Find Answers to Your Permitting Questions

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Do I need an MCWD permit?

This page provides an at-a-glance summary of activities that require a Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) permit. If you are unsure if your project needs a permit, please fill out the screening tool, refer to the full text of the rules, or contact MCWD at 952-641-4532 or permitting@minnehahacreek.org.

To determine if you are in the MCWD, see our interactive map.

To help you get started, please review the MCWD Permit Process Fact Sheet, which applies to all but wetland permits. Please review the Wetland Permit Process Fact Sheet for wetland-specific application details.

Please note:

Erosion Control:

  • Common projects that may require an Erosion Control permit:
    • Pool installations
    • Landscaping projects
    • Single-family home construction or demolition
    • Home additions
  • Common projects that do not require an Erosion Control permit:
    • Internal home remodels
    • Window or door replacements
    • Small deck projects

Floodplain Alteration:

  • Altering or filling land below the 100-year high water elevation of a waterbody

Wetland Protection:

  • Draining, filling, or excavating of a wetland
  • Any project that already requires a permit under the Stormwater Management or Waterbody Crossings & Structures rule, if there is a wetland on the property
  • Building on undeveloped lots featuring a wetland or tear down/rebuild projects that increases the amount of hard surface

Dredging:

  • Dredging in the beds, banks, or shores of any waterbody

Shoreline and Streambank Stabilization:

  • Altering any shoreline or streambank. This includes riprap, new vegetation for erosion control and stabilization, retaining walls, sheet piling, and boat ramps
  • Placing sand blankets

Waterbody Crossings & Structures:

  • Placing or replacing roads, highways, utilities, or other structures in contact with the bed or bank of any waterbody
  • Building a bridge or related crossing of any waterbody
  • Enclosing a waterbody within a pipe
  • Directional boring underneath a waterbody

Stormwater Management:

  • Work that will change the area of impervious surface or change land contours to alter the drainage ways, increase peak runoff rates, or affect the quality of stormwater flows. This applies to residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, or public land development or redevelopment projects.

Appropriations Rule:

  • All projects within Hennepin County that take up to 10,000 gallons per day and up to 1,000,000 gallons per year of surface water for a nonessential use from:
    • A public water basin or wetland that is less than 500 acres in surface size
    • A protected watercourse that has a drainage area of less than 50 square miles

*Lake Minnetonka is not subject to the appropriations rule

Illicit Discharge:

  • Projects that propose a new direct connection or the replacement of an existing connection to the District’s MS4 conveyance system

How do I create an account and apply for a permit?

Navigate to the online permitting portal

Enter email address and password and select “Sign In”. Or click “Create an account.”

Once logged in, at the home screen, select “Apply for Permit.

How do I use MCWD’s online permitting portal?

In April 2021, MCWD launched an online permitting portal that makes it easier for applicants to apply for, track, modify, and pay for permits in a comprehensive online digital format.

Visit MCWD’s online permitting system

See below for more information on using the online system. If you have additional questions, contact Permitting Staff at permitting@minnehahacreek.org or 952-641-4532.

How do I create an account to apply for a permit?

Navigate to the online permitting portal

Select “Create an account.”

Complete the Account form including name, address and email. 

Check your email for a confirmation email from no-reply@minnehahacreek.org and select “Click Here To Confirm email.”

How do I log into my Minnehaha Creek Watershed District permit account?

Online permitting portal

Enter email address and password and select “Sign In.”

How do I recover my login password?

Navigate to the online permitting portal

Select “I forgot my User ID or Password.”

Enter “Email” and select “Request Reset.”

Check your email for a confirmation email from no-reply@minnehahacreek.org and select “Click Here To Reset Password.”

Enter “New Password” and select “Reset Password.”

How do I message MCWD Permitting staff?

Navigate to “Open Items” section on Home Page and select “See More” for additional details

Select the appropriate permit application to see details and access the discussion board.

