Adherence to Shoreland Zoning Regulations

Property rights and Zoning Regulations  ~ Board action: Seaplane statement

Statement on Adherence to Shoreland Zoning Regulations

To ensure that our waterfront property values are not diminished by the degradation of our surface waters, the Bayfield County Lakes Forum (BCLF) has supported reasonable, effective, comprehensive shoreland development regulations that benefit all property owners, the public and our natural resources.  Rules now in place were carefully designed with public input to benefit the majority. These rules were then adopted by the citizens of our county and those chosen to represent them. The BCLF supports our county’s well-crafted shoreland development regulations.

One developer deviating from these shoreland development rules may not, at first appearance, seem to have immediate, significant, negative impact on our public waters. However, studies show that the cumulative impact of many deviant developments results in the degradation of our waters and declining property values for all waterfront property owners.

The Bayfield County Lakes Forum has the utmost regard for the property rights of the individual property owner. But the term ‘property rights’ must also include the rights of all waterfront owner property owners tonot have the values of their properties reduced due to one individual’s intent to deviate from the rules.

Furthermore, because the Wisconsin Public Trust Doctrine assures that our waters are equally owned by all citizens of the State, it is also the right of the public, to not see the quality, health, value and appearance of our surface waters diminished. The BCLF feels strongly that the term ‘the public’ includes all future generations. They, too, have an equal right to enjoy our waters as do we today. This term also includes the many visitors to our area who support our tourism-based economy, essential to our county’s well being.

For these reasons, the Bayfield County Lakes Forum feels it is imperative that all who wish to develop waterfront property must adhere to the shoreland zoning regulations designed to benefit everyone.