LDA Mission Statement

To promote the protection and enhancement of Detroit Lake


The City of Detroit Lakes, with guidance and supervision from the DNR has  the most comprehensive regulations governing shoreline development around Lake Detroit.

While many sections of the 307 page Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance control various aspects of development,  Section 18  is devoted specifically and wholly to the Shoreline District, for our purposes, that is the land that lies within 1000 feet of Detroit or Curfman Lakes.   This ordinance is authorized and based upon Statewide Shoreland Standards enacted by Minnesota in the early 1970’s, updated in the early 1990’s, and supervised by the DNR.   All counties and municipalities must have DNR-approved regulations that are consistent with, or exceed, the statewide standards.  

The City undertook a major revision of the shoreland district portion of its ordinance ordinances in 2019.  

Note that other portions of the City’s Zoning Ordinances and Codes apply to certain aspects of property development.   

The DL Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance can be found at https://cityofdetroitlakes.com/vertical/Sites/%7BF991A069-E23D-412C-8132-49318B273050%7D/uploads/Zoning_Ordinance_with_Links.pdf.   Links within the site offer convenient access to the various sections of the overall ordinance. 

The Ordinance’s Section 2 contains definitions and diagrams pertaining to terms and concepts that are critical to lakeshore owners  such as bluff and shore impact zones, buffers, impervious surface, setbacks. 
See https://cityofdetroitlakes.com/vertical/Sites/%7BF991A069-E23D-412C-8132-49318B273050%7D/uploads/Zoning_Ordinance_with_Links.pdf

The City requires a permit for almost all construction activities.   Building Permit application forms can be found at:   https://cityofdetroitlakes.com/forms#F1E59C6C-7732-4B96-8CBC-455EBDCD9B17

Shore Impact Zone as defined in the DL Zoning Ordinance.  As a rule structure setbacks are 75 for Detroit and Curfman Lakes.  Some exceptions are made for decks. Other rules apply to shores with bluffs. 

PRWD has some additional , somewhat more restrictive Rules on Shoreline.   PRWD issues permits for alterations in the Shore- and Bluff-Impact Zones,  for rip rap or beach sand blankets,  retaining walls, and for excessive impervious surface coverage.  See  http://www.prwd.org/permits/rules/ for more details on these requirements.  

Permit process instructions and forms are available at http://www.prwd.org/permits/apply-permit/.