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Do I need a permit?

Not sure if you need a permit to carry out your project? Use the checklist below to better understand permitting needs for homeowners.

Step 1: Are you in the District?

Use the interactive map to the right to determine if you are in the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District (LMRWD) or a High-Value Resource Area (HVRA). If you are within the District or HVRA and developing a project that could affect water and natural resources, you may need to apply for a permit. If you've selected yes for Step 1, continue to Step 2. 

Step 2: What City are you in?

Your city's status as an approved municipal local government unit (LGU) with the LMRWD will affect your permitting status.

Municipalities that do not require a permit with the LMRWD:

If you are in one of the following cities, you will apply with the City and not the watershed district. We've provided links to the municipal sites to find more information on your permit:

Municipalities that do require a permit with the LMRWD:

If you are in one of the following cities, you may need to apply for a permit with the LMRWD on our site. If you've selected yes for one of the cities below, continue to Step 3 to see if your project applies.

  • City of Burnsville
  • City of Chanhassen
  • City of Chaska
  • City of Eden Prairie
  • City of Lilydale
  • City of Mendota
  • City of Savage

Step 3: What type of project are you completing?

If you've answered yes to Step 1-2, use the list below to confirm whether your intended work requires a permit.

Example work that requires a permit within the LMRWD:

Roads that cross city boundaries cannot be excluded from an Individual Pertmit. The LMRWD will still need to permit roads owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). If work will include new and reconstructed imperveous surface, a permit will be required. View MnDOT's website to understand if your project requires permitting through the watershed district. 

Example work that requires a permit within the LMRWD:

If work completed involves the repair of existing pavement and/or mill-and-overlay work, the LMRWD Rules have provided an exemption from permitting.

Step 4: Do any of the District Rules apply to your project?

Check to see if your project will trigger any of the Watershed District Rules. If you've selected yes, you will need to complete a permit. If the rules do not apply, you will not need a permit and can end the process.

If you are still unsure about your need for a permit, please contact

A bluff with no development
A freeway crossing a natural area and river

How to Get a Permit?

You can apply for a permit by submitting key items to the LMRWD website. 

1. Complete the Application

Applicants are strongly advised to contact the District early in the project development process to allow for a non-binding, informal review to assess conformity with the rules. When you are ready to submit, go to the application page and follow instructions. Applicants must submit a complete permit application at least 20 business days before the regularly scheduled Board meeting to be considered. Board meetings are typically held on the first Wednesday of every month.

2. Receive Acknowledgment 

Once you've submitted the application, you will receive an acknowledgement email from LMRWD within 1-2 business days, depending on when it is submitted. District policy requires that a permit application contain all necessary elements before the review process begins. An incomplete application results in additional correspondence and delays in the application review. This guidance is not intended to replace reading and understanding the LMRWD Rules. For an application to be considered complete, applicants must submit all items listed in the Required Information and Exhibits section for each Rule that applies to their project, except for items that are considered conditional approval items.

Conditional approval items must be submitted before issuance of a permit. Below are the conditional approval items for (1) Erosion and Sediment Control, (2) Floodplain and Drainage Alteration, (3) Stormwater Management, and (4) Steep Slopes: 

  1. Name, address, and phone number for all contractor(s) undertaking land-disturbing activities as part of the proposed project
  2. Name, address, and phone number of individual responsible for inspection and maintenance of all erosion and sediment control measures
  3. Staging areas, as applicable
  4. Documentation of the project’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction Stormwater Permit status, if applicable

You should not begin any work until your permit is reviewed and approved.

3. Application Under Review

The LMRWD permit review team will review the application to ensure it has been completed properly. Staff will follow up if they require more information. You will be notified on the completeness of your application within 15 business days

To avoid project delays, the best practice is to submit your permit request at least 60 days prior to a scheduled Board meeting to ensure it is considered.

Permit staff will complete an in-depth application review to ensure the project meets LMRWD Rules and requirements. 

4. Application Status Notification

You will be notified about the status of your permit application and next steps. At this stage, staff will reach out with concerns or send the permit to the Board for review and approval. Once an application is deemed complete, the District has 60 days to take action, or in other words, bring the application to the Board of Managers for a vote.

5. Board Meeting Results

If the project is approved by the Board of Managers, the District will notify the applicant and issue the permit, which is valid for one year.

If the project is conditionally approved by the Board of Managers, the District will notify the applicant and request the remaining conditional approval items before issuing the permit.

What do I need for a Permit?

You will need to prepare an individual permit application, available as both a PDF and web-based form. There is a permit fee required to accommodate the project review.