the City to insure the protection of the City's wetland resources.

 

In addition to the provisions of this Section, City decisions on draining and filling of wetlands are subject to Minnesota Statutes, chapters 116B and 116D, which provide that an action which is likely to have material adverse effects on natural resources must not be   allowed if there is a feasible and prudent alternative consistent with the requirements of the public health, safety and welfare and the state's paramount concern for the protection of its natural resources.  Economic considerations alone do not justify adversely effective actions.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.03  DISTRICT APPLICATION:

 

A. All wetlands within the City of Sunfish Lake are hereby designated as part of the Sunfish Lake Wetlands Overlay District, and the requirements set forth in this Section shall govern development and other activities within these districts.  The Wetlands Overlay District is defined and established to include those wetland areas under the protection of the Wetland Conservation Act of 1991, Laws of Minnesota 1991, Chapter 354, as amended by Laws 1993, chapter 175.

 

B. The   Sunfish   Lake   Wetlands   Overlay   District   shall   be   applied   to   and superimposed as an overlay upon all zoning districts as contained herein as existing or amended by the text of this Section.   The regulations and requirements imposed by the Sunfish Lake Wetlands Overlay District shall be in addition to those established for districts which jointly apply.  Under the joint application of districts, the more restrictive requirements shall apply.

 

C. The boundaries of wetlands within the City may be changed by the City Council, Department of Natural Resources, or Army Corps of Engineers, whatever applicable, when it can be demonstrated by registered site survey and topographic work, and hydrologic analysis performed by registered engineer or land surveyor that the established boundaries are incorrect.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.04  PERMITTED USES:

 

Permitted uses within a wetland, and as described in this Section, are subject to guidelines established by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  The following uses shall be permitted in the Wetlands Overlay District:

A. The control of noxious weeds if the control does not drain or fill the wetland.

 

B. Excavation in wetlands if done in a manner such that the wetlands are not drained or filled and prove to be a restoration or enhancement as defined by the Army Corps of Engineers.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.05  CONDITIONAL USES:

 

Permitting for conditional uses in the Wetland Overlay District shall be based upon procedures set forth in and regulated by Section 1204 of this Ordinance.  Conditional use permits shall be subject to the elevation criteria as set forth in Section 1204 in this Ordinance.  Subject to other more restrictive limitations which may be imposed by this Section, the uses listed in part B may be allowed in wetlands by conditional use permit subject to the following:

 

A. A wetland shall not be drained or filled, wholly or partially, unless either the activity meets the exemption criteria stated in part B or unless it is replaced under an approved replacement plan meeting the criteria of Section 1244.13-C.

 

A wetland activity shall be considered exempt if it qualifies for any one of the exemptions.

 

These  exemptions  do  not  apply  to  calcareous  fens  as  identified  by  the

Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

 

No exemptions apply to wetlands that have been previously restored or created as a result of an approved replacement plan.  All such wetlands are subject to replacement on subsequent drainage or filling.

 

Nonexempt wetlands shall not be partially drained or filled in order to claim an exemption or no-loss determination on the remainder.  Therefore, no exemptions or no-loss determinations shall be applied to the remaining wetland that would not have been applicable before the wetland impact.

 

Present and future owners of wetlands drained or filled without replacement under an exemption in part B, sub-parts 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 and 23, can make no use of the wetland area after it is drained or filled, for ten years after the draining or filling, unless it is first replaced under the requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.222, paragraph (g).  Also, for ten years the wetland may not be restored for replacement credit.  At the time of wetland draining or wetland filling, the wetland landowner shall record a notice of these restrictions in the office of the  Dakota  County  Recorder.  At  a  minimum,  the  recorded  document  shall contain the name or names of the wetland landowners, a legal description of the property to which the restrictions apply, a statement of the restrictions, the date on which the ten-year period expires, the City of Sunfish Lake as the local

government which certified the exemption, if such occurred, the signatures of all owners, and an acknowledgment.

 

A person conducting an activity in a wetland under an exemption in part B shall ensure that:

 

1. Appropriate erosion control measures are taken to prevent sedimentation of the water;

 

2. The activity does not block fish activity in a watercourse; and

 

3. The activity is conducted in compliance with all other applicable federal, state, and local requirements, including best management practices and water resource protection requirements established under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103H.

 

B. A request for an exemption shall be required of a perspective applicant on a form provided by the City of Sunfish Lake.   Exemptions which qualify for City of Sunfish Lake review are as follows:

 

1. Activities in a wetland necessary to repair and maintain existing public or private drainage systems as long as wetlands that have been in existence for more than 20 years are not drained. This exemption allows maintenance which fills wetlands that have been in existence for more than 20 years when the wetlands are located within the right-of-way acreage of the ditch or within a one rod width on either side of the top of the ditch, whichever is greater, and the filling is limited to the side casting of spoil materials resulting from the maintenance and the spoil deposition area is permanently seeded into grass after maintenance activities are completed.

 

The owner shall provide documentation that the wetlands which will be partially or completely drained by the maintenance have not existed for more than 20 years.

 

Aerial photographs from two years of normal or wetter than normal water level conditions showing no wetlands are one form of acceptable documentation.   If aerial photographs are unavailable, a sworn affidavit shall be submitted.   Otherwise, the landowner shall show that the maintenance will not reduce the wetland from what it was 20 years ago or more.

 

This exemption includes lowering the elevation of previously placed tile when made necessary by land subsidence provided the lowering does not drain wetlands.

2. Activities  in  a  wetland  that  has  received  a  commenced  drainage determination provided for by the federal Food Security Act of 1985, that was made to the county agricultural stabilization and conservation service office prior to September 19, 1988, and a ruling and any subsequent appeals or reviews have determined that drainage of the wetland had been commenced prior to December 23, 1985.

 

The wetland landowner shall provide Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service documents confirming that the county agricultural stabilization and conservation service office determined before September

19, 1988, that wetland drainage had begun before December 23, 1985 and that the determination has not been overturned by subsequent appeal or review and is not currently under administrative review.

 

3. Activities exempted from federal regulation under United States Code, title

33, section 1344(f).

 

The City of Sunfish Lake shall certify the exemption only if the wetland landowner furnishes proof of qualification for one of the exemptions from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

 

This exemption shall not apply to a project with the purpose of converting a wetland to a non-wetland, either immediately or gradually, or converting the wetland to another use, or when the wetland fill will result in significant discernible change to the flow or circulation of water in the wetland, or partly draining it, or reducing the wetland area.

 

4. Activities  authorized  under,  and  conducted  in  accordance  with,  an applicable general permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act, United States Code, title 33, section 1344, except the nationwide permit in Code of Federal Regulations, title 33, section 330.5, paragraph (a), clause (14), limited to when a new road crosses a wetland, and all of clause (26).

