Small Site Permit Guidance

Small Site Permits are required for any land or vegetation alteration in sensitive areas or for stormwater management for residential properties exceeding certain thresholds.

Small Site Permit Tresholds

Permits are required for any of the following actions.  Below is some guidance proper project details and design.

  • Alteration to land or vegetation within the Shore Impact Zone
  • Installation, repair, or replacement of rip-rap or sand beach blanket
  • Alteration to land or vegetation within a Bluff Impact Zone or on steep slopes
  • Stormwater managment for properties that contain more than 25% lot area coverage (includes all new and existing coverage) within 1,000 from a lake (if property contains greater that 10,000 S.F of new, reconstruction and existing impervious coverage, please see Large Site Permits


Rip-rap is used a method that is used to help protect shorelines from wave action erosion and winter ice damage by the placement of rock along the shoreline.  This method works best when used in cooperation with vegetation planted within and behind the rip-rap.  Permits application are reviewed with a site visit to observe the current conditions and suitability/need for rip-rap.  While each site will differ, the guidance below will help design a plan and application which meets PRWD rules.

Rock Size and Arrangement:  Rock rip-rap consists of coarse stones, 6-30 inches in diameter, which are randomly and loosely placed.  Creating a "base row" of large rock lined up or "panning" rocks are not allowed (see photos below).  The height of the rip-rap should only extend where wave action and ice damage is an problem and the need is demonstrated.  Typically, the rip-rap height will be no higher than 3-feet above the ordinary high water (OHW) level or 1-foot above the highest known water level.  All rip-rap projects will also need to demonstrate that MN DNR guidelines are being followed.


Rock "panning" or the placement of rock which is not randomly and loosely placed is not allow.

Examples of proper and effective rip-rap are below


Good: Rocks are randomly placed and extend into the water


Better:  Plantings are installed behind rip-rap


 Best:  Planting within the rip-rap


Sand Beach Blanket

Sand Beach blankets are allowed if the shoreline topography and lake bottom is suitable to support sand without erosion.  The maximum size of the sand is 50 feet (or 1/2 the lot width, whichever is less) by 10 feet and 6 inches thick.  Sand blankets are not allowed on steep slopes or to be placed in the lake where emergent vegetation or silty lake bottom sediments are present.  All sand blanket additions will also need to follow MN DNR Guidelines.

Impervious Surface

Stormwater is required to be managed from properties that exceed 25% lot coverage (over 10,000S.F. see Large Site Permit) for impervious surfaces that are located in the Shore Impact Zone, and for properties that require mitigation from the City of Detroit Lakes of Becker County as required the their land use ordinance.  A stormwater management plan which demonstrates how stormwater will be captured and treated for a minimum of a 1.1" rainfall over the impervious surface (or the requirement of the local ordinance) will need to be submitted with the application. 

Small Site Stormwater Management Plan Guidance

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