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Chapter 20. Shorelands-Wetlands

Sec. 20-02. Definitions.

(1) For the purpose of administering and enforcing this chapter, the terms or words used in this chapter shall be interpreted as follows:Words used in the present tense include the future; words in the singular number include the plural number; words in the plural number include the singular number. The word "shall" is mandatory, not permissive. All distances, unless otherwise specified, shall be measured horizontally.

(2) The following terms used in this chapter mean:

Accessory structure or use means a detached subordinate structure or a use which is clearly incidental to, and customarily found in connection with, the principal structure or use to which it is related and which is located on the same lot as that of the principal structure or use.

Class 2 public notice means publication of a public hearing notice under ch. 985 Wis. Stats. in a newspaper of circulation in the affected area. Publication is required on two consecutive weeks, the last at least seven days prior to the hearing.

Conditional use means a use which is permitted by this chapter provided that certain conditions specified in the chapter are met and that a permit is granted by the planning commission.

Department means the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Development means any manmade change to improved or unimproved real estate, including, but not limited to, the construction of buildings, structures or accessory structures; the construction of additions or substantial alterations to buildings, structures or accessory structures; the placement of buildings or structures; ditching, lagooning, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations; and the deposition or extraction of earthen materials.

Drainage system means one or more artificial ditches, tile drains or similar devices which collect surface runoff or groundwater and convey it to a point of discharge.

Environmental control facility means any facility, temporary or permanent, which is reasonably expected to abate, reduce or aid in the prevention, measurement, control or monitoring of noise, air or water pollutants, solid waste and thermal pollution, radiation or other pollutants, including facilities installed principally to supplement or to replace existing property or equipment not meeting or allegedly not meeting acceptable pollution control standards, or which are to be supplemented or replaced by other pollution control facilities.

Navigable waters means all streams, sloughs, flowages and other waters within the territorial limits of this state which are navigable under the laws of this state. Under 281.31(2)(d) Wis. Stats., notwithstanding any other provision of law or administrative rule promulgated thereunder, shoreland chapters required under 62.231 Wis. Stats. and chapter NR 117, Wis. Admin. Code do not apply to lands adjacent to farm drainage ditches if:

  1. Such lands are not adjacent to a natural navigable stream or river;
  2. Those parts of such drainage ditches adjacent to such lands were not navigable streams before ditching; and
  3. Such lands are maintained in nonstructural agricultural use.

Ordinary high-water mark means the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of surface water is so continuous as to leave a distinctive mark such as by erosion, destruction or prevention of terrestrial vegetation, predominance of aquatic vegetation, or other easily recognized characteristic.

Planning agency means the city plan commission created under 62.23(1) Wis. Stats., a board of public land commissioners or a committee of the city's governing body which acts on matters pertaining to planning and zoning.

Shoreland-wetland district means the zoning district, created in this shoreland-wetland zoning chapter, comprised of shorelands that are designated as wetlands on the wetlands inventory maps which have been adopted and made a part of this chapter.

Shorelands means lands 1,000 feet from a lake, pond or flowage. If the navigable water is a glacial pothole lake, this distance shall be measured from the high-water mark of the lake.

Unnecessary hardship means that circumstance where special conditions, which are not self-created, affect a particular property and make strict conformity with restrictions governing area, setbacks, frontage height or density unnecessarily burdensome or unreasonable in light of the purposes of this chapter.

Variance means an authorization granted by the board of appeals to construct or alter a building or structure in a manner that deviates from the dimensional standards of this chapter.

Wetland alteration means any filling, flooding, draining, dredging, ditching, tiling, excavating, temporary water level stabilization measures or dike and dam construction in a wetland area.

Wetlands means those areas where water is at, near or above the land surface long enough to support aquatic or hydrophytic vegetation and which have soils indicative of wet conditions.

(Code 1982, 27.01(8))