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SF 3542

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 02/25/2020 08:50am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying provisions for watershed districts; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 103D.335, by adding a subdivision; 103D.337;
103D.341, subdivision 2, by adding a subdivision; 103D.345, subdivision 4;
103D.401, subdivision 1; 103D.405, subdivision 1; 103D.515, subdivision 1;
103D.537.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.335, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 26. new text end

new text begin Engineer and legal fees. new text end

new text begin The managers must require annual public reporting
of engineer fees and legal fees reimbursed by landowners and an annual summary of all
engineer fees and legal fees paid by the watershed district. The managers must review the
fees to determine if the fees are reasonable.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.337, is amended to read:


103D.337 TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES.

For a district wholly within the metropolitan area, the deleted text beginboard of managers shall establishdeleted text endnew text begin
local governmental unit as defined in section 473.852 acts as
new text end a technical advisory committee
deleted text begin consisting of representatives of affected statutory and home rule charter cities, counties,
and soil and water conservation districts
deleted text endnew text begin for purposes of appeals under section 103D.537new text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.341, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Procedure.

(a) new text beginThe managers must prepare and review a statement of need and
reasonableness, as described in section 14.131, before adopting or amending rules. The
statement of need and reasonableness must be made available for public review at least 45
days before the date set for a hearing on the rules.
new text endRules of the watershed district must be
adopted or amended by a majority vote of the managers, after public notice and hearing.
Rules must be signed by the secretary of the board of managers and recorded in the board
of managers' official minute book.

(b) deleted text beginPrior todeleted text endnew text begin Beforenew text end adoption, the proposed rule or amendment to the rule must be
submitted to the board for review and comment. The board's review deleted text beginshall bedeleted text endnew text begin isnew text end considered
advisory. The board deleted text beginshall havedeleted text endnew text begin hasnew text end 45 days deleted text beginfrom receipt ofdeleted text endnew text begin after receivingnew text end the proposed rule
or amendment to the rule to provide its comments in writing to the watershed district.
deleted text begin Proposed rules or amendments to the rule shall also be noticed for review and comment to
all public transportation authorities that have jurisdiction within the watershed district at
least 45 days prior to adoption. The public transportation authorities have 45 days from
receipt of the proposed rule or amendment to the rule to provide comments in writing to
the watershed district.
deleted text end

new text begin (c) At least 45 days before the date set for a hearing on the proposed rule or amendment,
the managers must mail a copy of the proposed rule or amendment for review and comment
to:
new text end

new text begin (1) all cities, towns, and public transportation authorities that have jurisdiction within
the watershed district, who have 45 days after receiving the proposed rule or amendment
to provide comments in writing to the watershed district;
new text end

new text begin (2) all parties who have consulted with the watershed district within the past 12 months
about upcoming projects or have held permits issued under section 103D.345 within the
last two years; and
new text end

new text begin (3) all landowners directly impacted by an increase in wetland buffer setback
requirements, when applicable.
new text end

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end For each county affected by the watershed district, the managers must publish a
notice of hearings and adopted rules in one or more legal newspapers published in the county
and generally circulated in the watershed district. The managers must also provide written
notice of adopted or amended rules to public transportation authorities that have jurisdiction
within the watershed district. The managers must file adopted rules with the county recorder
of each county affected by the watershed district and the board.

deleted text begin (d)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end The managers must mail a copy of the rules to the governing body of each
municipality affected by the watershed district.

new text begin (f) The rules are effective no earlier than 120 days after adoption.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.341, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Rule standards. new text end

new text begin The managers may not adopt or enforce a rule that:
new text end

new text begin (1) requires the landowner to pay the watershed district's legal fees or engineer fees
without the ability to object and appeal the fees to the managers for review;
new text end

new text begin (2) limits the availability of variances by adopting a variance standard other than the
practical difficulty standard of review;
new text end

new text begin (3) unreasonably denies or terminates a landowner's permit rights without due process;
new text end

new text begin (4) requires landowners to apply anything other than existing conditions standards for
storm water treatment as part of the permit application; or
new text end

new text begin (5) requires storm water standards that exceed the lesser of either minimum impact
design standards (MIDS) or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requirements without
approval from all impacted local government units within the watershed districts.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.345, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Bond.

The managers may require an applicant for a permit to file a bondnew text begin, letter
of credit, or escrow
new text end with the managers in an amount set by the managers and conditioned
on performance by the applicant of authorized activities in conformance with the terms of
the permit.new text begin The managers must not duplicate any other bond, letter of credit, or escrow
required of the applicant and must return the security to the applicant within 60 days of
substantial completion of the permit project.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.401, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Contents.

(a) The managers must adopt a watershed management plan
for any or all of the purposes for which a watershed district may be established. The
watershed management plan must give a narrative description of existing water and
water-related problems within the watershed district, possible solutions to the problems,
and the general objectives of the watershed district. The watershed management plan must
also conform closely with watershed management plan guidelines as adopted and amended
from time to time by the Board of Water and Soil Resources.new text begin For all metropolitan area
watershed districts, any deviation from the guidelines provided by the Board of Water and
Soil Resources requires approval by all local governmental units within the watershed
district.
new text end

(b) The watershed management plan may include a separate section on proposed projects.
If the watershed district is within the metropolitan area, the separate section of proposed
projects or petitions for projects to be undertaken according to the watershed management
plan is a comprehensive plan of the watershed district for purposes of review by the
Metropolitan Council under section 473.165.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.405, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Requirements.

