Jdt1 Task 1

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Lester Smith (Smith) has owned a 20-acre parcel of land in the City of Lilliput, Minnesota since 1980. Seven acres consist of wetland, and on the remaining 13, Mr. Smith has built a large house, a barn, and an outdoor horse-riding arena that he operates as a business. In 2005, Smith decided to build a second barn including an indoor riding arena.
While reviewing the site plan, city staff noticed that the proposed barn was within 75 feet of Smith’s 7-acre wetland. A State of Minnesota statute, adopted in 1985, required government municipalities to establish “a minimum 50 foot buffer as the standard for protecting water quality” in state wetlands. Lilliput enacted this policy, but in 1990 the city increased the size of the buffer to 150 feet from a surface wetland. This was based upon City Council concerns that Lilliput’s heavy farming and cattle ranching could pose a threat to the preservation of the wetlands. During the review process, Smith claimed that a city staff member informed him that the new barn did not qualify as “structure” (under the state and city statute, the buffer zone only applied to structures). However, in final review, the City Council denied Smith’s
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Based on research completed by University of Minnesota soil scientists, the state mandates that every wetland should be protected by a 50-foot buffer zone. The City of Lilliput, a rural town located 30 miles north of St. Cloud, Minnesota, increased the buffer zone to150 feet in1990 within their municipality. The rationale behind Lilliput’s increase was because the town is zoned for predominantly rural uses, i.e. farming and cattle ranching. Due to the animal wasted and farmers’ use of pesticides on their crops, the Town Council felt that increasing the buffer around surrounding wetlands would better protect it from these sources of contamination than would the state minimum of 50
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