shoreland zoning

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Oneida County Land and Water Conservation has received grant money to help shoreland landowners preserve their shorelines and in so doing help preserve water quality.

County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas says the grant is for $40,000 from the Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection for lakeshore restoration projects.

The property owner partner with the county to preserve up to 35 feet from the shoreline....

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The Oneida County Planning and Development committee is hosting another public hearing Wednesday afternoon on revisions to its shoreland protection ordinance. A local group says the county still could do more to help protect local waters.

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A local water advocate says a public hearing this week in Rhinelander is an opportunity to be heard on shoreland zoning changes.

Wednesday, Oneida County Planning and Development is hosting the hearing at the county courthouse to hear input on changes to it's shoreland protection ordinance. Counties have complained that they lost the right to put stronger restrictions on shoreland protection after the legislature stripped the counties of that, instead saying a uniform and less restrictive DNR code would be established.

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A state legislator has floated the idea of making shore land zoning optional and that idea has raised alarm bells.

Republican Representative Adam Jarchow offered a proposal to be inserted into the currently-debated budget bill that would make shore land zoning optional for Wisconsin counties. The Wisconsin Counties Association also supports the bill.

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One Oneida County board supervisor is asking  supervisors on the Planning and Development committee to defy a state mandate concerning shoreland zoning.

In 2015, the legislature's Joint Finance Committee included in the budget a provision rolling back local county protections on shoreland zoning to a standard size that applies across all counties, be they with few lakes or more than a thousand like Oneida county. State Senator Tom Tiffany at the time said it was a move to make it easier to regulate shoreland zoning by the state.

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Oneida County Planning and Development committee held three public hearings last week on the complex changes to the county's shoreland zoning ordinance.

Prior to the last state budget, the counties were allowed to have shoreland zoning rules stronger than what were considered minimum state regulations. Those rules cover everything from structure proximity to the shoreline to boathouses to height of buildings and much more. When the change happened in the last two years, the counties were ordered by the state to get their rules to conform to the less stringent state regulations.

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Oneida County Lakes and River Association hopes the public comments on proposed changes in the county's shoreland zoning ordinance this week.

During the last budget cycle, the legislature stripped the counties of being able to regulate shoreland zoning beyond weaker state rules.

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Public comments on changes in the Vilas County shoreland zoning ordinance as a result of Act 55 which reduced minimum lake frontage, expanded viewing corridors, and allowed both expansion and upgrading non-conforming structures had both supporters and opponents Monday before the county zoning committee.

Mary Platner of St. Germain said Act 55 was a step backward in protecting the lakes in Vilas County. She wants a return of local control to the county and to show the rest of the state how to be a leader in protecting lakes.

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A Sugar Camp resident is presenting the results of a study he did in cooperation with Oneida County Land and Water Conservation and the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association.

"The Economic Value of Lakes and Rivers in Oneida County" was authored by Sugar Camp resident Dave Noel. Noel gives us some highlights of his studies...

Noel will give the presentation next month to the Oneida County Board of Supervisors. Here is a link to the study.

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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....

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The Vilas County Board tabled a resolution which would have put a six month moratorium on all land division within areas regulated by shoreland zoning.

The state budget changed local regulation, allowing looser state codes, and taking away tougher county enforcement.

At Tuesday's meeting, Zoning committee chair Ken Anderson asked the resolution be withdrawn. He says they want to look at the subdivision ordinance, including the shoreland regulations, then take them to the public.

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Governor Walker approved changes in regulating shoreland zoning as part of the budget bill.

Those changes caused an uproar in the lakes-heavy Northwoods as local units of government were forbidden from regulating beyond looser state rules, especially in prohibiting dividing lake lots.

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Conservationists say a small buffer on shorelines go a long way to preserving water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife.

Native vegetation along the shore acts as a buffer zone, intercepting nutrients and reducing runoff, erosion, and sedimentation. Aquatic plants provide food and shelter for ducks, songbirds, and other wildlife. Oneida County has a cost sharing program to help pay for the lakeshore buffer work.

County Conservationist Jean Hansen says funders would like to reduce runoff....

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Yet another expression of displeasure with a state budget action to restrict counties from regulating shoreland property.

Last week the Oneida County Board voted to ask the legislature to remove language in the budget bill changing the state's shoreland zoning regulations.

Proponents, like Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, said it helped regain property rights and gave the rules uniformity, as all counties would follow less-stringent DNR guidelines.

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The leader of a state lakes group says opposition is mounting to a change in Wisconsin's shoreland zoning rules.

The budget signed by Gov. Walker eliminated county control of shoreland zoning, instead reverting to less restrictive state rules. This produced blowback from the Vilas and Oneida county boards who voted by wide margins to oppose the changes, fearing more development and lower water quality.

Recently the Plum Lake Association in Vilas County said they were working toward revoking the change.

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