Development Services

General Zoning

1. Who do I contact with zoning questions within the  City of Marshfield?

Contact the Associate Planner (Zoning Administrator) at 715-486-2077, or visit the Development Services Department, located at  City Hall, 207 W 6th Street, Marshfield, Wisconsin, 54449. 

2. How do I find out the zoning of my property?

You can find out how your property is zoned by calling the Associate Planner, visiting the department offices, or using the City’s internet GIS application.

3. What are my building setbacks and yard requirements?

A building setback is the required distance  that a building (structure) must be located from the property lines. Typically, setbacks and yard requirements are determined by your zoning classification; therefore, you would need to verify the zoning of your property.

4. Do I need a permit for a fence?

Yes, a building permit is required for a  fence and there are height restrictions. Generally, the height of a fence in residential districts is restricted to six (6) feet in the side and rear yards. If the fence will be in any part of the front or side street side yard, you should contact the Zoning Administrator for details on height and design restrictions.

5. Can I file an appeal from the decision of the Zoning  Administrator or request a variance to Zoning Ordinance requirements?

Yes. Any decision or determination made by the Zoning Administrator may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Appeals when it is alleged that there was an error made by the Administrator. In addition, the Board may grant dimensional or area type regulations of the zoning ordinance  when complying with the ordinance would create an “unnecessary hardship”. An application for an appeal or variance request may be obtained on the  department’s web page or at the Development Services Department office. Applications must be complete and include the required filing fee before the application will be accepted.

6. Can I operate a business from my residence?

Yes, under certain limitations. Detailed information must be provided to the Zoning Administrator to determine if the home-based business qualifies under the zoning provisions.

Zoning Complaints & Inspections

The City of Marshfield’s zoning ordinance helps protect property values by preventing the location of  incompatible uses in close proximity to one another, and by requiring certain design standards for various uses.  The ordinance regulates the location, height and bulk of structures, the percent of lot coverage, setbacks, off-street parking and driveway design standards, development density and the uses of buildings, structures and land within the city limits.

1. Who enforces the zoning ordinance?

The Associate Planner is the Zoning Administrator (ZA) for the City of Marshfield and is required by law to enforce violations of the zoning ordinance. 

2. How are violations discovered?

There are four ways that the Zoning Administrator generally becomes aware of a violation:

Direct Observation - The Zoning Administrator notices some building or development that was not permitted. For example, the Zoning Administrator may drive by a house and see a new porch or garage that was built without a permit.

Complaint - A good number of violations are brought to the attention of the Zoning Administrator by a neighbor or other interested citizen who calls to complain.

Site Visit - The Zoning Administrator may discover a zoning violation during a site visit to the property.

Landowner - Landowner's may discover a zoning violation, prior to the sale of a property. Some title companies require as-built surveys, and review and verification by the Zoning Administrator to determine if the property is in compliance with zoning regulations. Zoning violations could affect title to property.

3. Who do I notify if I suspect a zoning violation?

Call the Associate Planner (Zoning Administrator) at 715-486-2077 and explain the nature of your complaint.  You must provide the address where you believe the violation is occurring.  Complaints  can also be submitted in writing to: Associate Planner, City of Marshfield,  207 W 6th Street, Marshfield, WI 54449.

4. Do I have to give my name?

Only give your name if you want to be notified of the inspection results. 

5. Can I call back for results of inspection?

Yes. You must provide the address and request the results of the zoning inspection.

6. What will happen if a zoning violation is found?

The owner or tenant will be issued a notice of violation.  This notice will set the compliance date by which  all violations should be corrected. If the violations are not corrected by the  compliance date, a court citation may be issued.  In certain circumstances, a court citation may be issued immediately.