Recent Legislation Affecting Lakes
Quoting from an article in Lake Tides, the publication of Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, in June, “the Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Walker rolled back decades of shoreland zoning by making wholesale changes to shoreland zoning law in the state budget. A package of changes (known as Act 55) inserted into the budget, well after the point of public comment, stripped counties of the ability to enact or enforce shoreland zoning provisions stricter than state minimums, weakened regulations of the repair or reconstruction of non-conforming structures, and more.” Under the new law, counties may not enact ordinances stronger than the state’s shoreland zoning standards in NR115. Lake and river associations, county governments and lake districts around Wisconsin are challenging repeal of this law, which has been in effect since the sixties. A letter from a coalition of lakes groups was delivered to the Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin Legislature in July, in opposition to this change. The lakes group is continuing to work with Wisconsin Lakes Partnership to work on revoking the changes and restoring the original legislation. The Douglas County Association of Lakes and Streams (DCALS) is in support of this effort and has donated money to assist the organization leading the challenge. If you are interested in the details of this critical legislation, it is available online at http://www.wisconsinlakes.org/index.php/state-budget-act-55-rollback-of-shoreland-zoning. If you would like to help more, contact your legislative representative to reverse the Act 55 changes.