 

This exemption is for nationwide permits 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,

17, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 25 issued under Code of Federal Regulations, title

33,  section  330.5.    The  City  of  Sunfish  Lake  shall  certify  such  an exemption only if the applicant furnishes proof of qualification for one of these nationwide   permits   from   the   United   States   Army   Corps   of Engineers.  Nationwide permit 14 for a new road shall not qualify for this exemption, nor do nationwide permits under numbers not listed in this exemption.

 

To qualify for a nationwide permit, the applicant for a United States Army Corps of Engineers permit shall meet any regional conditions imposed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and must obtain from the

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency an individual section 401 certification when required.

 

5. Activities in a wetland restored for conservation purposes under a contract or easement providing the landowner with the right to drain the restored wetland.

 

The wetland landowner shall provide a contract or easement conveyance or affidavit demonstrating that the wetland landowner or a predecessor restored the wetland for conservation purposes but retained the right to subsequently drain the restored wetland.

 

6. Activities in a wetland created solely as a result of:

 

a.       Beaver dam construction;

b. Blockage of culverts through roadways maintained by a public or private entity;

c. Actions by public entities that were taken for a purpose other than creating the wetland; or

d.       Any combination of a. to c.

 

Wetland areas created by beaver activities may be drained by removing those materials placed by beaver.   Wetland drainage is permitted by removing or moving materials blocking installed roadway culverts and drainage structures.  Additional excavation or removal of other materials is not permitted unless it can be shown by aerial photographs that the proposed wetland activity will not drain or fill wetland that was there before the beaver dam was built or the culvert became plugged.

 

Wetlands may be drained or filled if the wetland landowner can show that the wetland was created solely by actions the purpose of which was not to create the wetland and were approved, permitted, funded, or overseen by a public entity.

 

Impoundments or excavations constructed in non-wetlands solely for the purpose of effluent treatment, storm water retention, soil and water conservation practices, and water quality improvements, and not as part of a compensatory wetland mitigation process that may, over time, take on wetland characteristics, are also exempted.

 

7. Placement, maintenance, repair, enhancement, or replacement of utility or utility-type service, including the transmission, distribution, or furnishing, at wholesale or retail, or natural or manufactured gas, electricity, telephone, or radio service or communications if:

a. The  impacts  of  the  proposed  project  on  the  hydrologic  and biological characteristics of the wetland have been avoided and minimized to the extent possible; and

 

b. The proposed project significantly modifies or alters less than one- half acre of wetlands.

 

For new placement and enhancement of existing facilities, the utility must demonstrate that the character and extent of the impacts of the proposed project on the wetlands have been minimized and that the entire project will, cumulatively, drain or fill less than one-half acre of wetland.

 

For maintenance, repair, and replacement, the City of Sunfish Lake may issue a seasonal or annual exemption certification or the utility may proceed without City of Sunfish Lake certification if it is carrying out the work according to best management practices.  Work of an emergency nature may proceed as necessary and any wetland drain or wetland fill activities shall be addressed with the City of Sunfish Lake after the emergency work has been completed.

 

8. Activities associated with routine maintenance of utility and pipeline rights- of-way, provided the activities do not result in additional intrusion into the wetland.

 

This exemption is for maintenance, but not expansion, of the rights-of-way in which utilities are located.  Spill remediation is not routine maintenance.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake may issue a seasonal or annual exemption certification  or  the  utility  may  proceed  if  it  is  carrying  out  the  work according to best management practices.  Work of an emergency nature may proceed as necessary and any wetland drain or wetland fill activities shall be addressed with the City of Sunfish Lake after the emergency work has been completed.

 

9. Alteration of a wetland associated with the operation, maintenance, or repair of an interstate pipeline within all existing or acquired interstate pipeline rights-of-way.  This exemption includes construction activities.

 

10. Temporarily  crossing  or  entering  a  wetland  to  perform  silvicultural activities, including timber harvest as part of a forest management activity, so long as the activity limits the impact on the hydrologic and biologic characteristics of the wetland; the wetland activities do not result in the construction of dikes, drainage ditches, tile lines, or buildings; and the timber harvesting and other silvicultural practices do not result in the drainage of the wetland or public waters.

This exemption is for temporary-use roads constructed for the primary purpose of providing access for the conduct of silvicultural activities.

 

11. Permanent access for forest roads across wetlands so long as the activity limits the impact on the hydrologic and biologic characteristics of the wetland; the construction activities do not result in the access becoming a dike, drainage ditch or tile line; with wetland filling avoided wherever possible; and there is no drainage of the wetland or public waters.

 

This  exemption  is  the  same  as  exemption  10  except  that  it  is  for permanent forest roads which are roads constructed for the primary purpose of providing access for the conduct of silvicultural activities.

 

12. Activities associated with routine maintenance or repair of existing public highways, roads, streets, and bridges, provided the activities do not result in additional intrusion into the wetland outside of the existing right-of-way.

 

This exemption does not prevent repairing washouts or adding material to the driving surface provided the road's occupancy of the wetland outside of the existing right-of-way does not increase.

 

13. Emergency repair and normal maintenance and repair of existing public works, provided the activity does not result in additional intrusion of the public works into the wetland and do not result in the draining or filling, wholly or partially, of a wetland. This exemption applies to public works other than roads, such as buildings and bridges.

 

14. Normal maintenance and minor repair of structures causing no additional intrusion of an existing structure into the wetland, and maintenance and repair of private crossings that do not result in the draining or filling, wholly or partially, of a wetland.   This exemption applies to private structures, such as buildings and road crossings.

 

15. Duck blinds.   This exemption allows floating duck blinds and blinds on poles or pilings.   This exemption does not allow wetland fill other than poles or pilings.

 

16. Development projects and ditch improvement projects in the state that have received preliminary or final plat approval, or infrastructure that has been installed, or having local site plan approval, conditional use permits, or similar official approval by a governing body or government agency, within five years before July 1, 1991.  Plat approval must be preliminary as approved by the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

Subdividers who obtained preliminary plat approval in the specified time period, and other project developers with one of the listed approvals timely obtained,  provided  approval  has  not  expired  and  the  project  remains

active, may drain and fill wetlands, to the extent documented by the approval, without replacement.  Those elements of the project that can be carried out without changing the approved plan and without wetland draining or wetland filling must be done in that manner. If wetlands can be avoided within the terms of the approved plan, they must be avoided.  For county, joint county, and watershed district ditch projects, this exemption applies to projects that received final approval in the specified time period.

 

17. Activities that result in the draining or filling of less than 400 square feet of wetlands.  This exemption applies if the total wetland loss by draining and filling will be less than 400 square feet per year per landowner, and the cumulative impact by all persons on a wetland over time without replacement after January 1, 1992, does not exceed five percent of the wetland's area.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.06  EXEMPTION DETERMINATIONS:

 

A wetland landowner intending to drain or fill a wetland without replacement, claiming exemption, shall apply for a conditional use permit from the City of Sunfish Lake before beginning wetland drainage or wetland filling activities for determination whether or not the activity is exempt.  A wetland landowner who does not request a determination may be subject to the enforcement provisions contained herein and Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.2372.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall keep on file all documentation and findings of fact concerning exemption determinations for a period of ten years.

