The Crow Wing County Land Services Department issued 991 building permits in 2012 compared to 752 permits in 2011, which was an overall increase of 32 percent.
Of those permits, 189 were for new home construction compared to 133 new homes in 2011, an increase of 42 percent. Also, 155 shoreland alteration permits were issued in 2012 compared to 82 in 2011, an increase of 89 percent.
Based on the Land Use Ordinance, site specific performance standards to protect lakes and streams are now reviewed and approved prior to issuing a building permit. Properties that exceed 15 percent impervious surface coverage (hard surfaces such as driveways or roof tops) are required to submit a stormwater management plan that prevents water from a 1-inch rain event going directly into a lake or stream.
In 2012, the Land Services Department approved 254 stormwater management plans and 15 shoreline buffers restorations.
For those properties with less than 15 percent impervious coverage, information about stormwater best management practices was provided as part of 459 permit approvals. Stormwater management is one of the most important things that can be done to keep lakes and rivers clean.
Last year, 274 new septic systems were permitted compared to 255 in 2011. Of the 274 systems, 193 were new installations while 81 were upgrades of existing systems that were not functioning properly.
In addition, it is required that an existing septic system be inspected prior to issuing any permits on the property. In 2012, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency licensed septic inspectors inspected 768 existing septic systems; 739 of those inspected systems were approved and met both local and state requirements, which is a 96 percent approval rate.
Those systems that are non-compliant are required to be replaced within 10 months.
In 2012, 127 land use enforcement cases were reported to the Land Services Department. Of those 127 cases, 92 were resolved, which was an overall closure rate of 72 percent. Work will continue into 2013 on the remaining 35 open cases.
Examples of land use enforcement cases include building without a permit, dirt moving within the shoreland district (1,000 feet of a lake or 300 feet of a river or stream) and unlicensed vehicles/junk on a property.