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New Dane County shore land rules irk Madison builders

By Paul Snyder

Dane County’s Lakes and Watershed Commission will hold public hearings next week on a new shore land management plan designed to create uniform erosion control rules between municipalities.

Brian Standing, senior planner in the county’s Planning & Development Department, said federal, state and county ordinances do a good job protecting water quality from major developments, such as subdivisions. But the reason for the new rules is to provide environmental protections on construction or redevelopment of single lots throughout Dane County.

The rules would require, among other actions, erosion control plans for building or remodel projects within a shore land zone, a 75-foot setback distance from shorelines on urban water and a limitation on removing vegetation within 35 feet of a shoreline.

But many of the rules coincide with existing county rules or the new development rules being worked on by the state Legislature and the Department of Natural Resources, and builders argue the county’s action is unnecessary.

“This is not an unregulated business,” said Kent Disch, government affairs director for the Madison Area Builders Association. “Builders have guidelines they need to follow at federal, state, county, city, village and town levels that already create a pretty jumbled mess. I don’t know that this is going to do anything more.”

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