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2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
April 15, 2015 - Introduced by Representatives Jacque, Spreitzer, Born, Jarchow,
Kahl, E. Brooks, Tittl, Loudenbeck, Ripp, Kolste, Billings, Murphy, Kulp,
Rohrkaste, Doyle, Allen, Bernier, Danou, Thiesfeldt, Novak, Krug,
Murtha and Macco, cosponsored by Senators Gudex, Ringhand, Olsen,
Lassa, Cowles, Vinehout, Lasee, Roth and Wirch. Referred to Committee on
State Affairs and Government Operations.
AB165,1,2 1An Act to create 60.61 (3r) and 60.62 (5) of the statutes; relating to: town
2zoning ordinances affecting shorelands.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, a county must enact a shoreland zoning ordinance for all
shorelands in its unincorporated area and the ordinance must meet shoreland
zoning standards established by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by
rule. Current law defines a shoreland to be an area within a specified distance from
the edge of a navigable water.
Current law also provides that if an existing town ordinance relating to
shorelands is more restrictive than a later enacted county shoreland zoning
ordinance, the town ordinance remains in effect to the extent of the greater
restrictions, but not otherwise.
In Hegwood v. Town of Eagle Zoning Board of Appeals, 2013 WI App 118, N.W.
2d 111, the Wisconsin Appellate Court held that a town has no authority to regulate
shorelands unless the town enacted an ordinance before a county shoreland zoning
ordinance was enacted regulating the same shorelands. The court held that in that
case, the town ordinance continues in effect only to the extent that it is more
restrictive than the later enacted county shoreland zoning ordinance.
This bill provides that a town, with certain exceptions, may enact a zoning
ordinance, consistent with its existing zoning authority, that applies in shorelands.
The bill also specifies that a town zoning ordinance may not impose restrictions or
requirements in shorelands with respect to matters regulated by a county shoreland
ordinance affecting the same shorelands. The bill does not change current law which

provides that a town ordinance that is in effect before a county shoreland zoning
ordinance takes effect and that is more restrictive than the county shoreland zoning
ordinance, continues to apply to the extent of the greater restrictions.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB165,1 1Section 1. 60.61 (3r) of the statutes is created to read:
AB165,2,32 60.61 (3r) Zoning in shorelands. (a) In this subsection, "shorelands" has the
3meaning given in s. 59.692 (1) (b).
AB165,2,54 (b) A town may enact a zoning ordinance under this section that applies in
5shorelands, except as provided in par. (c).
AB165,2,116 (c) A town zoning ordinance enacted under this section may not impose
7restrictions or requirements in shorelands with respect to matters regulated by a
8county shoreland zoning ordinance enacted under s. 59.692 affecting the same
9shorelands, regardless of whether the county shoreland zoning ordinance was
10enacted separately from, or together with, an ordinance enacted under s. 59.69,
11except as provided in s. 59.692 (2) (b).
AB165,2 12Section 2. 60.62 (5) of the statutes is created to read:
AB165,2,1413 60.62 (5) Zoning in shorelands. (a) In this subsection, "shorelands" has the
14meaning given in s. 59.692 (1) (b).
AB165,2,1615 (b) A town may enact a zoning ordinance under this section that applies in
16shorelands, except as provided in par. (c).
AB165,3,217 (c) A town zoning ordinance enacted under this section may not impose
18restrictions or requirements in shorelands with respect to matters regulated by a
19county shoreland zoning ordinance enacted under s. 59.692 affecting the same
20shorelands, regardless of whether the county shoreland zoning ordinance was

1enacted separately from, or together with, an ordinance enacted under s. 59.69,
2except as provided in s. 59.692 (2) (b).
AB165,3,33 (End)
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