Boathouse square footage among issues addressed at public hearings
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Oneida County residents had three opportunities this week to have their say on proposed changes to the county’s zoning and shoreland protection ordinance.
The county’s Planning and Development Committee, which has been going through the planned changes with the county’s planning and zoning department, held public hearings Monday at the Woodruff Town Hall, Wednesday in the Three Lakes Town Board Room and Thursday in the County Board Room of the Courthouse in Rhinelander.
The changes in the county ordinance are being made in response to revisions in state law, for which counties that currently have shoreland zoning ordinance standards more restrictive than established in the applicable state law and regulations can no longer enforce the stricter standards.
County planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich said many of the comments received from lake association members related to the allowable square footage for boathouses in the county. He noted the county is able to regulate the size of boathouses under the revisions in state law, but can’t prohibit them outright.
The proposed language in the zoning amendment would limit the maximum size for new boathouses at 720 square feet, which is down from the 1,008 square feet backed last year by a majority of County Board members. Jennrich noted lake association members who commented on boathouses found 720 square feet still too large for those structures in the interest of water quality protection.
Committee members plan to discuss the comments they received when they meet March 15 and decide whether to make any revisions to the shoreland zoning changes being considered. Though that meeting would have a public comment period on the agenda, Jennrich said that wouldn’t be for the purpose of holding another public hearing.
Once the committee would agree on the changes to be made, Jennrich said the proposed ordinance amendment would be sent to the full County Board for final approval, unless county corporation counsel Brian Desmond would determine any changes made in the proposed language are significant enough to require another public hearing to be held.