Madison, WI – On Friday, Governor Evers signed Senate Bill 867 into law, which was championed by Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk). This bill, which passed through the legislature with strong bi-partisan support, makes changes to shoreland zoning laws regarding viewing corridors and bridge construction.

Viewing corridors for lake-front property, under current statute, are permitted to be 35ft for every 100ft of shoreline frontage. The purpose of this statute was to allow land owners to have a beautiful view of the lake they are residing on, while requiring that a vegetative buffer zone be maintained as well. Due to the unclear language of the statute, counties asked for clarification, as the current interpretation of the law requires at least 100ft of shoreline before a viewing corridor is allowed. This bill allows a riparian landowner to create an access and viewing corridor that is 35% of their shoreline or 10ft, whichever is greater.

“One of the greatest natural resources we have in Wisconsin are the thousands of lakes spread throughout the state. These lakes provide prime locations for homes and cabins, where it’s only natural to want a view of the tranquil waters you live on. This commonsense, bi-partisan bill provides clarity in our laws, and protects the rights of the landowner to enjoy their property to the fullest.”

This bill also adds bridges that have received a permit from the DNR to the list of structures that may be built within the 75-foot shoreland zoning setback area – putting county and local bridges on the level as state bridges, which are already exempt.

SB 867 was signed into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 200.

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