 

The  City  of  Sunfish  Lake  shall  offer  exemption  certificates  as  part  of  the  wetland program within their jurisdiction.

 

The wetland landowner applying for exemption is responsible for submitting the proof necessary to show qualification for the particular exemption claimed.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake shall place the decision authority for exemption applications with the City Engineer.

 

The City Engineer's decision shall be based on the exemptions standards in Section

1244.05.  If the decision requires a finding of wetland size or type, the City's engineer may seek the advice of the technical panel.

 

A wetland landowner draining or filling a wetland under an exemption shall ensure that appropriate erosion control measures are taken to prevent sedimentation of the water, the drain or fill does not block fish passage, and the drain or fill is conducted in compliance with all other applicable federal, state, and local requirements, including best management practices and water resource protection requirements established under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103H.

SECTION 1244.07  NO-LOSS DETERMINATIONS:

 

A wetland landowner unsure if proposed work will result in a loss of wetland shall apply by conditional use permit application to the City of Sunfish Lake for a determination.  A wetland landowner who does not request a determination may be subject to the enforcement provisions contained herein and Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.2372. The City of Sunfish Lake shall keep on file all documentation and findings of fact concerning no-loss determinations for a period of ten years.

 

The  wetland  landowner  applying  for  a  no-loss  determination  is  responsible  for submitting the proof necessary to show qualification for the claim.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake shall place the decision authority for no-loss applications with the City Engineer.

 

The City Engineer shall issue a no-loss certificate if the wetland landowner requests and if either:

 

A.       The work will not drain or fill a wetland;

 

B. Water level management activities will not result in the conversion of a wetland to another land use;

 

C. The wetland activities are in a surface impoundment for containment of fossil fuel combustion waste or water retention, and are not part of a compensatory wetland mitigation program; or

 

D. The wetland activity is being conducted as part of an approved replacement plan or is conducted or authorized by public agencies for the purpose of wetland restoration and the activity is restricted to placing fill in a previously excavated drainage system to restore a wetland to its original condition.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.08  REPLACEMENT PLAN DETERMINATIONS:

 

A wetland landowner intending to drain or fill a wetland who does not qualify for an exemption or no-loss determination shall obtain approval of a replacement plan from the City of Sunfish Lake before beginning draining or filling the wetland.  A person who does not do so is subject to the enforcement provisions in 1244.12 and Minnesota Statutes, Section 103G.2372.  An application for approval of a replacement plan may be obtained from the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake shall, within ten days of receipt of the application, mail a copy of the application and an invitation to submit comments, as applicable, to:

 

A. The  Board  of  Water  and  Resources,  who  will  subsequently  publish  the application in the Environmental Quality Board Monitor.

 

B. Members of the public who have requested a copy. C. The Soil and Water Conservation District.

D. The watershed district or water management organization, if there is one. E. The Dakota County Board of Water and Soil resources.

F.       Mayors of the cities within the watershed.

 

G.      The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources.

 

At the same time, the City of Sunfish Lake shall publish notice of the application with an invitation to comment in a general circulation newspaper in the area affected.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake will not make its decision before 30 days and not more than 60 days have elapsed from the mailing of notice, publication in the Environmental Quality Board Monitor, when required, or publication in the newspaper, whichever is later.  The City of Sunfish Lake decision shall not be effective until 30 days after a copy of the decision has been mailed to the Environmental Quality Board Monitor for publication, when required, and mailed to the same list specified above for notice of the application and to the applicant.  The mailing to the applicant shall be by registered mail and will advise that the decision is not effective for 30 days, and is stayed if it is appealed.

 

Publication in the Environmental Quality Board Monitor of replacement plan applications and decisions shall be performed, except for the wetland fill activities described in the next paragraph, when the City of Sunfish Lake shall publish a general notice in the Environmental Quality Board Monitor that it will not be publishing notice of such individual wetland activities, but will instead provide mailed notice of each project to anyone asking to be put on the City of Sunfish Lake's mailing list for such projects.  This notice will be published not less often than once every year.  The notice will advise how persons may submit their names and addresses to be put on the mailing list.

 

Projects eligible for this form of Environmental Quality Board Monitor notice are all those which will fill less than one-tenth acre of wetland; and all those which will fill less than one-quarter acre of wetland, and result from a private road fill or the construction or expansion of a single-family dwelling unit or a farm building when the project cannot be modified so as to avoid the wetland fill.

 

The City of Sunfish Lake's decision shall be based on the replacement standards contained in this Section and on the technical determination of the technical evaluation panel concerning the public values, location, size, and type of the wetland being altered. The City of Sunfish Lake will consider the recommendation of the technical evaluation panel to approve, modify, or reject the proposed replacement plan.

For wetland replacement plans involving both the City of Sunfish Lake and one or more other local government units, approval of all local government units involved shall be obtained before the project may proceed.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.09  TECHNICAL EVALUATION PANEL AND PROCEDURES:

 

The  City  of  Sunfish  Lake  shall  form,  by  resolution,  a  technical  evaluation  panel consisting of three persons:

 

A.       A technical professional employee of the Board of Water and Soil Resources.

 

B.       A  technical  professional  employee  of  the  Dakota  County  Soil  and  Water

Conservation District.

 

C. A technical professional with expertise in water resources management appointed by the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

The member appointed by the City of Sunfish Lake shall act as the contact person and coordinator for the panel.   Two members of the technical review panel will be knowledgeable and trained in applying methodologies of the "Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands" (January 1989), and evaluation of public values. The technical evaluation panel reserves the right to invite additional wetland experts to help the panel in its work.

 

The panel shall make technical determinations on questions of public values, location, size, and type for replacement plans if requested to do so by the City of Sunfish Lake, the wetland landowner, or a member of the technical evaluation panel.  The panel may review replacement plans and recommend to the City of Sunfish Lake either approval, approval with changes or conditions, or rejection.   The panel will make no determinations or recommendations without at least one member having made an on- site inspection.  Panel determinations and recommendations must be endorsed by at least two of the three members.

 

The panel, or one of its members when so authorized by all of the members, may assist the City of Sunfish Lake in making wetland size and type determinations when asked to do so by the City of Sunfish Lake as part of making an exemption or no-loss determination.

 

If requested by the City of Sunfish Lake, the wetland landowner, or a member of the technical evaluation panel, the panel shall answer technical questions or participate in the monitoring of replacement wetlands and will similarly participate in the monitoring of banked wetlands.

SECTION 1244.10: APPEAL OF CITY DECISIONS:

 

A. Appeal of replacement plan decisions:  The decision of the City of Sunfish Lake to approve, approve with conditions, or reject a replacement plan, becomes final if not appealed to the Board of Water and Soils Resources within 30 days after the date on which the decision is mailed to those required to receive notice of the decision.

 

Appeal may be made by the wetland landowner, by any of those required to receive notice of the decision, or by 100 residents of the county in which a majority of the wetland is located.

