NRB Approves Shoreland Zoning Changes

Dec 12, 2013

Grindstone Lake, Sawyer county

The state Natural Resources Board has approved changes in Wisconsin's shoreland protection laws that a DNR spokesperson says make them better for landowners.

The state updated the regulations in 2010 for the first time since the 1960's. The changes were met with resistence by local zoning administrators who said they were going to be costly and difficult to implement.


Russ Rasmussen, an administrator in the DNR's water division, says the update clarifies hard surface regulations concerning runoff. He outlines the changes...

"....we introduced the idea that in some highly-developed areas that provides for some increased imperiousness(hard surface) in highly developed areas. An example of that in your area would be Minocqua. And in that area it would make it easier a little easier to apply and easier to administer in areas such as that..."

The approved rule changes also allow more options for expansion of "nonconforming" homes closer than the currently required 75-foot setback from the shoreline.

The current rule limits expansion to expanding vertically in the same footprint. The rule changes allow some sideways expansion as well.

The board also acted to extend to 2016 the deadline for counties to adopt the changes in their ordinances or adopt more protective standards. The rules must now go to the governor and legislative committees for review.