Land use regulations in the Lower St. Croix Riverway

frozen river shoreline

Photo by Pat Chiconis. Courtesy of Wild Rivers Conservancy

After the designation of the Lower St. Croix Scenic Riverway (LSCR), Minnesota and Wisconsin were tasked with establishing use and development standards consistent with the original Master Plan. In Minnesota, minimum regulations for land use, surface water use, and other zoning regulations are authorized in Minnesota Statutes, Section 103F.351 and established through Minnesota Rules, part 6105.0300 through 6105.0550. Cities and counties along the lower riverway are responsible for adopting and administering ordinances consistent with the statewide rules. All land use activities are permitted at the local level by these cities and counties.

The lower riverway is protected by a combination of zoning and easements. The entire riverway is classified as urban or rural, based on the sewer service areas at the time of designation, which have different dimensional standards. These standards are administered through local zoning ordinances and include lot size and width, structure setbacks and height, and sanitary system requirements.

Review Procedures for Adopting and Amending Wild and Scenic Rivers and Lower St. Croix Riverway Ordinances


  • Matt Bauman, Central Office LSCR Program Lead, 651-259-5710
  • Dan Scollan,Washington County Area Hydrologist, 651-259-5732
  • Craig Wills, Chisago County Area Hydrologist, 763-284-7221


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