Lakeshore Development

Property ownership along Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake carries with it the responsibility to protect the lake from degradation. In an effort to help ensure that the qualities that you enjoy most about Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake are maintained, the City of Whitefish began implementing a lakeshore construction permit program in the 1980s.


The Whitefish Lake and Lakeshore Protection Regulations govern work within the Lakeshore Protection Zone. The purpose of these regulations is to protect the fragile, pristine character of Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake.

Visit this website to view Title 13 - Whitefish Lake and Lakeshore Protection Regulations.


Anyone proposing work in Whitefish Lake or Lost Coon Lake, or on the land within 20 horizontal feet of the mean annual high water elevation, must have a Lakeshore Construction Permit prior to beginning work.

The following are examples of work for which a permit is required:

  • Any clearing or removal of native vegetation over 3 inches in diameter
  • Constructing a patio, deck, stairway, or balcony
  • Constructing retaining walls
  • Excavating
  • Filling, including the addition of gravel to a beach
  • Installing a dock, shore station, boat rail system, boat ramps or buoy
  • Installing water lines, sewer lines, or other utility lines or facilities
  • Landscaping
  • Operation of any equipment in the lakeshore protection zone except for winter removal of a dock
  • Placing or replacing riprap
  • Reconstructing or replacing any existing facilities
  • Stockpiling or burning of brush, construction materials, or debris
  • Any other work, not herein mentioned, that may have an impact on the lake, lakebed, or lakeshore

Obtaining Permits

The property owner is responsible for assuring that a permit has been obtained. Work commencing without a permit is a violation of the Lakeshore Protection Regulations and is turned over to the City Attorney for prosecution.

If you are unsure whether a permit is required for the work you propose, contact Dave Taylor with the City of Whitefish Planning Department at 406-863-2412.


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