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Proposed Large Boathouses In Vilas County Defeated

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A proposal to allow large boathouses on certain Vilas County lakes was defeated by the Vilas County board of supervisors recently after a long debate. Only 12 of 21 supervisors were present.

Only four supervisors favored the idea to allow boathouses up to 720 square feet if placed at least 35 feet from lakes 500 acres or larger; eight supervisors voted against.

It was determined about 52 lakes of the 549 named lakes in Vilas County would meet or exceed 500 acres.

The proposal had its beginnings when developer Glenn Schiffman indicated he had about a half dozen landowners with large boats that could not be accommodated by the present 300 square feet boathouse limit at lease five feet from the water. Other conditions should large boathouses be allowed would be only on lots with at least 150 feet of frontage, placed at least 20 feet from side lot lines, could only be 24 feet in width, placed parallel to the water, no other structures within 10 feet, could not be on sloops greater than 20%, and a principal building has to be on the lot. In addition a mitigation plan would have to be approved prior to any building permit being issued.

County board chairman Ron DeBruyne stated the proposal was in the hands of the board and no public comments would be allowed since a public hearing had been held by the zoning committee. Schiffman was in the audience and wanted to make a comment but was cut off by DeBruyne who called for a roll call vote. The proposal was defeated  with eight against and four in favor.

Supervisors voting against were Todd Acterberg, Marv Anderson, Jerry Burkett, Bob Hanson, Ron Kressin, Tom Mauson, Erv Teichmiller, and Ron DeBruyne. Voting for were supervisors Steve Doyen, Charles Rayala, Kim Simac, and Jay Verhulst.

Of the nine supervisors who were absent, five were excused for travel and four for medical reasons.

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