Select “click here” to start a discussion with the Permit Technician.

Applicants may enter their message into the text box and upload any necessary files.

How do I change/update my account information?

Select the  icon in the upper left corner of the Permit Application home page to access more options

Select “My Profile.” Here, applicants may manage their account info and update their password.

When will I get my permit?

The time required to receive a Minnehaha Creek Watershed District permit is contingent upon the complexity of the project, need for public comment, need for review by an MCWD engineer, and the quality and completeness of submitted materials.

The following timeline is a general guide for processing permit applications:

MCWD staff must respond to the applicant on the status of the permit application within 15 business days of receipt. In this response, staff will inform the applicant of any missing materials or will issue the permit if all required materials have been received. For most efficient service, please gather all relevant materials in advance of contacting MCWD. The 15-day response period resets if materials are missing from permit applications.

MCWD will act within 45 days of receiving a complete application and set of exhibits in compliance with the submittal requirements of these rules, as determined by MCWD.

  • Permit applications that require engineer review, Wetland Conservation Act review, or public notice can take up to the entire 45 days
  • Permits that do not require engineer review, Wetland Conservation Act review, or public notice  can be processed more quickly

These fact sheets lay out the general timeline for obtaining a permit:

  • All permits except wetlands and fast-track permits
  • Wetland permits

These application checklists provide specific guidance for MCWD’s permitting rules:

See the Procedural Requirements rule for a full explanation of district permitting procedures.

Am I required to pay a fee with my permit application?

Permit Fees

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) requires a $10 submission fee for a permit application. The following additional fees apply to various MCWD services.

The MCWD Board of Managers has approved the following fee schedule:

  • District Professional Staff: $70.07/hour
  • District Administrative Staff: $50.74/hour
  • Consulting Engineer/Technician: Contracted rate
  • District Counsel: Contracted rate
  • Permit Application Fee: $10.00
  • Wetland Buffer Signs: $2.85
  • Black and White Photocopy Costs: $0.25/page + actual staff time
  • Color Photocopies: $1.00/page + actual staff time
  • Electronic Records: cost of production

Important Notes:

Please make credit card payments through MCWD’s online permitting portal. Checks can be mailed or dropped off at the MCWD office. Cash will not be accepted.

MCWD expenses for postage, mailing labels, contracted services, and other miscellaneous services will be billed at cost. The permit application fee applies to all permits. No fees of any kind will be charged to any agency of the United States or any governmental unit or public entity in the State of Minnesota.

How do I renew my permit?

To renew a permit:

  • Submit a written request for renewal to the MCWD within one year of the date of permit issuance using our Application for Permit Renewal
  • Submit any changes or updates on the project timeline or plan

MCWD permits are valid for one year from the date of issuance. No fee is charged for permit renewal. Please contact MCWD Permitting staff with questions.

Am I allowed to transfer my permit?

Permit Transfer

Download the Application for Permit Transfer to apply for the transfer of an existing MCWD Permit to a new property owner. Plan revisions since the original permit issuance must accompany the Application for Permit Transfer.

Important Note:

The Application for Permit Transfer is a legal document and original signatures of both parties of the permit transfer are required. The form can be mailed or dropped off at the MCWD office with all required supplemental documents. Please contact MCWD Permitting staff with questions.

How do I check the status of my permit?

Navigate to the online permitting portal

Enter email address and password and select “Sign In.”

Navigate to “Open Items” section on Home Page and select “See More” for additional details.

How do I make a payment?

Navigate to the online permitting portal and sign in.

Select the  icon in the upper left corner of the Permit Application home page to access more options

Select “Make a Payment” and follow prompts to pay fees.

Please note: MCWD also accepts checks. Please send checks to the MCWD office: 15320 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345.

How do I get support from MCWD for my permit application?

E-mail permitting@minnehahacreek.org or call 952.641.4532

Where can I find additional resources and reference materials?

Here is a selection of relevant publications and resources: