Do you have a question about one of these issues?
How far from the property line must a fence be placed?
The Hutchinson Zoning Ordinance allows fences in all districts to be built up to, but not on, the property lines except on corner lots.
Where can a utility shed be placed in my yard?
No accessory building may be placed in front of the principal building. Utility buildings in residential districts shall not exceed 200 square feet and shall be 6 feet or more from all lot lines of adjoining lots and shall not be located within a utility easement.
Is there a requirement regulating sizes of detached garages?
Yes, the Hutchinson Zoning Ordinance states detached garages may not exceed 1,500 square feet. Garages exceeding 1,000 square feet may be allowed with a Conditional Use Permit.
Am I allowed to build a pole type building on my property?
Pole buildings may be permitted only if siding and roofing and building materials are similar to the principal structure. Pole buildings may be allowed only by Conditional Use Permit.
Why are there requirements for measurements from my property line?
Setback requirements protect the property owner from major encroachments on or near their property. Setbacks also ensure proper room for utility and street uses and drainage.
Does my property line begin at the curb?
Not necessarily. The street right-of-way determines where the property line begins. In most cases, the property line is setback 10 feet from the curb. This is a general “rule of thumb”. However, there could be more or less right of way depending on the area of town.
Are there requirements regulating signs and do I need a permit?
Yes, there are sign requirements regulating signage in the City of Hutchinson according to zoning districts.
Can I subdivide my property?
The answer to this question is dependent upon several elements, including zoning of the property; size of the parcel; availability of roads, sewer and water; etc. Platting procedures will help explain the process. It is best to contact the Planning Department at (320) 234-4258 or (320) 234-4203 for more information.
How long does it take to get a Conditional Use Permit or Variance approved?
It will take 6 weeks. Due to advertising deadlines we must have your application into the Planning Department on or before the third Friday of the month to be placed on the following month agenda.
What are the seatbelt laws for child seats?
Rear Facing Seat:
- Infant only or rear-facing convertible seats
- Newborn to at least 1 year old and 20 pounds
- May stay rear-facing longer in convertible seat up to 30-50 pounds
Forward-Facing Seath (with a Harness):
- Convertible or Combination seat 1 to 4 years old
- A child who is both under the age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches is required to be fastened in a child safety seat that meets federal safety standards. Under this law, a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height and weight rather than their age
What is Curfew for the City of Hutchinson?
Minors ages 16 years to 18 years. No minor of the ages of 16 or 17 years shall be in or upon the public streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds or other public grounds, public places, public buildings; nor in or upon places of amusement, entertainment or refreshment; nor in or upon any vacant lot, between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. the following day, official city time.
Minors under the age of 16 years. No minor under the age of 16 years shall be in or upon the public streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds or other public grounds, public places, public buildings; nor in or upon places of amusement, entertainment or refreshment; nor in or upon any vacant lot, between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. the following day, official city time.
Effect on control by adult responsible for minor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to give a minor the right to stay out until the curfew hours designated in this section if otherwise directed by a parent, guardian or other adult person having the primary care and custody of the minor; nor shall this section be construed to diminish or impair the control of the adult person having the primary care or custody of the minor.
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the following situations:
- To a minor accompanied by his or her parent or guardian, or other adult person having the primary care and custody of the minor;
- To a minor who is upon an emergency errand at the direction of his or her parent, guardian or other adult person having the primary care and custody of the minor;
- To a minor who is in any of the places described in this section if in connection with or as required by an employer engaged in a lawful business, trade, profession or occupation; or to a minor traveling directly to or from the location of the business trade, profession or occupation and the minor’s residence. Minors who fall within the scope of this exception shall carry written proof of employment and proof of the hours the employer requires the minor’s presence at work;
- To a minor who is participating in or traveling directly to or from an event which has been officially designated as a school activity by public or parochial school authorities; or who is participating in or traveling directly to or from an official activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the city, a civic organization, school, religious institution or similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor and with the permission of the minor’s parent, guardian or other adult person having the primary care and custody of the minor;
- To a minor who is passing through the city in the course of interstate travel during the hours of curfew;
- To a minor who is attending or traveling directly to or from an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of assembly or freedom of religion;
- To a minor on the sidewalk abutting his or her residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor does not complain to the city’s designated law enforcement provider about the minor’s presence; or
- To a minor who is married or has been married, or is otherwise legally emancipated.
Can I drive my snowmobile on city streets?
Only if you are NOT within the “downtown area” and are on the most direct route from your residence to the nearest departure point from the City or appropriate snowmobile trail.
You can view snowmobile regulations, along with the snowmobile ordinance, at the City of Hutchinson web site.
Can you tell me what the road conditions are?
We do not always have the most up-to-date road conditions, especially in areas outside of the city limits. Please call 1-511 or go to Mn/Dot’s Traveler Information Service
How often is the water tested?
The amount of testing varies with the parameters being tested. Some are tested daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.
Why do I have low or no water pressure?
Low water pressure can occur for a number of reasons. The most common is when you have multiple plumbing fixtures running at the same time. Another common reason is your water softener. The screen on water softeners can plug or an old water softener resin tank can rupture. In these cases, placing your water softener into “bypass” should restore water pressure. Other reasons include a valve in your home partially or completely closed by accident, galvanized pipes with mineral deposits, a water leak in your service line, or frozen pipes, meter, or water service line.
What is the hardness of the City water?
Hutchinson tap water averages 7 grains per gallon, or 121 milligrams per liter of total hardness.
Do I need a water softener?
This is a personal preference. Typically, a water softener will reduce the hardness to nearly 0 grains per gallon.
How do I set my water softener?
Setting water softeners to the appropriate hardness (7) will save on salt consumption and other costs to soften the water. Another benefit is that less salt ends up in the wastewater eventually requiring treatment at the City's Wastewater Treatment Facility. Some water softeners automatically track water quantity usage and water hardness and will self-adjust without the homeowner having to do a thing. But many models require a manual adjustment based on water hardness and the amount of water used. The necessary settings depend not just on water hardness, but also on the brand and model of water softener equipment and how much water is being used. Homeowners can realize a significant savings by changing the softener settings to match the water quality. Most owner manuals include a table of recommended settings and it’s best to start there. Contacting the manufacturer’s technical service representative is also a good way to get the information you need. If you have a rental unit it is best to call the supplier and ask them to reset the softener unit to match the water quality.
How are water meter readings conducted?
Water meter readings are gathered the last business day of each month. The meter in your home is connected to a transmitter that sends a reading to receivers located on the city’s north and south water towers. The reading is then uploaded to utility billing software. Each transmitter has a unique identification number that is transmitted along with the meter identification number and meter reading. The unique identification number is compared electronically to your account record to ensure that the meter reading received matches the meter assigned to your account.
I’m getting new siding on my house, what should I do with the water meter transmitter?
Make sure that the transmitter is not thrown away or lost, they are expensive! The water reading transmitter is a beige colored box about 5 inches square with a small wire connected. Most siding companies know how to uninstall the transmitters and reinstall them on the new siding. If there are any problems or questions with the transmitters, please call the water department at (320) 234-4222.
Why is my water bill so high?
First you must recognize that your water bill contains many fees other than your water charge. If you look carefully you’ll probably see that the water is probably the smallest part of your bill. More important is to look at the monthly usage for water. The most common causes for high water usage are leaky toilet tanks, watering, and personal water usage habits. If you feel your usage is abnormal contact the Water department at (320) 234-4222.
How can I read my own water meter?
You might need a flashlight to get a good look at your water meter. Your water meter is located inside your home usually in the basement utility room near the water softener or water heater. For homes without a basement, the meter could be in a pit or crawlspace under the floor or in a utility room. Look for a pipe coming though the floor, usually on the street side of the house. The meter will have numbers that you can read just like a car odometer. If there is a “stationary” zero, it’s for the single digits and is read from the dial. New water meters will have a digital readout of your water meter reading right to the 1/100th of a gallon!
How can I find out if I have a water leak in my home?
Record the numbers on your water meter just before you go to bed. Then, do not use any water during the night. Anything that might use water automatically needs to be turned off, including irrigation systems, icemakers, humidifiers, water softeners. Read the meter again in the morning. If the meter numbers have changed, there is a leak after the meter. The most common leaks are due to toilets. A bad flapper valve will let water leak from the tank to the bowl. If you can hear the toilet running or need to jiggle the handle to get it to stop running after you flush, your flapper valve is hung up or you have a worn out flush valve. The tank could also be filling past the overflow and down the drain. Sometimes you cannot hear the leak.
How do I shut off water inside my house?
You can find your main shutoff valve by your water meter. Your water meter is located inside your home usually in the basement utility room near the water softener or water heater. For homes without a basement, the meter could be in a pit or crawlspace under the floor or in a utility room. Look for a pipe coming though the floor, usually on the street side of the house. The meter will have a dial with numbers or will have digital numbers. The meter will also have a small arrow indicating direction of flow thru the meter. Most properties will have a shutoff valve before the meter and a shutoff valve after the meter, some properties will only have one shutoff valve. It’s a good idea to know where these valves are because these are the valves you would close if a pipe breaks in your house or if you need to shut water off to do any plumbing in your house. If the valve has a circular handle, it’s a gate valve which usually takes several turns to fully close. If the valve has a rectangular or straight handle, it’s a ball valve which only takes a quarter turn to fully close.
What if water is leaking at the meter connections, the valve before the meter, the pipe coming thru the floor, or out in my yard?
Between 7 am and 3:30 pm on weekdays, contact the water department at (320) 234-4222. After hours or on weekends, contact the police dispatch at (320) 587-2242.
Who is responsible for repairing or replacing the property’s water service line?
Under City of Hutchinson policy, the property owner is responsible for the water service line from the water main in the street up to the water meter in the property. This includes, but is not limited to, the stand pipe, curb stop valve, shut off valves in the building, service line leaks, and frozen service lines. Customers will be notified of a leak by city staff verbally, by information delivered to the property, or by letter. City staff will attempt to stop the leak by closing the curb stop valve. If the service leak can be stopped by closing the curb stop valve, the customer must repair any leak in the service line at their expense. If the service leak cannot be stopped by closing the curb stop valve, the city will initiate repair of the service. Costs of $0 to $4,000 for repair of the service leak will be covered 100% by the city. Levels of covered repair costs may be adjusted periodically. The City of Hutchinson maintains the water meter at no cost to the property.
What should I do about calls and letters offering insurance for my water service line?
These offers are not at all associated with the city. It’s your choice on whether or not to pay for this insurance. Keep in mind that service line leaks between the water main in the street and the curb stop valve in your yard are already covered up to $4,000 by the city. Also, be sure to check on any exclusions or limitations on these insurance offers. Between 7 am and 3:30 pm on weekdays, contact the water department at (320) 234-4222. After hours or on weekends, contact the police dispatch at (320) 587-2242.
Why does the City add chlorine and fluoride?
Fluoride is required by the State as a deterrent to tooth decay. There is naturally occurring fluoride in the City’s water and a small amount is added to bring the fluoride level to 0.7 parts per million. Chlorine is added as a disinfectant safeguard. Should any contaminant accidentally enter the water system, we try to keep at least 0.5 parts per million free chlorine residual throughout the distribution system to protect the water. Chlorine also prevents the water quality from degrading as it remains in the distribution system.
Why do we sometimes see rusty water?
The reddish water comes from the iron build up inside the pipes that distribute the water. As the water remains in contact with the pipe the natural corrosion causes “rust” which occasionally will release into the water. Hydrant flushing or increased hydraulic flow in the water system can also cause this. There is no harmful health effect from the iron in the water.
Why do we sometimes see cloudy or milky water?
The cloudy, milky water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. If you fill a glass with the water you will see the water clearing up from the bottom as the bubbles rise to the surface of the water and into the air. This type of cloudiness usually happens when there has been some repair or maintenance work on the water distribution system and some air gets trapped in the water mains. City crews flush any air in the water mains out thru fire hydrants. But if the air is in your service line or home plumbing, letting the water run for 5 – 10 minutes should clear up the water. If the problem persists, call the water department at (320) 234-4222.
Is there arsenic or radon in the water?
The levels of natural occurring arsenic and radon are well below federal standards.
What are some of the water issues for the future of Hutchinson?
The City of Hutchinson is continually striving to meet the challenges of maintaining and replacing infrastructure along with working to provide the highest quality water and service.
Do I need a home water treatment unit in my house?
It depends on the reason you are purchasing the unit. If you are purchasing the unit on the assumption that you will be drinking safer water you will probably be making an unnecessary purchase. If you’re buying the unit because you think the water just tastes better, then it is a matter of personal choice. You should however realize that the units are not maintenance free and an improperly maintained treatment unit can be a potential health threat to the consumer. If you are shopping for a home treatment unit also realize the broad treatment capabilities and costs of different units. Deal with a reputable vender and look for NSF or UL certification.
What’s in Hutchinson’s water?
There are numerous natural occurring elements in the water. Water is not simply H2O.
Is our water safe?
The City of Hutchinson is bound by State and Federal drinking water regulations. The Minnesota Department of Health has primacy over all federal drinking water regulations and monitoring. This means that the USEPA has given the Minnesota Department of Health the authority and enforcement responsibility to oversee the federal drinking water rules in addition to State rules. The City of Hutchinson meets all current and anticipated federal standards.
What should I do if my sewer backs up?
Call the City Wastewater Maintenance department (320) 234-4492 or (320) 234-4233.
Contact us prior to calling your plumber if you are experiencing issues with your sanitary sewer service or your sewer backs up. Collection System personnel will check to see if the city section of the sewer collection system is flowing readily and free from obstruction.
If you have an emergency after 3:30 pm weekdays, you may call the Public Works Emergency Line at (320) 234-4272 (Police Dept.) to report an issue.
Are the Sanitary and Storm Sewer lines separated or combined?
They are separated. The sanitary sewer collection system directs wastewater to our main lift stations and then to the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Stormwater runoff is commonly transported through municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), and then treated prior to discharge into local water bodies. Examples of stormwater treatment practices include source reductions, sand filters, infiltration basins and trenches, rain gardens (bioretention), dry ponds, wet ponds, constructed wetlands, filter strips, swales, wet vaults, and underground sedimentation practices.
What part of the sanitary sewer line is the city responsible for?
From the point where the resident's line connects to the city's main collection lines, all the way to the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The property owner shall be responsible for the sewer line from the building to the main sewer line.
Who regulates what you discharge into the river?
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to regulate the manner and performance of wastewater discharges to the surface waters.
What are Biosolids?
Biosolids are the nutrient rich organic by-product of wastewater treatment. Biosolids is a specific term to describe only those wastewater solids that meet the most stringent state and federal regulations and are, considered safe for use as a fertilizer and as a soil amendment to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. We currently have several sites that have been approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for land application. If you are interested in becoming a certified site, call (320)-234-4233.
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