Shoreland Alterations

Shoreland alterations of vegetation and topography are regulated and minimized to prevent erosion into public waters, fix nutrients, preserve shoreland aesthetics, preserve historic values, including historic sites and archaeological sites, prevent bank slumping and protect fish and wildlife habitat.


Shoreland Alteration Vegetation Removal Fact Sheet



Activities Requiring a Permit:



​1. The movement of more than ten cubic yards of material on steep slopes or within shore or bluff impact zones;

​2. The movement of more than 50 cubic yards of material outside of steep slopes and shore and bluff impact zones; and

​ 3. Within the shore and bluff impact zones, a Shoreland Alteration Permit shall also be required for all of the following and shall be done in accordance with listed restrictions:

​ i. Lake access road constructed to avoid a straight sight line and a maximum width of 12 feet.

​ii. Ice ridge removal maximum width at the bottom of the opening shall be 12 feet and the maximum width at the top of the opening shall be 25 feet.

​iii. Beach sand blanket maximum size of 30 feet along the shoreline by 15 feet back from the OHWL and shall be located within the view corridor. The sand must be clean with no organic materials. The natural slope must be less than five percent and the sand blanket application must be constructed in a way that will prevent erosion.

​ iv. Landscaping retaining walls maximum height of two feet except as determined by the Zoning Official but not to exceed four feet. To the extent possible, a landscaping retaining wall should be designed to display natural aesthetics. Retaining walls for the purpose of shore protection are allowed only if a permit is obtained from the Minnesota DNR.

​ v. Riprap shall be allowed for erosion control. Additional permit(s) may also be required from the Minnesota DNR. To the extent possible, riprap should be designed to display natural aesthetics.


​​​Shoreland Alteration Permit Process:



​1. Authority.  The Shoreland Alteration Permit is through the Environmental Services Department. 

2. Application and fee. Application for a permit shall be accompanied by the necessary fee, shall be on a form prescribed by the Zoning Official, and shall include the data required by the form.

3. Inspection required prior to issuance of permit. No alteration or excavation shall be undertaken prior to the issuance of the permit. Prior to issuance of the permit, consideration shall be given to how extensively the proposed activities would affect the functional qualities of any wetland. The permit shall require that the alteration or excavation be conducted in compliance with the restrictions and requirements listed in the permit.

​ 4. Special restrictions may apply. The issuing officer may establish special restrictions, which in the administrative judgment of the issuing officer are necessary under the circumstances to govern the alteration/excavation activity. The issuing officer may require that the applicant obtain a soil erosion control plan approved by the Itasca County SWCD. The special restrictions shall be set forth in the permit and shall be binding upon the permit holder.