 

Appeal is effective upon mailing of the notice of appeal to the Board of Water and Soils Resources with an affidavit that a copy of the notice of appeal has been mailed to the  City of Sunfish Lake.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall then mail a copy of the notice of the appeal to all those to whom it was required by this Section to mail a copy of the notice of decision.

 

B. Appeal of exemption and no-loss determinations:

 

1. An exemption or no-loss determination may be appealed to the Board by the wetland landowner after first exhausting all City of Sunfish Lake administrative appeal options.

 

2. Those  required  to  receive  notice  of  replacement  plan  decisions  as provided for in Section 1244.08 may petition the Board to hear an appeal from an exemption or no-loss determination.  The Board shall grant the petition unless it finds that the appeal is meritless, trivial, or brought solely for the purposes of delay.  In determining whether to grant the appeal, the Board shall also give consideration to the size of the wetland, other factors in controversy, any patterns of similar acts by the City of Sunfish Lake or landowner or petitioner, and the consequences of the delay.

 

3. The determination of the City of Sunfish Lake on the exemption or no-loss application is final unless an appeal or petition is mailed to the board within 30 days after the decision is mailed to the landowner.  The appeal or petition shall be accompanied by an affidavit that a copy has been sent to the City of Sunfish Lake and to the wetland landowner if it is a petition.

 

C. Board of Soil and Water Resources Procedures:  The appeal shall be decided by the Board within sixty days after receiving the notice of appeal and affidavit or granting the petition.  Parties to the appeal will be the appellant, the City of Sunfish Lake and in the case of replacement plan appeals, all those required to receive notice of the City of Sunfish Lake's decision.

 

Upon appeal, the City of Sunfish Lake shall forward to the Board the record on which it based its decision.  The board will make its decision on the appeal after

hearing.   Thirty days' notice of the hearing will be given by the Board to the parties.  The parties may present written and oral argument.  When the City of Sunfish Lake has made formal findings contemporaneously with its decision and there is an accurate verbatim transcript of the proceedings and the proceedings were fairly conducted, the Board shall base its review on the record.  Otherwise, it may take additional evidence, or remand the matter.

 

The Board shall affirm the City of Sunfish Lake's decision if the City of Sunfish Lake's findings of fact are not clearly erroneous; if the City of Sunfish Lake correctly applied the law to the facts, including this Section; and if the City of Sunfish Lake made no procedural errors prejudicial to a party.  Otherwise, the Board shall reverse the decision, amend it, or remand it with instructions for further proceedings.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.11  COMPENSATION:

 

Replacement plan applicants who have completed the City of Sunfish Lake process and the Board of Water and Soil Resources appeal process and the plan has not been approved as submitted, may apply to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for compensation under Minnesota Statutes, Section 103G.237.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.12  ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES:

 

A. Enforcing  Authorities:     The  Commissioner  of  the  Department  of  Natural Resources, conservation officers, and other peace officers may issue cease and desist orders and restoration and replacement orders.

 

B. Cease and Desist Orders:  Site-specific cease and desist orders may be issued when the enforcement authority has probable cause that a drain or fill activity is being or has been conducted in a wetland and does not qualify for an exemption or a no-loss determination and is being or has been conducted without prior approval of a replacement plan by the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

A cease and desist order shall not be issued if the wetland landowner has a valid certificate of exemption or no-loss from the City of Sunfish Lake or has evidence to support an exemption. Otherwise:

 

1. The  enforcement  authority  may  issue  a  cease  and  desist  order  upon discovery of the wetland drain or wetland fill activity;

 

2. The order may be withheld to give the wetland landowner time to produce the evidence required by the City of Sunfish Lake to the enforcement authority of qualification for an exemption or no-loss determination; or

3. A cease and desist order may be issued with an effective date three weeks  from  the  date  of  issuance.    The  enforcement  authority  may exercise this option when the enforcement authority cannot readily make a determination on the facts and circumstances to deny a wetland landowner's claim of exemption or no-loss, and continued drain or fill activity would not cause irreparable harm to the wetland.

 

The enforcement authority shall advise the wetland landowner that the wetland landowner's application, if any, for an exemption or no-loss determination, should be made immediately to the City of Sunfish Lake and that whatever wetland drain and wetland fill work the wetland landowner has done may require restoration according to a restoration plan designed by the Soil and Water Conservation District, if the application for exemption or no-loss determination is denied.

 

The enforcement authority issuing a cease and desist order shall submit copies to  the  Soil  and  Water  Conservation  District,  City  of  Sunfish  Lake,  and department.

 

If an application for an exemption or no-loss determination is triggered by a cease and desist order, the City of Sunfish Lake or the technical evaluation panel will make a decision within three weeks from the date of application.  The City of Sunfish Lake or the   technical evaluation panel shall review evidence of exemption or no-loss produced by the wetland landowner, inspect the site if necessary, and determine:

 

1.       If the area in question is a wetland; and

 

2.       If the activity qualifies for an exemption or no-loss determination.

 

In cases where the cease and desist order has been issued to the City of Sunfish Lake, the determination of exemption or no-loss shall be made by the Board of Soil and Water Resources.

 

If the decision is that the wetland activity is exempt or results in a no-loss determination, the decision maker shall issue a certificate of exemption or no- loss, request that the enforcement authority rescind the cease and desist order, and notify the Soil and Water Conservation District, the department, and the wetland landowner.

 

If the application is denied, the decision-maker shall immediately notify the Soil and Water Conservation District, the department, the enforcement authority, and the wetland landowner.

 

C. Restoration and Replacement Orders.  The enforcement authority shall issue a restoration order or replacement order when the wetland drain or wetland fill has already been completed when discovered, or after a cease and deist order has been issued and the wetland landowner does not seek an exemption or no-loss

determination within three weeks, or the City of Sunfish Lake denies the application.

 

Promptly upon being informed by the enforcement authority of the need, the Soil and Water Conservation District staff person shall inspect the site and prepare a plan in consultation with the City of Sunfish Lake for restoring the site to its pre- altered condition, unless the Soil and Water Conservation District person concludes  that  restoration  is  impossible.    The  Soil  and  Water  Conservation District shall incorporate its plan into a restoration or replacement order and send it to the enforcement authority for service in person or by certified mail to the wetland landowner.

 

The restoration order shall specify a date by which the wetland landowner must either:

 

1. Restore the wetland according to the Soil and Water Conservation District plan and obtain a certificate of satisfactory restoration from the Soil and Water Conservation District; or

 

2.       Submit a replacement plan to the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

The order shall state that it will be canceled when the wetland landowner obtains a certificate of exemption or no-loss from the City of Sunfish Lake or a certificate that restoration has been completed according to an approved restoration plan. Otherwise, the wetland landowner must restore the wetland in the manner required by the restoration order.

 

If the Soil and Water Conservation District determines that restoration will not restore all the loss caused by the wetland drain or wetland fill activity, the enforcement authority may order a combination of restoration and replacement, or may order replacement rather than restoration, as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation District.  The order shall direct the wetland landowner to obtain replacement plan approval from the City of Sunfish Lake.  The order shall specify that if replacement plan approval is not obtained, the wetland landowner shall restore the wetland in a manner determined by the Soil and Water Conservation District.

