Agricultural Programs
Clean Sweep 2024
Comprehensive Planning
Environmental Education
GIS - Geographic Information System
Green Bay West Shore Demonstration Farm Network
Hiking Trails
Invasive Species
Lake Associations
Land & Water Conservation
Mar-Oco Landfill
Non-Metallic Mining
Plat Book
Property Listing
Town Ordinances
User Fees
Wildlife Damage
- NE Wisconsin Region CDBG Housing Program
- New Shoreland Zoning Regulations
- Lot Size
- Structure Setbacks
- Earth Moving Activities
- Removal of Shoreline Vegetation
- Wetlands
- Shoreland Restoration
- Contact Us
- Forms & Documents
Structure Setbacks

Development in shoreline areas often causes erosion, disturbs fish and wildlife habitat and detracts from the natural appearance of the shoreline. In order to minimize these effects, shoreland ordinances require that structures be set back from the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) and have a set minimum distance for the side yards.

Minimum building setbacks from the OHWM were developed to provide space for a stretch of undeveloped land along the shoreline to be used as a buffer. Shoreline buffers protect many facets of lakes and streams including water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and natural scenic beauty. Setbacks from other lots and roads were developed to enhance privacy, prevent conflicts with neighbors, and for safety.

Measurements shall be horizontal and shall be taken from the various setback locations to the closest part of a structure (i.e. overhang, deck, stairs)

Structures from OHWM:
  • Structures 75 feet
  • Open sided structure (200 sq ft max) 35 feet if natural shoreline vegetation exists or shoreline habitat is restored

    Boathouses from OHWM:
  • Boathouses shall be located landward of the OHWM (ordinary high water mark)
  •  The maximum wall height of a boathouse shall not exceed eight (8) feet and the maximum roof pitch shall not exceed a nine (9) to twelve (12) with a minimum roof pitch of three (3) to twelve (12) and the eve shall not exceed twenty (24) inches. Boathouses shall not be larger than two hundred fifty (250) square feet. Boathouses shall have a minimum ten (10) foot side yard. Boathouses shall be located within the view/access. One (1) boathouse within the shoreland setback zone is permitted per lot or tax parcel.

    Lot Lines:
  • 10 ft min; Sum of both side yards equal to 25 ft. or more
  • 75 ft min for any structure not associated with residential use

    Use the greater of the centerline or right of way setback listed.
  • Town roads: Centerline 63 feet Right of Way 30 feet
  • County highways: Centerline 75 feet Right of Way 42 feet
  • State & federal highways: Centerline 110 feet Right of Way 50 feet

    Septic Systems:
  • Buildings : Tank 5 feet Drainfield 10 feet
  • Lot line: Tank 2 feet Drainfield 5 feet
  • Wells/Surface Water: Tank 25 feet Drainfield 50 feet

    Alterations to Existing Structures
    Any alteration, addition, or improvement made to a structure could cause conflicts with zoning goals such as protecting water quality, habitat, or natural shoreline aesthetics.

  • a permit is required before most buildings or other structures are built, enlarged, altered, or moved.

  • A permit is also required before any change in use of an existing structure.

    Nonconforming Structures & Uses
    Nonconforming: Existed prior to a change in the zoning code and do not conform to the current code may be altered as stated below after obtaining a county zoning permit.

    Non-Shoreline Setback Nonconformities
  • Principal structures can be maintained and improved internally without limitation
  • Principal structures may be expanded, provided they don't exceed 32 feet in height, the dimensional nonconformnity is not increased.
  • Accessory structures are limited to ordinary maintenance and repair.

    Shoreline Setback Nonconformities
  • Accessory structures that are nonconforming can be maintained, replaced, restored, rebuilt, or remodeled provided the activity does not expand the footprint.

    Principle Structures located 0 - 35 feet from OHWM
  • Unlimited internal modifications, improvements and repairs.
  •  A principal structure which is nonconforming as to shoreline setback and which is located within thirty-five (35) feet of the ordinary high water mark may not be expanded horizontally, but may be maintained, replaced, restored rebuilt and remodeled or expanded vertically provided: Such modification does not enlarge the footprint, change the location or increase the height of the structure to greater than 35 feet as measured from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point of the structure.  Razing of a structure or any portion of a structure shall require a Razing Permit in accordance with S21.11 (3).  You may apply for a Razing Permit at the Land Information Department.

    Principle Structure located 35 - 75 feet from OHWM
    That portion of a principal structure which is nonconforming as to shoreline setback and which is located at least thirty-five (35) from the ordinary high water mark may be improved, reconstructed or expanded vertically in accordance Chapter 21 - Shoreland-Wetland Zoning, and may be expanded horizontally or relocated after obtaining a County zoning permit provided:  Any horizontal expansions within the setback area shall be limited to a maximum of two hundred (200) square feet over the life of the structure and no portion of the horizontal expansion may be any closer to the ordinary high-water mark than the closest point of the existing principal structure. Such expansion shall comply with all side yard and road setbacks. Any portion of a horizontal expansion in excess of two hundred (200) square feet shall comply with all setbacks as required by section 21.06 of Chapter 21 - Shoreland-Wetland Zoning. In addition, mitigation equivalent to a five (5) percent reduction in the impervious surface area of the lot or parcel shall be completed in accordance with S21.055 (4) (Ord 414 11/13/18).

    No principal structure shall be relocated within the shoreland setback area until a determination is made by the County Zoning Administrator that no other location is available on the lot or parcel for a structure of a comparable size (same square footage) that will result in either full compliance or improve compliance with the setback requirements of this chapter.  The footprint of that portion of the structure which is relocated within the shoreland setback area may not exceed that portion of the structure which is being relocated.  No portion of the replaced, reconstructed or relocated structure shall be located any closer to the ordinary high-water mark than the closest point of the existing structure.  A plan to mitigate , in accordance with Section 21.07 (5) of Chapter 21 Shoreland-Wetland Zoning, for the adverse effects of the shoreland setback nonconformity shall be implemented concurrently with the relocation of any structure, if any portion of the structure remains within the shoreland setback area.