Eagle Lake South is a designated wildlife lake. Full of vegetation, geese, mallards, swans, turtles, fish, etc. it is one of only 70 lakes (of more than 10,000) in the state of Minnesota to have this designation. This designation came about following the submission of a petition from local residents, which in turn triggered a public hearing and careful review of the lakes existing and potential wildlife habitat. The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources then agreed that the highest and best management status for Eagle Lake is that is be managed primarily for the benefit of wildlife habitat.
Their goal is to create and maintain a "hemi-marsh", where there is approximately 50% emergent vegetation and 50% open water, distributed equally throughout the basin, with submerged vegetation covering the entire bottom of the lake. While there are no horsepower restrictions on the lake, motors are not practical given the abundant vegetation. In fact, in those conditions paddling a canoe or kayak can be a challenge. (this information was included in an email with the proposal for a change to the Shoreland Ordinance)
In the May 18, 2020 Planning Commission meeting recommended changes to the ordinance were presented. "Addressed in the Shoreland Ordinance was guest cottages and a question arose as to whether it should be in the ordinance since it is not allowed in the current code". Also discussed was stairways to the water (current code limits the width for residential stairways but does not limit commercial stairways).
In the June 1, 2020 City Council meeting: Due to the proposed project, a change to the Shoreland Ordinance is needed. Council discussion included that some cities are looking at city code language for a vacation rentals by owners (VRBO).
At the City Council meeting on July 6, 2020 there was a public hearing in regards to the proposed Shoreland Ordinance. Among other things, I pointed out a change on the table for allowed land uses near a Natural Environment lake:
For Public, semipublic C for "conditional use" was changed to P for "permitted use"
For Industrial N for "not permitted" was changed to C for "conditional use"
We were told this was a human error and would be changed back.
The shoreland area is included in the study area for the Environment Assessment Workout - the document given for public comment. There wasn't a mention of plans for the shoreland or really even a mention of the shoreland at all. Had I known there was a possibility of disturbing the shoreline and vegetation I would have had some comments. These are just one of the changes in the EAW that we have witnessed since our time to comment has passed.
Below I have included photos of the lake from both the Sakatah Trail (to the north) and from a location along Hwy 14.