Local move may ripple up and down St. Croix Valley

LAKELAND, Minn. (AP) — A local zoning change could test Minnesota’s ability to regulate development along the scenic St. Croix River.

The Lakeland City Council this week approved plans for a house about 14 feet from the river bluff despite objections from the state Department of Natural Resources and the St. Paul suburb’s own planning commission.

The decision puts the city on a potential collision course with the DNR, which has threatened to sue.

DNR area hydrologist Molly Shodeen says each variance from rules protecting the St. Croix weaken the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. She says the DNR is waiting to review the city’s final decision and findings of fact before it decides whether to pursue legal action.

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