Tap the Power

is Power

Publications available from the Theobald Legislative Library

Shoreland Zoning

Compiled by Arden Rice, January 2004

Return to Tap the Power Page

The Wisconsin DNR is examining possible rule changes to the shoreland management and zoning regulations (NR 115). These publications address the issues under consideration.

Changing Wisconsin's Shoreland Development Standards: How You Can Get Involved. Wisconsin Bureau of Watershed Management, 2002. (333.15/W7i) Provides an overview of issues under consideration in the proposed rule changes. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/NR115Brochure.pdf

The Construction, Aesthetics, and Effects of Lakeshore Development: A Literature Review. (Research Report no. 177). Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 1998. (NatR/r/no.177) (noncirculating) Summarizes the findings of 276 publications regarding shoreland management and the environmental effects of shoreland development. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/es/science/publications/PUBL_SS_577_99.pdf

Effectiveness of Shoreland Zoning Standards to Meet Statutory Objectives: A Literature Review with Policy Implications. Wisconsin Bureau of Watershed Management, Dam Safety, Floodplain and Shoreland Section, 1997. (333.15/W7d6) Reviews recent scientific data to determine whether NR 115 regulations are meeting their intended environmental protection goals. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/WT50597.pdf

Floodplain and Shoreland Management Notes. Wisconsin Bureau of Watershed Management, 1994 to date. (NatR/E/f) (noncirculating) This newsletter provides updates to local zoning officials concerning state and federal policies on floodplains and shorelines. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/Flood/oldfpslnotes.htm

Managing Wisconsin's Forested Shorelands: A Landowner's Guide. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2001. (NatR/Water/m) (noncirculating) Outlines regulatory requirements and recommended best practices for managing forested land. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/Wiassn1.pdf

Owning Waterfront Property: A Checklist. Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, 2003. (333.15/W75a) Tips and resources to assist landowners in adopting landscaping, lawn care, and building or remodeling practices that will preserve shoreline habitats.

Proposals to Update Wisconsin's Shoreland Management Program: NR115 Advisory Committee Preliminary Recommendations. Wisconsin Shoreland Management Program, 2003. (NatR/Water/p) (noncirculating) Proposes alternative language for 14 regulatory criteria including such issues as setbacks, lot sizes, and nonconforming structures. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/LS_Proposals.pdf

The Shoreland Friends Guidebook, Vols. 1 and 2. Wisconsin County Code Administrators, et al., June 2000 and April 2003. (333.15/W75/pts.1-2) "A `how-to' guide for County Zoning Administrators and local groups that want to educate new shoreland property owners about shoreland stewardship practices and related regulations." -p. 2. Vol. 2 is a supplement that includes sample educational plans used by 10 Wisconsin counties and the process they went through to develop them. Vol.1: www.uwsp.edu/cnr/landcenter/pdffiles/ShorelandFriends.pdf;
Vol.2: www.uwsp.edu/cnr/landcenter/pdffiles/Shore-Guide.pdf

Shoreland Management Program Assessment. Wisconsin Bureau of Watershed Management, 1997. (333.15/W7d5) Reviews the Program's effectiveness in implementing NR 115 regulations and providing technical support and training for local citizens and officials. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/WT50897.pdf (appendices and index: www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/WT50797.pdf)

The Shoreland Stewardship Series. UW-Extension, 2003. (333.15/W7g1/pts.1-3) http://clean-water.uwex.edu/pubs/shore

No.1: A Fresh Look at Shoreland Restoration
No.2: Protecting and Restoring Shorelands
No.3: Protecting Our Living Shores

Shoreland Zoning. Debbi Conrad and Tom Larson, (Legal Update 98.07) Wisconsin Realtors Association, 1998. (333.15/W751) "This Legal Update examines Wisconsin's shoreland zoning, looks at its history, and overviews the public trust doctrine from which it derives." -p.1. www.wra.org/government/land_use/legal_updates/pdf/lujuly98.pdf

Shoreland Zoning Regulations Do Not Adequately Protect Wildlife Habitat in Northern Wisconsin. Michael Meyer, et al. Wisconsin, Bureau of Integrated Science Services, 1997. (NatR/Land/s) (noncirculating) Reports on the results of surveys examining vegetation, green frog, migratory bird, bald eagle, and common loon populations demonstrating the negative impact of lakeshore development.

