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Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Seeks Tougher Shoreland Zoning

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The Oneida County Planning and Development committee is hosting another public hearing Wednesday afternoon on revisions to its shoreland protection ordinance. A local group says the county still could do more to help protect local waters.

When the last state budget was signed into law, it took away much of the provisions in the law allowing counties to have stronger regulations than state minimum protections. All counties then were put under one set of rules. While the action was made toward preserving property rights and standardizing rules, local advocates said it hurts local protections to allow water-rich areas like the Northwoods keep waters cleaner.

Bob Mott is an Oneida County Board member and a member of Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association....

"....we have existing ordinances that will remain in the shoreland protection ordinances, no matter if it's modified to the minimum standards of the state. We would like somebody to be added to the zoning department to go out and make sure those things are happening. If there is soil disturbance going on, we want someone to do a 'pre', 'during', and 'post'...if they have rain gardens...if they have impervious surfaces...we'd like to see that rain garden properly managed...."

The group also has several other requests they would like to see the county either keep or add, including a 200 foot lot size proposal. Mott says that would take pressure off the lake to keep being developed. Runoff from development is said to reduce water quality.

The county meeting is at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday(8/30) in the Oneida County boardroom at the courthouse in Rhinelander.

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