Spicer City Council OKs a storm water ordinance, considers some other changes

SPICER -- The Spicer City Council approved a storm water management ordinance that will give it a little more leverage to adjust lot sizes on certain lakes.

SPICER -- The Spicer City Council approved a storm water management ordinance that will give it a little more leverage to adjust lot sizes on certain lakes.

The council approved the ordinance Feb. 22 in a 3-1 vote, with Councilwoman Marlys Larsen voting against it. She wanted to wait to vote on it until councilman Ron Schneider, who was absent, was present.

The Spicer Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the ordinance for approval at its meeting last week.

The ordinance requires every applicant seeking approval for a subdivision or planned unit development or a commercial, multiple-family residential or industrial permit to disturb land to submit a storm water management plan.

The ordinance lays out the requirements of those plans, and asks developers to use existing natural drainage ways, wetlands and vegetated soil surfaces to store, filter and retain storm water runoff before it goes into public waters.


When developers are unable to do so, the city will permit constructed facilities, such as settling basins, dikes, waterways and ponds, according to the ordinance.

The city asks, however, that the developer use designs that use surface drainage, vegetation and infiltration rather than buried pipes and man-made facilities.

A developer using any constructed facilities for storm-water management must provide documentation that they are designed and installed in compliance with local, state and federal standards.

The storm water management plan must include an existing site map, a site construction plan and a plan showing the final site conditions.

All storm-water management plans will be reviewed by the city engineer, and the Planning and Zoning Commission will make a recommendation about the plan to the City Council.

The council must take action on the plan within 60 days of the application's submittal to the city clerk.

The applicant must also submit an agreement to construct what the city requires and provide a bond to cover the amount of the cost to comply with the agreement. The agreement and bond guarantees completion and compliance with the conditions within a specified time, according to the ordinance.

Mayor Bill Taylor said many parts of the new ordinance are in the city's zoning ordinance already, but having a separate ordinance makes the regulations clearer.


The city also wants to decrease the minimum lot size requirements for natural environment lakes, such as Woodcock.

Currently, the minimum lot size is 60,000 square feet, but the city would like that reduced to 40,000 square feet, which is the state's minimum standard.

The state Department of Natural Resources suggested that the city pass a storm-water management ordinance before requesting the lot size change, Taylor said.

Skip Wright, DNR area hydrologist, said the Spicer DNR office will likely recommended the DNR commissioner approve the city's request.

"They're looking at reducing that lot size and we told them they should really adopt a storm-water ordinance before they do that," Wright said.

But the city may also make other changes before asking for the lot size change, Taylor said.

The DNR came out with new alternative shoreland management standards in December, and the Spicer DNR office has been discussing the standards with Kandiyohi County, Spicer and New London, Wright said.

The alternative standards put more emphasis on conservation subdivisions and cluster developments and have more rules for restoring the shoreland impact zone, Wright said.


Taylor said the city may consider whether areas of its shoreland management ordinance should be addressed before requesting the lot size change.

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