State High Court To Review Newbold Zoning Case

Jun 23, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers
Credit Wikimedia Commons Royalbroil

The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has accepted a zoning case from the Town of Newbold for review.

At issue is whether towns may regulate minimum lot sizes in their shoreland areas without regard to state shoreland zoning standards through their subdivision authority.

The District III Court of Appeals held the statute providing towns authority to enact subdivision ordinances is “separate and distinct” from its zoning powers. The Appeals Court also said the fact that the minimum lot size subdivision ordinance covers the same regulatory ground as a similar zoning ordinance does not curtail the town’s subdivision power.

The case involves a denial by the Town of Newbold in Oneida County to Michael Anderson’s request to divide his roughly 360 feet of shoreland property on Lake Mildred into two parcels. In taking the case, the State Supreme Court will review whether Newbold's Land Division Standards is granted under state statutes.

The other question is whether  the Legislature intent was to set new shoreland protection rules to state shoreland standards, and to not defer to municipalities.