Shoreland Zoning Resource Guide: An Annotated Model Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. Wisconsin Bureau of Watershed Management, Dam Safety, Floodplain and Shoreland Section, 1997. (NatR/Water/s) (noncirculating) Based on the DNR's 1985 model zoning ordinance, this manual is supplemented with alternative wording adopted by some counties, that exceed the minimum requirements, and citations to scientific research that support the regulatory criteria. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/annotatedordinance.pdf

Shoreline Protection Study: A Report to the Wisconsin State Legislature. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 1996. (333.15/W7d3) Reports on scientific research conducted to compare the ecological impact of shoreline retaining walls versus the rock riprap that is recommended by the DNR.

The Water's Edge: Helping Fish and Wildlife on Your Waterfront Property. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2000. (333.15/W7d7) Explains how maintaining shorelines in their natural state fosters healthy habitats for fish and wildlife. www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/resources/thewatersedge.pdf

Wisconsin Water Law: A Guide to Water Rights and Regulations. Paul G. Kent and Tamara A. Dudiak. 2nd ed. UW-Extension, 2001. (622.2/W7q1/2001) Chapter 4 summarizes the intent and scope of NR 115 and Wis. Stats. Ch. 30 relating to shoreland development. http://cecommerce.uwex.edu/pdfs/G3622.PDF

"Wisconsin's Shoreland Management Program: An Assessment with Implications for Effective Natural Resources Management and Protection". Tracy K. Kuczenski, Wisconsin Law Review, 1999, no.2, p.273-346. (333.15/K96) Details numerous obstacles faced by DNR specialists and county zoning administrators trying to regulate shoreland development.

Related Web Sites

www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/fhp/papers/p2 - Margin of error? Human Influence on Wisconsin Shores (slideshow).

www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/shoreland - Minnesota Shoreland Management Program (includes resource guide and model ordinance).

www.wisconsinrivers.org - River Alliance of Wisconsin.

www.uwsp.edu/cnr/landcenter/pdffiles/speakerlistshorelandissues.pdf - Speakers List for Shoreland Issues from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Land Use Education Center.

www.uwsp.edu/cnr/uwexlakes - UW-Extension Lakes Program.

www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/fhp/waterway - Waterway and Wetland Permits (information and forms from the Wisconsin DNR).

http://wisconsinlakes.org - Wisconsin Association of Lakes.

www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/news.htm - Wisconsin Shoreland Management Program.

www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/news.htm - Wisconsin's Shoreland Management Advisory Committee (progress on reviewing Wisconsin's minimum shoreland development standards. It includes proposed revisions to NR 115, meeting minutes, forms to submit comments, etc.).

www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/water/wm/dsfm/shore/documents/CaseLawSummaryRevisedJan2001.pdf Zoning case law in Wisconsin (cases relevant to shoreland and floodplain zoning in Wisconsin).


http://govtraining.org/full_event.cfm?EventID=466 - "Growing Communities - Greening Communities: Managing Wisconsin's Shorelands" (distance education workshop offered by UW-Extension for local officials).


(Noncirculating; available for use in the library; clippings prior to 1981 are on microfiche)

  • Coastal/shoreland management: 333.15/Z

BadgerLink: www.badgerlink.net

Search the ProQuest Newspapers and EBSCOhost magazines databases for full text articles. Suggested search words: shoreline development, waterfront development, zoning, nonconforming structure, and building setback.

Legislative Reference Bureau

We bring Knowledge to you

Library Circulation Desk: (608) 266-7040
Research Questions: (608) 266-0341
One East Main Street
Madison, WI 53703

The Legislative Reference Bureau
invites legislators to suggest
topics for future annotated

Serving the Wisconsin Legislature since 1901