Early January State Hearings on Our Waters

From Wisconsin Lakes December 23rd Lakes Policy Report

Early January public hearings highlight two bad bills for our waters
AB603 further erodes shoreland zoning protections, while AB600 makes wholesale changes to cherished Wisconsin water laws

The new year starts out with a bang as two important water law bills are up for public hearings. AB603, which takes the state further along the course set by the Act 55 changes to shoreland zoning, cuts further into county local control, subjects the state shoreland zoning standards to political whim, and deregulates even more structures close to the water. Its public hearing is January 6.

Meanwhile, AB600 strips some waters, especially some wetlands, from protection under the public trust, gives away state owned lake bed, allows annual dredging by waterfront property owners to the tune of several dump trucks full, and more. Its public hearing is January 5.

You can voice your opinion by attending the public hearings (see the notices below) or contacting your legislators directly.


Notice of Public Hearing on AB 603

  • Wednesday, January 6, 2016
  • 10:00 am
  • Wisconsin State Capitol
  • Room 417 North

This bill, introduced by Rep. Adam Jarchow:

  • Codifies a number of shoreland zoning standards into the statutes, subjecting them to political whim,
  • Increases the types of structures close to the shore that can be repaired, replaced, and reconstructed without approval, fee, or mitigation requirement, and
  • Strips yet more local control from counties by forcing them to use “setback averaging”, reducing their ability to prevent construction within 75′ of the waterline if structures exist within the setback on adjacent properties.



Notice of Public Hearing on AB 600

  • Tuesday, January 5, 2016
  • 12:00 pm
  • Wisconsin State Capitol
  • Room 417 North

This bill, part of two “property rights” bills introduced by Sen. Frank Lasee and Rep. Adam Jarchow would make significant changes to Wisconsin water law. Specifically, the bill would, in part:

  • Shorten the list of waters protected by the public trust doctrine,
  • Giveaway state-owned lake bed that has been filled for a period of time,
  • Allow individuals to remove without an individual permit a certain amount of lake bed each year (up to 3 dump trucks full, per property!),
  • Change the rules on when and how citizens can challenge DNR permitting decisions impacting waters, including disputes over pier placement and other actions,
  • Increase the amount of development in wetlands,
  • Reduce oversight of rip rap, sea walls, and piers,
  • Reduce the amount of shoreland areas DNR can designate for special protection as “areas of special natural resource interest” or ANSRI.

Wisconsin Lakes continues to analyze this bill. Watch wisconsinlakes.org for more information.



For more information..

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