 

Each cease and desist, restoration, and replacement order shall notice the wetland landowner that violation of the order is a misdemeanor.

 

If, as part of a misdemeanor proceeding, the court orders restoration or replacement, the Soil and Water Conservation District shall determine which is appropriate, and if it is restoration, the method of restoration.  If the court orders replacement, the wetland landowner shall follow the replacement plan process in this Section unless the court orders otherwise.

SECTION 1244.13  STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR EVALUATING WETLAND REPLACEMENT PLANS:

 

A. Procedures:

 

1. General:  No person shall drain or fill a wetland, wholly or partially, without first having a wetland value replacement plan approved by the City of Sunfish Lake consistent with this Section and provided that the activity is not  prohibited  under  the  special  considerations  provisions  in  Section

1244.13.D.9.

 

2. Pre-application conference and site visit.  Before preparation of a wetland value replacement plan, the wetland landowner shall meet with the City of Sunfish Lake for a pre-application conference and site visit.  A wetland landowner may submit the sequencing information required in 1244.14-B and request   a   determination   of   compliance   with   the   sequencing requirements from   the   City   of   Sunfish   Lake   before   preparing   a replacement plan.

 

3. Evaluation.   Technical questions concerning the public value, location, size, and type of wetland shall be submitted to the technical evaluation panel.  Wetland boundaries shall be determined using the methodologies in  the  federal  Manual  for  Identifying  and  Delineating  Jurisdictional Wetlands (January 1989).

 

Wetland type shall be identified according to Cowardin, et al. 1979, Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States and according to United States Fish and Wildlife Service Circular No. 39 (1971 edition) "Wetlands of the United States."  The technical evaluation panel shall provide its determinations to the City of Sunfish Lake for consideration.

 

B. Sequencing:

 

1. Requirement. Except  for  calcareous  fens  that  are  subject  to  Section

1244.13.B.9, the City of Sunfish Lake will not consider or approve a wetland replacement plan unless the City of Sunfish Lake finds that the applicant has demonstrated that the activity impacting a wetland has complied with all of the following principles in descending order or priority:

 

a. Avoids direct or indirect impacts to the wetland that may destroy or diminish the wetland under the criteria in Section 1244.13.B.3;

 

b. Minimizes  the  impact  to  the  wetland  by  limiting  the  degree  or magnitude of the wetland activity and its implementation under the criteria in Section 1244.13.B.4;

c. Rectifies  the  impact  by  repairing,  rehabilitating,  or  restoring  the affected wetland under the criteria in Section 1244.13.B.6;

 

d. Reduces  or  eliminates  the  impact  to  the  wetland  over  time  by preservation and maintenance operations under the criteria in Section 1244.13.B.6; and

 

e. Replaces  unavoidable  impacts  to  the  wetland  by  restoring  or creating substitute wetland areas having equal or greater public value as provided for in this Section.

 

2. Application  Options.    An  applicant  may  either  submit  the  information required for sequencing analysis as part of the application for replacement plan approval or apply for a preliminary sequencing determination from the City of Sunfish Lake before preparing a replacement plan.  The City of Sunfish Lake may request additional information needed to make a determination.  For projects impacting wetland areas less than 0.1 acres, the City of Sunfish Lake may provide an on-site sequencing determination without written documentation from the applicant.

 

3. Determination of Impact Avoidance.

 

a. Avoidance    shall    be    required    when    indicated    by    special considerations as stated in this Section.

 

b. Wetland Dependence Determination:

 

(1) Based on information provided by the applicant, the City of Sunfish Lake shall determine if the proposed project is wetland dependent.   A project is wetland dependent if wetland features, functions, or values are essential to fulfill the basic purpose of the project.  A wetland present at the site  of  a  proposed  project  does  not  make  that  project wetland dependent.

 

(2) A project that has been determined by the City of Sunfish Lake to be wetland dependent is exempt from the analysis of avoidance alternatives in item Section 1244.13.B.3.c.

 

c. Alternative Analysis:

 

(1) The applicant shall provide the City of Sunfish Lake with documentation describing at least two alternatives in addition to the proposed project, one of which may be the no-build alternative, that would avoid impacts to wetlands.   The alternatives may include consideration of alternate sites or alternative project configurations on the proposed site.  The

alternatives shall be judged by the City of Sunfish Lake as good faith efforts, or the City of Sunfish Lake shall require the applicant to redraft them for reconsideration.

 

(2) The City of Sunfish Lake will determine whether any feasible and prudent alternatives are available that would avoid impacts to wetlands.   An alternative shall be considered feasible and prudent if it is capable of being done from an engineering point of view, is in accordance with accepted engineering standards and practices, is consistent with reasonable requirements of the public health, safety, and welfare, is an environmentally preferable alternative based on a review of social, economic, and environmental impacts, and would create no truly unusual problems.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall consider the following in evaluating alternatives as applicable:

 

(a) Whether the basic project purpose can be reasonably accomplished using one or more other sites in the same general area that would avoid wetland impacts. An alternate   site   will   not   be   excluded   from consideration only because it includes or requires an area not owned by the applicant that could reasonably be obtained, used, expanded, or managed to fulfill the basic purpose of the proposed project;

 

(b) The general suitability of alternate sites considered by the applicant;

 

(c) Whether reasonable modification of the size, scope configuration, or density of the project would avoid impacts to wetlands;

 

(d) Efforts by the applicant to accommodate or remove constraints on   alternatives   imposed   by   zoning standards or infrastructure, including request for conditional use permits, variances, or planned unit developments; and

 

(e) The     physical,     economic      and      demographic requirements of the project.  Economic considerations alone do not make an alternative not feasible and prudent.

 

(3) If the City of Sunfish Lake determines that a feasible and prudent alternative exists that would avoid impacts to wetlands, it will deny the replacement plan.   If no feasible

and prudent alternative is available that would avoid impacts to wetlands, the City of Sunfish Lake will evaluate the replacement plan for compliance with Section 1244.13.B.4 to

6.

 

4. Determination of Impact Minimization.

 

a. The  applicant  shall  demonstrate  to  the  City  of  Sunfish  Lake satisfaction that the activity will minimize impacts to wetlands.  In reviewing the sufficiency of the applicant's efforts to minimize wetland impacts, the City of Sunfish Lake shall consider:

 

(1) The spatial requirements of the project;

 

(2) The location of existing structural or natural features that may dictate the placement or configuration of the project;

 

(3) The purpose of the project and how the purpose relates to placement, configuration, or density;

 

(4) The sensitivity of the site design to the natural features of the site, including    topography,    hydrology    and    existing vegetation;

 

(5) The value, function, and spatial distribution of the wetlands on the site;

 

(6) Individual and cumulative impacts; and

 

(7) An applicant's efforts to:

 

(a) Modify the size, scope, configuration, or density of the project;

 

(b) Remove or  accommodate  site  constraints  including zoning, infrastructure, access, or natural features; and

 

(c)      Otherwise minimize impacts.

