Brown County Browser: Planning and Zoning

The Brown County Planning and Zoning Office include a multitude of areas. One of these is Land Use Permits, commonly referred to as building permits. Please come in to our office early in your building planning process if you are thinking of building or moving on a structure out in the rural areas of Brown County. This way we will be able to check out any potential areas of concern prior to your building so you are less likely of being delayed.

Remember if you are selling a property you need to bring a copy of the Compliance Inspection to the closing. Whatever arrangements you make regarding updating the system is up to you as to which party will pay for an upgrade to the system.

We do have low interest loans available for upgrading your existing septic system. The application is a couple of pages and you pay the loan back on your taxes. Interest on the loan is 3.5% with a term of five years and you can pay it off early if you would like.

Livestock manure storage and application can often be a challenging for farmers when weather conditions have not been favorable for land applying. This can lead to pollution problems from livestock manure storage areas such as runoff entering surface waters, or overflowing of manure storage structures. While all appropriate measures should be taken to avoid these pollution risks, keeping in mind proper setbacks when land applying manure is equally important.

If a manure storage structure is at risk of overflowing, farmers can contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, or a County Feedlot Officer, for guidance and information. However, if there is an overflow, farmers must call the Minnesota Duty Officer immediately at (800) 422-0798.

Fall manure application is fast approaching for many feedlots. Being prepared can help make the most of a short window of application if the weather and ground conditions are not cooperating. Ensuring equipment has received needed maintenance will not only keep things moving, but reduce the risk of spills and manure discharge. Keeping a manure management plan can help keep track of fields to receive manure, as well as what rates the manure should be applied at to make the most of the nutrients and your time.

When applying manure, following the minimum application setbacks near sensitive features is required to help protect our surface waters. Incorporating manure within 24 hours will both reduce the distance of the required set back and increase the amount of nutrients available for use by future crops. Surface applying manure without incorporation requires a 300 foot setback to any lake, stream, wetland, and open tile intake.

Along with proper application of manure, keeping records of your application practices is also a requirement of feedlots with 100 or more animal units. Keeping good records is important for better knowledge of manure nutrients being generated by the feedlot and the rates of nutrients being applied to crop fields. Requirements for record keeping vary by feedlot size and application methods. If a commercial applicator applies manure for your feedlot, they must keep a copy of the required records, as well as submit those records to the owner of the feedlot the manure was produced.

Requirements for manure storage and application can be confusing, and at times frustrating when dealing with weather and field conditions. Staying prepared and well informed is important for manure application to go as smooth as possible. For more information regarding manure land application requirements, please contact your County Feedlot Officer, or visit the MPCA website at



Less than two months from the general election. Voters can make application for an Absentee ballot to be sent to them. You can apply online at or feel free to stop by the Auditor-Treasurer’s office or give us a call at 233-6613. We want every citizen to have a vote in this upcoming election.

Ballots should be available for mailing beginning Sept. 21.