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VC Board Of Adjustment Denies Permit For Carlin Lake Water

Ken Anderson

After more than three hours of testimony yesterday, the Vilas County Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 to uphold county zoning administrator Dawn Schmidt's denial of a permit for the Carlin Club Properties in Presque Isle to pump and transport 18,000 gallons of water a day to a facility in Michigan.

The denial was based on interperting the proposed use would be an expansion of a commercial use not allowed under the grandfather provisions when zoning was changed in 1997 from General Business to R-1 residential.

At the time of the zoning change Carlin Club operated a tavern, supper club, and lodging facilities which could contiue. Attorney John Houlihan and former Natural Resources Board Chair  Trig Solberg argued that DNR, and not the county,  had exclusive jurisdiction over groundwater pumping including removing groundwater from the property. They argued the zoning provisions of General Business were grandfathered to the Carlin Club property, not just the use in place at the time.

Vilas County Corporation  Counsel Jack Albert argued the denial should be upheld since there was “no way 18,000 gallons a day was not a use when zoning changed and should not be a use now.”

Zoning adminsitrator Dawn Schmidt said any selling of bottled water in the past was no longer under grandfather protection since more than one year has gone by. The boards unanimous decision denying the permit could be appealed within 30 days.

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