Background on Proposed Shoreland Ordinance Change In Iron County, WI
Iron County’s current shoreland zoning ordinance contains some limits on shoreland development in Iron County. The ever-changing view from our lakes is a good indicator that the County’s ordinance allows owners many opportunities for development. But the zoning ordinance can also limit the most intense and harmful development. It is a balance that has helped retain the character of our lakes that we all appreciate. These shoreland zoning controls will become increasingly important to maintaining the Northwoods character of our lakes as development pressure continues to increase.
At its February 2022 meeting, the Iron County Zoning Committee considered a change to the County’s shoreland zoning ordinance to allow for increased shoreline development at the request of Gateway Lodge. The developer did not receive approval to construct 4 additional rental houses on a 75’ wide, 1-acre shoreland parcel, resulting in 5 rental houses and a parking lot on a 1-acre parcel on the shore of the Turtle Flambeau Flowage (see the figure below). In lieu of seeking a variance or appeal for the project, the developer asked the County to change the countywide ordinance in a way that would allow the development. This change would impact all lake and riverfront properties throughout Iron County.
Projects of this magnitude can significantly increase building density, degrade the character of the waterbody, and cause unnecessary conflict among neighbors. They are not permitted under the current ordinance. The proposed ordinance change would allow this level of development in these situations.
Shoreland owners should be aware of these potential changes and consider what it could mean for their lakes and properties. If individuals or groups want to provide comments on an ordinance change that permits greater levels of development, they should contact the Iron County Zoning committee members and the Iron County Zoning Administrator. Most importantly, there will be additional public zoning committee meetings where individuals or groups can participate. The next Iron County Zoning Committee meeting is scheduled for March 15 in Hurley. Your voice at these meetings can help guide county elected officials to make sound decisions to protect our lakes.
Contacts: Iron County Zoning Committee, contact information can be found here:
Zoning Committee Chairman: Mr. Patrick Hanson
Ms. Anne McComas
Mr. Brandon Snyder
Mr. Thomas Thompson
Mr. John Sendra
County Board Chairman: Mr. Joe Pinardi 715-561-4145
Iron County Zoning Administrator: Erika Roeder, 715-561-5414, firstname.lastname@example.org