After more than two hours debate, the Oneida county board failed to pass a resolution rejecting stronger DNR rules concerning non-porous or impervious surfaces. Those surfaces are roofs and sidewalks. Runoff water from those surfaces near lakes and rivers concern scientists about water pollution. Property rights advocates say the rules go too far telling owners what they can do with their land.
The vote tied at 10 with one supervisor absent, meaning the resolution died, not getting a majority.
Public testimony found citizens involved in water groups opposed to the resolution including Kathy Noel from Sugar Camp...
"...when we establish impervious surfaces on our properties, we decrease the abilities of our shorelands to serve their natural functions..."
Jean Roach, who lives on Pelican Lake, says a study showed more homes, more runoff, could hurt that lake..
"....the most important conclusion of that study is the number one threat to the health of Pelican Lake is over development, with its increase of impervious surfaces along the lake shore..."
Karl Fate from the town of Crescent said the water is a tremendous resource that needs a vision of the future...
"....but I'm compelled to point out our lakes are natural resources that belong to everyone and that we are obligated to protect them into perpetuity so they are in reasonable the same condition when we pass them on to future generations..."
Bill Liebert from Rhinelander and Newbold is an architect who said the stronger state rules would stop most people from developing their properties as it did in the past...
"....when Oneida county, in it's history, created these impervious surfaces(rules)on a county basis, probably 80 percent of the work that I got involved in in remodeling completely stopped..."
A deeply divided board tied at 10 votes for and against, meaning the advisory resolution failed.