Proposals for the establishment of lake improvement districts shall be evaluated based on the extent to which they demonstrate the following.
The proposal shall demonstrate the need for the district and why another unit of government with similar powers, or a voluntary lake association, cannot or will not satisfactorily accomplish the district's proposed purposes.
The proposed boundaries shall be consistent with district boundaries as defined in part 6115.0920. The proposed boundaries shall include all lands and waters within the lake's direct drainage basin, unless justification is provided for including a lesser area and approved in writing by the commissioner. The proposed boundaries shall include a sufficient amount of the lake's watershed and related land to develop and implement feasible solutions to the identified problems. The proposed boundaries shall include those lands and waters which can reasonably be considered adversely affected by the proposed actions of the district. The proposed boundaries shall be delineated so as to provide appropriate public representation and the equitable distribution of benefits and levying of costs.
The proposed purposes shall be consistent with existing state, federal, regional, and local laws, policies, objectives, and plans pertaining to water and related land management, fish and wildlife habitat, surface and ground water quality, natural beauty and unique scientific values, economic and recreation values, and the quality of life. The proposed purposes shall be consistent with the public rights in the public waters of the state. When a district is proposed for the purpose of conducting a feasibility study of the sources of and solutions to lake problems, the proposal shall demonstrate an understanding that subsequent lake restoration measures may require modification of the district's boundaries and statement of purposes, pursuant to part 6115.0980, subpart 1, and Minnesota Statutes, section 103B.575.
The proposal shall demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed plans and programs, or provide for the determination of technical feasibility.
The proposal shall demonstrate capability of raising sufficient funds to meet district purposes, to ensure continuity of district operations, and to meet the requirements of these parts.
The proposal shall assure consideration of the interests of concerned citizens both within and outside the boundaries of the proposed district. The proposal shall include the identification of varying and often conflicting interests regarding water and related land management in and around the proposed district, and procedures to assure the consideration of such diverse interests so that decisions are made in the best overall interests of fairness and public health, safety, and welfare.
The proposed plan shall provide for public access when adequate public access consistent with size of the lake, the extent of public interest in using the lake, and the combined uses of the lake is unavailable. Service charges may not be imposed on the use of a public access if other units of government cost share the acquisition, development, or maintenance of the public access.
The proposed plan shall demonstrate an understanding of potential environmental effects of the proposed district plans and programs, and provide for a long-range monitoring of such effects.
The proposal shall demonstrate how the proposed district programs will be coordinated with existing special purpose districts formed for water and related land management. Examples of such units of government are watershed districts, sanitary districts, drainage and conservancy districts, lake conservation districts, and soil and water conservation districts. Lake improvement districts shall not be established where a special purpose unit of government for water and related land management exists which can implement the purposes of the proposed lake improvement district, unless written approval is acquired from such unit of government or from the commissioner. The proposal should demonstrate efforts in good faith to resolve at the local level any conflicts between an existing special purpose district and the proposed lake improvement district.
June 11, 2008