 

b. If the City of Sunfish Lake finds that an applicant has not complied with the requirements to minimize wetland impacts, the City of Sunfish Lake shall list, in writing, its objections to the project.  If, within thirty days, the applicant does not withdraw the project proposal or indicate intent to submit an amended project proposal satisfying the City of Sunfish Lake's objections, the statement of objections shall constitute a denial.

5. Determination of Impact Rectification.   Temporary impacts to a wetland shall be rectified by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected wetland.

 

a.       Wetland activities may qualify for a no-loss determination in Section

1244.07 by meeting all of the following conditions:

 

(1) The   physical   characteristics   of   the   affected   wetland, including  ground  elevations,  contours,  inlet  dimensions, outlet dimensions, substrate, and hydrologic regime, are restored to pre-project conditions sufficient to ensure that all pre-project functions and values are restored;

 

(2) The activity is completed and the physical characteristics of the wetland are restored within six months of the start of the activity; and

 

(3) The party responsible for the activity provides a performance bond to the City of Sunfish Lake for an amount sufficient to cover the estimated cost to restore the wetland to pre-project conditions.   The City of Sunfish Lake will return the performance bond   to   the   responsible   party   upon   a determination by the City of Sunfish Lake that the conditions in this item and item b. below have been met.

 

b. An applicant shall be granted a no-loss determination under the criteria in item a. once in a ten-year period for a particular site within a wetland, except that repairs to the original project shall be allowed under the no-loss determination, if the City of Sunfish Lake determines the request to be necessary and reasonable.

 

c. Wetland impacts that do not qualify for a no-loss determination according to the criteria in item a. are subject to replacement under the criteria in Section 1244.13.C to I.

 

6. Determination of reduction or elimination of wetland impacts over time.

After a wetland activity is completed, further wetland impacts from the draining or filling must be reduced or eliminated by maintaining, operating, and managing the project in a manner that preserves and maintains remaining wetland functions and values.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall require applicants to implement best management practices to protect wetland functions and values.

 

7. Unavoidable  impacts.    Unavoidable  wetland  impacts  that  remain  after efforts to minimize, rectify, or reduce or eliminate them shall be replaced according to Section 1244.13.C to I.

8. Calcareous Fens.   Calcareous fens, as identified by the Commissioner, may not be filled, drained, or otherwise degraded, wholly or partially, by any action, unless the commissioner, under an approved management plan, decides some alteration is necessary, as provided in this Section.

 

C. Replacement Plan Components: On an application form provided by the City of Sunfish Lake and with needed attachments supplied by the applicant, the following documentation shall be provided, except that for replacement plans utilizing the wetland bank in Section 1244.14, items 2 and 4 do not apply; instead the  applicant  shall  submit  the  credit  transfer  form  prescribed  in  Section

1244.14.E.2.e:

 

1. Organizational information, including the following:

 

a. The post office address of the applicant;

 

b. For  corporations,  the  principal  officers  of  the  corporation,  any parent companies, owners, partners, and joint venturers, and a designated contact person;

 

c. Managing agents, subsidiaries, or consultants that are or may be involved with the wetland draining or filling project;

 

2. Either an affidavit confirming that the wetland values shall be replaced before or concurrent with the actual draining or filling of a wetland or an irrevocable bank letter of credit to guarantee the successful completion of the wetland value replacement;

 

3. For the impacted wetland:

 

a. A  recent  aerial  photograph  or  accurate  map  of  the  impacted wetland area;

 

b. The location of the wetland, including the county, watershed name or number, and public land survey coordinate of approximate wetland center;

 

c. The size of the wetland, in acres or square feet;

 

d. The type of wetland using United States Fish and Wildlife Service Circular No. 39 (1971 edition) and National Wetland Inventory mapping conventions (Cowardin et al., 1979);

 

e. A list of the dominant vegetation in the impacted wetland area, including common names of the vegetation exceeding 20 percent coverage and an estimate of coverage, for example, 50 percent willow, 20 percent cattails, and 30 percent sedge;

 

f. A soils map of the site showing soil type and substrate, where available;

 

g. The size of the watershed that drains surface water into the wetland as determined   from   a   United   States   Government   Survey topographical map or other suitable topographical survey;

 

h. The locations of any surface inlets or outlets, natural or otherwise, draining into or out of the wetlands, and if the wetland is within the floodplain of a stream, river, or other watercourse, the distance and direction to the watercourse;

 

i. A map, photograph, or written description of the land use of the immediate watershed within one mile of the impacted wetland.  The surrounding land use information shall also indicate the presence and location, if any, of wetland preservation regions and areas, wetland development avoidance regions and areas, and wetland deficient  regions  and  areas  as  identified  in  the  comprehensive water plan;

 

j. The nature of the proposed project, its area extent, and the impact on the wetland must be shown in sufficient detail to allow the City of Sunfish Lake to determine the amount and types of wetland to be impacted and to demonstrate compliance with the replacement sequencing criteria in Section 1244.13.B if applicable;

 

k. Evidence of ownership or rights to the affected areas, including a legal description.   When two or more wetland landowners are involved, including both the impact site and the proposed replacement site, a contract or other evidence of agreement signed by all wetland landowners and notarized must be included with the replacement plan.  The contract or agreement must contain an acknowledgment of    the    covenant    provisions    in    Section

1244.13.C.4.f by landowners on which a replacement wetland is proposed and the location and acreage of replacement wetlands. The contract   becomes   binding   upon   final   approval   of   the replacement plan;

 

l. A list of all other local, state, and federal permits and approvals required for the activity; and

 

m. Other information considered necessary by the City of Sunfish Lake for evaluation of the activity;

 

4. For the replacement wetland Section 1244.13.C.3, sub-items a. to i. and k. to m., and:

 

a. An explanation of the size and type of wetland that will result from successful completion of the replacement plan;

 

b. Scale drawings showing plan and profile views of the replacement wetland and fixed photo-reference points for monitoring purposes. Photo-reference points   should   include   views   of   any   control structures and enough additional points to adequately depict the entire project;

 

c. How the replacement wetland shall be constructed, for example, excavation or restoration by blocking an existing tile; the type, size, and specifications of outlet structures; elevations, relative to Mean Sea Level or established bench mark, of key features, for example, sill, emergency   overflow,   and   structure   height;   and   best management practices that will be implemented to prevent erosion or site degradation;

 

d. For created wetlands only, additional soils information sufficient to determine the capability of the site to produce and maintain wetland characteristics;

 

e. A timetable that clearly states how and when implementation of the replacement plan shall proceed, and when construction of the replacement wetland shall be finalized;

 

f. A notice in a form provided by the board attached to and recorded with the   deed   for   lands   containing   a   replacement   wetland, specifying the following:

 

(1) The location of the replacement wetland; (2) That the wetland is subject to the act;

