On June 12, 2019, the Kanabec County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution/motion adopting the proposed changes to Ordinance No. 5-Ordinance for the Management of Shoreland Areas of Kanabec County, with corresponding changes to the zoning map of Kanabec County.

What follows is a summary of the amendments to the ordinance, as authorized by Minnesota Statutes Section 375.51, subd. 3, and a description of the type of changes made to the county zoning map.  This is only a summary and is not to be taken to be, nor is it intended to be, a full recitation of each and every change made to Ordinance No 5. Those interested in knowing the exact language of the newly amended ordinance should read the full text of the ordinance and the newly amended zoning map, on file and available as indicated below.

The newly amended Ordinance has a new table of contents, and there has been a general reorganization of the location and layout of some of the provisions and sections in the ordinance.

Section 2 of the newly amended ordinance, covering general provisions and definitions, contains over 20 new definitions, defining such phrases as “expansion enlargement or intensification,” and “recreational vehicle;” and adding definitions for such things as patios, platforms, docks, buffers, agricultural use, building, and resort, among other additions.  Some definitions were added to specifically define terms used in the ordinance.  A number of other definitions have been changed slightly, such as the provision on planned unit developments, to read more fluidly and/or to conform to changes in the law, to be more inclusive of items, or to be less ambiguous.

Section 3 of the newly amended Ordinance covering Administration has many new provisions regarding the County Board of Adjustment, the County Planning Commission, and their procedures and criteria for decision making.  There are new provisions dealing with variances, appeals of administrative decisions, conditional uses, and interim uses.  There is a new section adding criteria to look at when considering any amendments of the ordinance.

Section 4 of the newly amended Ordinance deals with nonconformities, meaning those lots, uses or structures that don’t meet the requirements of the current ordinance, but are allowed to continue to exist because they were legally established in a manner allowed at the time they came into being.  Section 4 is now reorganized and broken down more specifically as to provisions dealing with nonconforming uses, nonconforming lots, nonconforming structures and nonconforming septic systems.

New language has been added to specify the conditions under which such nonconformities can or cannot be expanded, transferred, or otherwise changed.

Section 5 of the newly amended ordinance covers the shoreland classifications for the county and the allowed land uses.  Among other changes, this section of the ordinance has been changed to create a new mixed use land district that allows residential planned unit developments, commercial planned unit developments, commercial uses and multiple unit structures such as duplexes and quad homes in the district on recreational development lakes.  Commercial uses are allowed in mixed use districts on rivers.

Section 6 of the newly amended ordinance contains some special land use provisions for mixed use, public and semi-public uses.  There is a newly added section regulating the use of homes rented as the operation and use of private homes for rental.  The section also contains provisions on buffers pursuant to recently adopted state laws on agricultural buffers, and provisions on the harvesting of timber.

Section 7 of the newly amended ordinance contains dimensional and general performance standards that reflect area and dimensional requirements as well as structure and septic requirements for uses now allowed in the mixed use districts.

Section 8 or the newly amended ordinance has some changed provisions on home occupations, with additional performance standards added to them.

Section 9 of the newly amended ordinance, covering Vegetation and Land Alterations, has been reorganized, had some more specific provisions added to clarify what can be done, and has added a reference to the Minnesota buffer law.

Section 11 of the newly amended ordinance governs the application, processing and standards applicable to planned unit developments allowed in the newly created mixed use districts in the County Shoreland areas.  Density requirements, design criteria, open space requirements, and conversions of provisions of this newly created section of the ordinance.

Section 13 of the newly amended ordinance is an expanded provision of enforcement of the ordinance, laying out in more detail than the existing ordinance the types of enforcement that may be undertaken by the County when violations of the ordinance occur.

The changes to the newly amended zoning map show where the mixed use districts are located within the County, and properties located therein.

The above is merely a summary of elements of the amendments to ordinance No. 5 and the zoning map of Kanabec County.  A complete copy of the full text of the newly amended ordinance and the newly amended county zoning map is available for review during the regular office hours in the Kanabec County Auditor’s Office, during the regular office hours in the Kanabec County Environmental Services Department, and on the Kanabec County Website at




 Updated 7/16/19