The DNR has been holding statewide hearings on a proposal that would revamp basic restrictions on lot sizes and building set-backs on shoreline property. Waterway Protection Chief Mary Ellen Vollbrecht says they've been dealing with a lot of confusion at those meetings. She says there are two main issues that keep coming up, where people have apparently heard bad information about the proposal.
The first deals with set back requirements for buildings on waterfront property. Vollbrecht says many people claim to have heard the DNR wants to increase those set back from 75 feet to 300 feet. She says the proposal would not change that distance at all.
The other major concern deals with impervious surface areas on waterfront property. Many owners are worried the changes will prevent them from expanding any structures. The new requirement would limit areas where building, patios, and similar surfaces to 20 percent of the overall property. However, Vollbrecht says property owners will be able to expand those surface areas if the project includes activity to protect habitat and water quality.
The rules are being rewritten in response to decreasing water quality and the harm caused to natural habitats by larger shoreline developments.