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Conditional land use allowed

Published (6/1/2010)
By Sue Hegarty
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A zoning snafu in the city of Bayport is resolved by a new law that makes a former non-conforming real estate office into an approved conditional use along protected riverfront property.

When the city annexed a section of land within the Lower St. Croix River area in 1982, there was a real estate property operating in the rural zone, even though such uses are prohibited under the federal Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River Act. Under this act, the Department of Natural Resources developed rules for standard lot size, setback from water and bluff lines, and regulated land uses. The DNR discovered that the Bayport ordinance was not in compliance with the federal act and state statute. Also, the non-conforming status could negatively affect the office’s property value should the realtor decide to sell the property.

To rectify the disparity, Rep. Julie Bunn (DFL-Lake Elmo) and Sen. Kathy Saltzman (DFL-Woodbury) sponsor a law that changes the rural status from non-conforming to a conditional land use if the property is similar in scope to the use that existed on May 1, 1974, and on Jan. 1, 2010.

The law, effective Aug. 1, 2010, also fixes a similar problem with property in Scandia, according to the DNR.

HF3152/ SF2752*/CH338

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