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home : news : news April 29, 2016

7/18/2014 9:18:00 AM
Input sought on shoreland zoning rules

Should flat-roof boathouses be allowed in Oneida County? How should pier regulations be enforced?

A new online survey has been launched to gather feedback on those and other questions about county regulation of boathouses and piers.

The survey went live this week after several months in development, according to county Zoning Director Karl Jennrich, whose department developed the survey.

Survey participants will be asked for basic identifying information in addition to questions about the shoreland regulation issues.

The survey marks at least the second time the county has sought public input on shoreland zoning rules. Last July, after a lengthy public hearing, the county's Planning and Development Committee voted to allow construction of new boathouses with flat roofs, and to authorize horizontal expansion of decks 40 feet or more from the ordinary high water mark.

But the proposals stalled, and officials have returned to the drawing board.

The county was waiting for months on the state Department of Natural Resources to comment on the boathouse change. When the DNR approved ordinance language allowing flat-roof boathouses, some supervisors claimed the county had not heard a wide variety of perspectives about the proposed changes.

In December, the county board sent the boathouse proposal back to the committee amid debate over the propriety of the July public hearing, and whether the county should restrict how close to the water boathouses can be placed.

The county’s University of Wisconsin-Extension office partnered with zoning officials to build and launch the web surveys, the first time the county has used such technology for zoning issues, according to Jennrich.

“I’m kind of excited,” Jennrich said. “We’re hoping with this new online method that it will hopefully reach out to more people. I think if it works we may be doing it a lot more in the future.”

Feedback from the surveys will be used to draft changes to the county’s shoreland zoning ordinance, which will then have to go to another public hearing. Even after the hearing, the public will still have an opportunity to offer comment, Jennrich said.

To take the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NDT9S6S.

The survey will be accessible through August 15.

Jonathan Anderson may be reached at janderson@lakelandtimes.com.

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