State Senate, Assembly Pass Bills Resulting From Oneida Co. Shoreland Zoning Question

Feb 20, 2020

Indian Lake, Town of Sugar Camp, Oneida county
Credit Indian Lake Association

Both the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly have passed bills that clarify shoreland zoning for towns.

The author of the Assembly version is Representative Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander..

"The Town of Sugar Camp wanted to partially zone some land around their lakes. They went to the county and they both agreed, but there was a question as to whether they could do it. It sounds like they got hold of one of the state's attorneys and the opinion came back kind of gray..."

Municipalities and counties can cooperate under current law to adopt a city zoning ordinance. However, it is not clear whether a town and county can agree to enforce a zoning ordinance in only part of a town, instead of the entire town. These bills say  this is allowed.

In 1987, the county changed the zoning from general use to single-family for an area around Sugar Camp Lake. In 1991, the county permitted landowners on Indian Lake to establish single-family. The Town of Sugar Camp does not have a comprehensive zoning , so the county took the action.

The county sought clarification as to whether the town could have single-family zoning designations around the two lakes.

State Senator Jerry Petrowski of Marathon sponsored the bill in the Senate.