Developers need to now follow new regulations if they want to build along Highway 371.
Some of the restrictions they need to include in their plan include lot size. A lot that does not have public sewer and water and has no wetlands must be at least 100,000 square feet. Land with public sewer and water needs to be at least 20,000 square feet. Width for interior lots must be 100 feet and corner lots, 120 feet.
The minimum setbacks from the right-of-way from the front of a lot with an access road in the front or back must have a 40-foot setback and a lot with no access road needs 120 feet. A 15-foot setback is required along the sides of the lots. In the rear, with an access road, the setback is 40 feet and with no access it's 30 feet.
Property owners will be prohibited from clear-cutting more than 25 percent of the trees standing 20 feet in height or taller. Owners will be given credit for trees they do not cut down.
People must also follow the forestry management plan with the Crow Wing County Zoning Office with clear-cutting. A screening requirement that the county already enforces will also be required. Screening is what a traveler sees from the road and the further north a person drives on Highway 371 the stricter the screening requirements will be.
Landscaping requirements for new construction must have at least 20 percent of the land covered with grass, ground cover, shrubbery, trees and a series of trees between the frontage roadway and the structure.
Structures that have already been developed with permanent improvements will have a lesser restriction at 10 percent for remodeling or redevelopment.
The ordinance has recommendations on what trees to plant for the most successful growing rate, such as black and white spruce and red oak and paper birch. Bushes suggested are highbrush cranberry and mountain ash.
Builders must be in harmony with the permanent neighboring development around them in appearance of the structure. Some of the materials for exterior use are brick, stone or stucco. Wood and window panels used must provide a finished look that is durable.
Lighting fixtures must be directed downward. Exterior lights can not exceed 20 feet in height and all outdoor light poles should be metal, fiberglass, finished wood, cement or made out of marble.
Parking lot lights must be turned off one hour after normal business hours or 10 p.m., whichever is later. This does not include security lights. All island canopy ceiling fixtures will be required to be recessed.
Parking space regulations were taken from the county's ordinance, but handicapped parking was added for the development along the highway.
Off-street parking requirements a business owner must provide for their clients are: one-and-a-half parking spaces for each room at a hotel or tourist accommodation; one space for every five people at a theater, stadium, auditorium or other public places; one space for every 200 square feet of floor area for office structures except medical, dental and optical; one for every three seats based on maximum seating capacity at an eating and drinking establishment; one space for each two workers at an industry; and for mixed use structures an owner must see the Crow Wing County Planning Commission.
On- and off-site signs are also in the ordinance. No off-site signs shall be constructed or maintained. Signs used for rummage sales and for political use do not need a permit. Some of the signs that do need a permit are for construction, portable, business identifications, changing messages and inflatable signs.
Signs that are on the property shall be placed closer than 15 feet from the side lot lines and must meet setback requirements from the public waters. These signs cannot be placed within the right-of-way or easement and must be placed at least 50 feet away from them.
A single freestanding sign must not exceed 200 square feet in area per face. A wall sign cannot overstep 25 percent of the square footage of the wall of the structure facing the public roadway.
A property owner is not allowed more than two free standing signs advertising their business.
Other requirements a property owner must look at is wetlands and storm and waste water management. The lakes must be protected from storm water, and owners must follow the storm water management plan. The plan prepares for a 100-year rain event, which is five inches of rain in a 24-hour period. This plan corresponds with the county's storm and water system.
The management plan is conducted by the Thirty Lakes Watershed District, which serves most of the lakes along the Highway 371 corridor. The organization is funded by the state and its goal is to protect water quality.
Developers must submit their plans to the planning and zoning office to get a permit and the plan will be review to make sure all the requirements are met. The ordinance in detail is available in the zoning office.
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