Lyon County sets buffer ordinance hearing

MARSHALL — Earlier this year, Lyon County took on the responsibility of enforcing Minnesota’s buffer law for public ditches and waters. When county commissioners made the decision, they didn’t have a road map of how that enforcement should be done.

That situation is soon to change, however. At their regular meeting Tuesday, commissioners set a public hearing date for a proposed county buffer ordinance. The hearing will be held Nov. 21.

The proposed buffer ordinance lays out the same buffer requirements as the state law but also includes sections dealing with how compliance will be determined, how the buffer standards will be enforced, and what penalties landowners might face for noncompliance.

In the proposed ordinance, the Lyon County Soil and Water Conservation District would determine buffer compliance on a parcel by parcel basis. The SWCD would also work with the county to determine the best course of action if a property is possibly out of compliance with state law.

According to the draft ordinance, landowners who fail to correct a non-compliant buffer could face either misdemeanor criminal charges, or an Administrative Penalty Order, which would call for financial penalties against a landowner.

The full text of the proposed buffer ordinance is available on the Lyon County Planning and Zoning web page, at http://ly onco.org/planning-and-zoning.

The public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 21, during the county board’s regular meeting.

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