(3) That the fee title owner is responsible for the costs of repairs or reconstruction, if necessary, or for replacement costs;

 

(4) That reasonable access to the replacement wetland shall be granted to the proper authorities for inspection, monitoring, and enforcement purposes;

 

(5) That  costs  of  title  review  and  document  recording  is  the responsibility of the fee title owner; and

(6) That the City of Sunfish Lake or board can require necessary repairs or reconstruction work to return the wetland to the specifications of the approved replacement plan and require reimbursement of reasonable costs from the wetland owner, or can require replacement of the wetland according to the act;

 

g. A  statement  that  the  replacement  wetland  was  not  previously restored or created under a prior approved replacement plan;

 

h. A statement that the replacement wetland was not drained or filled under an exemption during the previous ten years;

 

i. A statement that the replacement wetland was not restored with financial assistance from public conservation programs;

 

j. A statement that the replacement wetland was not restored using private funds other than those of the landowner unless the funds are paid back with interest to the individual or organization that funded the restoration and the individual or organization notifies the City of Sunfish Lake in writing that the restored wetland may be considered for replacement;

 

k. A  plan  for  monitoring  the  success  of  the  replacement  plan  in meeting the project goal Section 1244.15.D.1, and as specified in this Section; and

 

l. Other  information  considered  necessary  for  evaluation  of  the project by the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

5. The applicant shall provide information known to the applicant or readily available concerning   the   special   considerations   criteria   in   Section

1244.13.O.9.

 

D. Replacement Plan Evaluation Criteria:

 

1. Sequencing.  Prior to the City of Sunfish Lake considering or approving a replacement plan, the applicant shall have exhausted all possibilities to avoid and minimize adverse wetland impacts according to sequencing in Section 1244.13.B.

 

The  applicant  shall  demonstrate  to  the  City  of  Sunfish  Lake  that  the replacement plan complies with this part and Section 1244.13.E.

 

2. Type  of  Replacement.    The  order  of  preference  for  the  method  of replacement, from most preferred to least preferred, is project-specific restoration, project-specific creation, then wetland banking.   Modification

or  conversion  of  non-degraded  wetlands  from  one  wetland  type  to another, for example by impoundment of additional water, does not constitute adequate replacement.

 

Wetlands drained or filled under an exemption may not be restored for replacement credit for ten years after draining or filling.

 

3. Timing  of  Replacement.     Replacement  of  wetland  values  shall  be completed before or concurrent with the actual draining or filling of a wetland, unless an irrevocable bank letter of credit is submitted to the City of Sunfish Lake to guarantee successful completion of the replacement. All wetlands to be restored or created for replacement shall be designated for replacement before restoration or creation.  Submission to the City of Sunfish Lake of the information required in Section 1244.13.C and subsequent approval shall be considered evidence of designation for replacement, provided the information is submitted before the actual wetland restoration or wetland creation.

 

4. Location  of  Replacement  Wetlands.    Replacement  wetlands  shall  be located within the same watershed or county as the impacted wetlands.

 

5. Statewide  Replacement  for  Public  Transportation  Projects.    Wetlands impacted by public transportation projects may be replaced statewide, provided they are approved by the commissioner under an established wetland banking system or under this Section.

 

6. Size of Replacement Wetlands.  Replacement wetlands shall be of a size sufficient to ensure that they provide equal or greater public value than the wetland that   was   drained   or   filled.      For   a   wetland   located   on nonagricultural land, the minimum size of the replacement wetland shall be in the ratio of two acres of replaced wetland for each acre of drained or filled wetland.   For a wetland located on agricultural land, the minimum size  of  the  replacement  wetland  shall  be  in  the  ratio  of  one  acre  of replaced wetland for each acre of drained or filled wetland.  The actual replacement ratios required for a replacement wetland may be more than the minimum, subject to the evaluation of wetland functions and values.  A review by the City of Sunfish Lake shall determine the actual required replacement ratios.  Future wetland owners may make no use of the wetland after it is altered, other than as agricultural land for a period of ten years  unless  future  replacement  to  achieve  a  2:1  ratio  occurs.  The wetland landowner shall record a notice of this restriction in the office of the Dakota County recorder.

 

7. Carbon Balance.  When it is necessary to replace a drained or filled peat land, the replacement wetland shall be re-vegetated with planted or naturally invading vegetation established within three growing seasons.

8. Ecological Consistency.   Restoration and replacement of wetlands must be accomplished according to the ecology of the landscape area affected. A replacement   plan   that   would   result   in   wetlands   or   wetland characteristics that do not naturally occur in the landscape area in which the replacement will occur shall not be approved.

 

9. Special Considerations.  The factors in items a. to i., when identified as being applicable to an impact site or a replacement site, shall be considered by the City of Sunfish Lake in the review of replacement plans.

 

a. Federal or state-listed endangered species.  A replacement plan for activities that involve sites where federal or state-listed endangered species are known to be present shall not be approved if it is determined that the proposed wetland activities will constitute a taking of those listed species under Minnesota Statutes, section

84.0895.  Limited information on the presence of listed species at a particular site is available from the department's natural heritage program.  Wetland activities that involve taking listed species are subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 84.0895.

 

b. Rare  natural  communities.     A  replacement  plan  for  wetland activities that involve the modification of a rare natural community as determined by the department's natural heritage program shall not be approved if the City of Sunfish Lake determines that the proposed wetland activities will permanently adversely affect the natural community.

 

c. Special fish and wildlife resources.  A replacement plan for wetland activities that would have a significant adverse impact that cannot be mitigated on a special or locally significant fish and wildlife resource shall not be approved.  These wetland activities include, but are not limited to:

 

(1) Fish passage and spawning areas; (2) Colonial water bird nesting colonies;

(3) Migratory waterfowl concentration areas; (4) Deer wintering areas; and/or

(5)      Wildlife travel corridors.

 

Wetland activities involving streams must not block fish passage unless approved by the department.

 

d. Archaeological or historic sites.   A replacement plan for wetland activities that involve the modification of known archaeological or historical sites on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places,  as  designated  by  the  state  historic  preservation  officer, shall not be approved if the City of Sunfish Lake determines that

the  proposed  wetland  activities  will  have  a  significant  adverse impact on the archaeological or historical value of the site.

 

e. Groundwater sensitivity.  A replacement plan for wetland activities shall not be approved if the City of Sunfish Lake determines the wetland activities would have a significant adverse impact on groundwater quality.  The publication "Criteria and Guidelines for Assessing Geologic Sensitivity of Ground Water Resources in Minnesota" (MDNR, 1991) may be used as a guide in determining potential wetland impacts.

 

f. Sensitive  surface  waters.     A  replacement  plan  shall  not  be approved if the City of Sunfish Lake determines the wetland activities will have a significant adverse impact on the water quality of outstanding resource value waters or on trout waters designated by the Commissioner.

 

g. Education  or  research  use.  Wetlands  known  to  be  used  for educational or   research   purposes   shall   be   maintained   or adequately replaced.

