Last month, on Tuesday, March 15, the Long Lake City Council approved a motion to authorize the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol unit to issue a seasonal use permit to the Long Lake Rowing Crew for the use of Long Lake in 2022.

This is a move that the Long Lake council has approved for a number of years without issue.

Along with issuing the permit to LLRC, Long Lake asked the Water Patrol for a copy of the permit for its records.

When the city didn’t receive a copy of the permit, Long Lake followed up with the Water Patrol asking again for the copy.

On Friday, April 1, Long Lake received an email from HCSO Water Patrol Lieutenant Bret Cline stating that no permit is required for the rowing crew’s activities, according to statute.

After review by city staff and the city attorney, it was determined that the Water Patrol’s decision was correct and that no permit was needed for the LLRC to conduct training and practices on the lake.

A permit would be only required if they wanted to hold a regatta, tournament or trail runs on Long Lake.

“We had always been given direction from administrative staff at water patrol that this type of organized event that they operate with programmed training and practices would require a permit,” Long Lake City Clerk Jeanette Moeller said.

With that new information, the council was advised that the LLRC’s hours of operation remain in effect for any activities they conduct out of their physical location at Birch’s; but there is no permitting oversight that would prohibit them from launching additional shells and coaches’ boats from any other public or private launch on the lake to run practices outside of the conditional use permit hours.

For further clarification, the city invited Cline to its Tuesday, April 19 city council meeting to learn more about the Water Patrol and how it operates and the work it does at Long Lake.

Cline told the council that since 2014, the Water Patrol has had 102 calls for service on Long Lake, with 14 of those calls coming during the last two summers in 2020 and 2021. In those 14 calls, only one was about the LLRC.

Cline continued, saying his office logged 16.5 hours on Long Lake in 2020 and 2021. He put that in perspective by saying his office patrols 41 other lakes in Hennepin County and they patrolled those lakes for total of 448 hours or an average of 10.9 hours per lake (Cline said those numbers do not include Lake Minnetonka).

With those numbers presented to the council, Cline said Long Lake is getting busier and his office is aware of that.

“We are going to put more emphasis on Long Lake this summer, as much as we can, in the hopes that the more we are seen that we might deter some of the outside people on the lake,” Cline said. “If we have more of a presence out here that will keep some of the stuff at bay. If anybody sees any problem on Long Lake, call 911. Don’t call our office number - it’s not manned 24 hours a day. The email address isn’t watched 24 hours a day either. So if something emergent is happening on the lake or something is not right, we want you to call 911, so we will get a deputy here to handle the problem as its happening so they can make their best assessment.”

In other city council action, the council approved two special use permits to Red Rooster Bar and Restaurant and Carbone’s Pizzeria for temporary outdoor patios from May 1, 2022 to Oct. 1, 2022.

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