2.4.3 Present Land Use & Land Cover

The upper and lower watersheds are distinctly different in land use and land cover.   The lower watershed is almost completely developed, and the dominant land use is single family residential with scattered commercial and industrial zones and corridors.  Parks and open space are well distributed, and vary in size from neighborhood parks to larger nature preserves.  Figure 10 illustrates land use as of 2000.  Land cover according to the MLCCS (see Figure 11b) is primarily artificial surface and associated areas, dominated by the categories 26-50 percent and 51-75 percent impervious surface. 

Table 14.  Land use in 2000.

Land Use Category

Area (acres)

% of Watershed

Single Family Residential

36,520.1

32.1%

Multi-Family Residential

1,501.3

1.3

Commercial

2,185.3

1.9

Industrial

1,202.0

1.1

Institutional

2,863.1

2.5

Parks and Open Space

13,621.3

12.0

Agricultural

9,507.8

8.4

Transportation

2,447.7

2.2

Water

21,977.1

19.3

Vacant or Undetermined

21,945.0

19.3

TOTAL

113,770.7

 

Source:  Cities as reported to the Metropolitan Council

The upper watershed consists of mainly single family residential in the communities immediately adjacent to Lake Minnetonka, and undeveloped or agricultural uses in the western watershed.  Several large regional parks dominate the upper watershed, including the 4000+ acre Carver Park Reserve in the southwestern area.  Land cover follows land use closely, with the suburban, single-family areas generally 26-50 percent impervious surface.  The undeveloped areas are a mosaic of forest and woodland or wetland, with scattered grasslands and low-impervious artificial surfaces in the areas of clustered low-density housing.