Environmental Group Puts Out Alarms On Legislation

Jan 6, 2016

Credit en.wikipedia.org

The League of Conservation voters has sent out a memo to its members opposing legislation now being debated in the Wisconsin legislature.

Executive Director Kerry Schumann says there are seven pieces of legislation that are of concern to them, bills she says favors special interests over the public. One deals with the use of Wisconsin lake beds and a variety of shoreland zoning issues, Senate Bill 464....

"....allow developers to develop into lake beds, for free, and restrict our access to the lakes. In so many ways it's just saying the waters are not in the public trust, it's just a handout to developers...."

Supporters of the legislation say it makes laws easier to enforce and expands property rights along Wisconsin waters. Opponents have said it will eventually make the waters dirtier by allowing more development. The Wisconsin Assembly this week is considering a bill which Schumann says codifies what was placed in the state budget by the Joint Finance Committee... "

....it basically takes the next step to codify what they wanted to do in the state budget ..."

Counties had been allowed to put greater zoning restrictions than less stringent state regulations. The budget bill eliminated county regulation, leaving it to DNR guidelines. Schumann says she was also concerned about a state Senate bill allowing for developers to be able to develop on lake bed property and restrict access, contrary to Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine in the state Ccnstitution.