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Shoreland Zoning Laws Follow State's More Relaxed Standards

Pixabay.com GuentherDillingen

For many years, the State of Wisconsin allowed counties to make rules that were stricter than state law regarding shoreland zoning issues.

In 2015, the legislature passed Act 55, which prohibited the counties from enacting shoreland zoning rules stricter than state statutes. This week, the Oneida County Board discussed making it's pier rules conform with the much more relaxed state standards.

Supervisor Bob Mott questioned if the county was eliminating language that had been enforced locally for many years concenring piers...via Zoom he asked county Planning and Zoning Director Karl Jenrich....

(Mott) "I think we're turning over the regulation to the state, is that correct?...(Jenrich) That is correct. Oneida county would have no regulations in place to enforce, so therefore, the state regulations would be the regulations in control..."

While Oneida county had enforced action against illegal piers , Jenrich says all that now has been turned over to the Department of Natural Resources.

Supervisor Scott Holowinski, who chairs the Planning and Development committee, said courts have determined counties can't regulate piers so the county rules changes were brought forward to clean up the codes. Corporation Counsel Brian Desmond affirmed this...

"If a pier qualifies for a DNR exemption from requiring a permit, an individiual permit under the DNR's regulations, we cannot regulate that pier..."

The board passed the changes in the rules.

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