 

h. Waste disposal sites.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall evaluate the type and amount of waste material found at the site.  Wetland activities involving   known   or   potential   hazardous   wastes   or contaminants shall be conducted according to applicable federal and state standards.

 

i. Consistency  with  other  plans.    The  City  of  Sunfish  Lake  shall consider the extent to which proposed wetland activities are consistent with other plans, such as watershed management plans, land use plans, zoning, and master plans.

 

10. Evaluation of wetland functions and values.

 

a. Evaluation  options.     Replacement  wetlands  shall  replace  the functions and values that are lost from a wetland that is drained or filled.  A replacement wetland should replace the same combination of functions and values provided by the impacted wetland.  The evaluation of wetlands shall be performed in accordance with part

8420.540  of  the  Board  of  Water  and  Soil  Resources  Wetland

Conservation Act Rules (August, 1993). E. Wetland Replacement Standards:

1. General requirements.  The standards and guidelines in this part shall be used in wetland creation and restoration efforts to ensure adequate replacement of wetland functions and values.

 

2. Specific requirements.  The standards in items a. to h. shall be followed in all wetland replacements unless the technical evaluation panel determines that a standard is clearly not appropriate.

 

a. Water control structures must be constructed using specifications provided in the Minnesota Wetland Restoration Guide or their equivalent. Control structures may be subject to the department dam safety regulations.

 

b. Best management practices shall be established and maintained adjacent to the entire perimeter of all replacement wetlands.

 

c. For replacement wetlands where the dominant vegetation of the wetland type identified as the replacement goal is not likely to recover naturally in a five-year period, wooded and shrub wetlands especially, the replacement wetland shall be seeded or planted with appropriate species,   as   determined   by   the   Soil   and   Water Conservation District, in coordination with the department.  If the replacement wetland is seeded or planted, the seed or planting stock should be of local wetland origin to preserve local genotypes. During the monitoring period, the applicant must take reasonable steps to prevent invasion by any species, for example, purpose loose strife and Eurasian water milfoil, that would defeat the re- vegetation goal of the replacement plan.

 

d. Erosion control measures as determined by the Soil and Water Conservation District shall be employed during construction and until permanent ground cover is established to prevent siltation of the replacement wetland or nearby water bodies.

 

e. For all restored wetlands where the original organic substrate has been stripped away and for all created wetlands, provisions shall be made  for  providing  an  organic  substrate.    When  feasible,  the organic soil used for backfill should be taken from the drained or filled wetland.

 

f. The bottom contours of created types 3, 4, and 5 wetlands shall be undulating, rather than flat, to provide a variety of water depths.

 

g. Side  slopes  of  created  wetlands  and  buffer  strip  shall  not  be steeper than 5:1, five feet horizontally for every one foot vertically as averaged around the wetland.  Side slopes of 10:1 to 15:1 are preferred.

 

h. Created wetlands shall have an irregular edge to create points and bays.

 

F. Monitoring:  The purpose of wetland value replacement monitoring is to ensure that the replacement wetland achieves the goal of replacing lost functions and values.

 

G. Duration of Monitoring:   Monitoring shall be by means of an annual report as specified in Section 1244.13.H and shall continue for five years following completion of the wetland replacement project.   Through written notification to the applicant, the City of Sunfish Lake may extend the required monitoring period for not more than an additional five-year period if, at the end of the initial five-year period, the goal of the replacement plan has not been achieved, but may be achieved with more time.

 

H. Monitoring Annual Report:

 

1. Purpose.  The purpose of the annual report is to describe actual wetland restoration or wetland creation activities completed during the past year, wetland activities planned for the upcoming year, and the information in 2. The applicant shall submit the annual report to the City of Sunfish Lake on a date determined by the City of Sunfish Lake until the applicant has fulfilled all of the requirements of the City of Sunfish Lake.

 

2. Report Content.  The annual report shall include the following information and other site-specific information identified by the City of Sunfish Lake:

 

a. A  description  of  the  project  location,  size,  current  wetland  type

(Cowardin classification), and desired wetland type (goal);

 

b. A  comparison  of  the  as-built  specifications  versus  the  design specifications (first annual plan only) and a rationale for significant changes;

 

c. Hydrology measurements: seasonal water level elevations during the period April through October (msl or referenced to a known bench mark);

 

d. A list of the dominant vegetation in the wetland, including common names of the vegetation exceeding 20 percent coverage and an estimate of coverage, for example, 50 percent willow, 20 percent cattail, and 30 percent sedge; and

 

e. Color photographs of the project area taken anytime during the period  June  through  August,  referenced  to  the  fixed  photo- reference points identified on the wetland replacement plan and labeled accordingly.

 

I. Monitoring Determinations by the City of Sunfish Lake.  The City of Sunfish Lake:

 

1. Shall  inspect  the  project  when  construction  is  complete  and  certify compliance with construction specifications, and may inspect the project at any time during the construction and monitoring period, and any time after that to assess the long-term viability of the replaced wetland.  When the City of Sunfish Lake certifies that the construction specifications have been met, the City of Sunfish Lake shall so advise the applicant and return any bond or other security that the applicant had provided;

 

2. May order corrective action at any time during the required monitoring period if it determines that the goal of the approved replacement plan will not be met, and may require the applicant to prepare an amended wetland value replacement plan for review and approval by the City of Sunfish Lake which describes in detail the corrective measures to be taken to achieve the goal of replacing lost wetland functions and values;

 

3. Shall make a finding based on a site visit at the end of the monitoring period as to whether the goal of the replacement plan has been met.  If the goal of the replacement plan has not been met, the City of Sunfish Lake shall order corrective action and extend the monitoring period; and

 

4. Shall require one or more of the following actions if during the monitoring period the City of Sunfish Lake finds that the goal of the replacement plan will not be met:

 

a. Order the applicant to prepare and implement a new replacement plan;

 

b. Issue a cease and desist order on the draining and filling activity if it has not been completed;

 

c. Order restoration of the impacted wetland;

 

d. Obtain forfeiture of a bond or other security and use the proceeds to replace the lost wetland values;

 

e. Ask the district court to order the applicant to fulfill the replacement plan; or

 

f. Other actions that the City of Sunfish Lake determines necessary to achieve the goal of the replacement plan.

SECTION 1244.14  STANDARDS AND CRITERIA FOR STATE WETLAND BANKING:

 

Wetlands may be restored or created within the City of Sunfish Lake for purposes of deposit in the wetland bank in accordance with Minnesota Rule, Parts 8420.0700 -

8420.0760.  The City of Sunfish Lake shall be responsible for approving bank plans, certifying deposits, and monitoring of banked wetlands and enforcement under the rules.

 

 

 

SECTION 1244.15  CALCAREOUS FENS:

 

A. General.  Calcareous fens shall not be drained or filled or otherwise altered or degraded except as provided for in a management plan approved by the Commissioner.  No exemptions shall be granted for any wetland drain or wetland fill activities which affect calcareous fens.

 

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.