(a) The managers and the board must revise the watershed
management plan for the watershed district at least once every ten years after the original
watershed management plan is approved. The revised watershed management plan of the
district must conform closely with adopted watershed management plan guidelines of the
Board of Water and Soil Resources.new text begin For all metropolitan area watershed districts, any
deviation from the guidelines provided by the Board of Water and Soil Resources requires
approval by all local governmental units within the watershed district.
new text end

(b) The managers must include the following items in the revised watershed management
plan:

(1) updates and supplements of the existing hydrological and other statistical data of the
watershed district;

(2) specific projects and programs to be considered for implementation;

(3) a statement of the extent that the purposes for which the watershed district had been
established have been accomplished;

(4) a description of problems requiring future action by the watershed district;

(5) a summary of completed studies on active or planned projects, including financial
data; and

(6) an analysis of the effectiveness of the watershed district's rules and permits in
achieving its water management objectives in the watershed district.

(c) A revised watershed management plan must be transmitted, reviewed, recommended,
and approved as provided in subdivisions 2 to 4 and 6.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.515, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Preexisting water rights recognized.

new text begin(a) new text endThe rights of private or corporate
landowners to use the waters of the watershed district for any purpose continue as the rights
existed at the time of the organization of the watershed district.

new text begin (b) The managers may not adopt or enforce a rule that deprives or divests a private or
corporate landowner of the existing water rights, use of existing water runoff conditions,
existing buffer or building setbacks, infiltration, drainage, ponding, or flood relief, either
before or as a result of a permit application, without paying adequate compensation.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 103D.537, is amended to read:


103D.537 APPEALS OF RULES, PERMIT DECISIONS, AND ORDERS.

(a) new text beginAn order or permit decision of the watershed district or a decision on appeal must
be based on the record made in the proceeding together with any other relevant evidence
or affidavits provided by the parties.
new text end

new text begin (b) new text endExcept as provided in section 103D.535, an interested party may appeal a permit
decision or order made by the managers by new text beginan informal resolution of disputes under section
103D.539 or
new text enda declaratory judgment action brought under chapter 555. deleted text beginAn interested party
may appeal a rule made by the managers by a declaratory judgment action brought under
chapter 555 or by appeal to the board. The decision on appeal must be based on the record
made in the proceeding before the managers. An appeal of a permit decision or order must
be filed within 30 days of the managers' decision.
deleted text endnew text begin The decision on appeal must determine
whether the watershed district's action or requirement is unreasonable by a preponderance
of the evidence. An appeal of a permit decision or order must be filed within 180 days of
the managers' decision.
new text end

new text begin (c) Except as provided in section 103D.535, an interested party may, by written request
to the watershed district, immediately appeal a determination by watershed district staff or
engineering or staff enforcement of a watershed rule by:
new text end

new text begin (1) an appeal to the technical advisory committee as described in section 103D.337;
new text end

new text begin (2) an informal resolution of disputes as described in section 103D.539; or
new text end

new text begin (3) a declaratory judgment action brought under chapter 555.
new text end

new text begin (d) Watershed district staff have ten days after receiving a written request under paragraph
(c) to issue a written statement of the district's official position. The technical advisory
committee or the board must, upon request of the interested party, conduct an expedited
appeal hearing and issue a determination within 30 days or less. An appeal of a determination
by watershed district staff or engineering or an appeal of staff enforcement of a watershed
rule must be filed within 180 days of the watershed district action. In the event the interested
party prevails on appeal, the interested party must be awarded its cost of appeal and the
watershed district staff must pay its own costs of the appeal and staff time.
new text end

deleted text begin (b) In addition to the authorities identified in paragraph (a), Adeleted text endnew text begin (e) In addition to the
authority granted under paragraph (b), a
new text end public transportation authority may appeal a
watershed district permit decision to the board. The board deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end, upon request of the
public transportation authority, conduct an expedited appeal hearing within 30 days or less
from the date of the appeal being accepted.

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (f)new text end By January 1, deleted text begin2005deleted text endnew text begin 2022new text end, the board deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end adopt new text beginreasonable new text endrules governing
appeals to the board under paragraphs deleted text begin(a) anddeleted text end (b)new text begin to (e)new text endnew text begin, but must not limit a landowner's
right to seek immediate judicial relief
new text end. A decision of the board on appeal is subject to judicial
review under sections 14.63 to 14.69. deleted text beginThe rules authorized in this paragraph are exempt
from the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 except that section 14.386 applies and the
proposed rules must be submitted to the members of senate and house of representatives
environment and natural resource and transportation policy committees at least 30 days
prior to being published in the State Register. The amended rules are effective for two years
from the date of publication of the rules in the State Register unless they are superseded by
permanent rules.
deleted text end

new text begin (g) A watershed district rule not adopted in accordance with chapter 14, including use
of a statement of need and reasonableness as defined in section 14.131, is subject to an
appeal by any interested party by an informal resolution of disputes as described in section
103D.539 or a declaratory judgment action brought under chapter 555 at any time. The
decision on appeal must determine whether the watershed district's rule is arbitrary or
capricious by a preponderance of the evidence.
new text end