Feed for /2013/related/proposals/ab655 PDF
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2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
January 24, 2014 - Introduced by Representatives Sanfelippo, Craig, Kooyenga,
Kapenga, Kuglitsch, Knodl, Skowronski, Pridemore, Tauchen, Krug,
Rodriguez, J. Ott, Sinicki and Zepnick, cosponsored by Senators Vukmir, L.
Taylor
, Grothman and Schultz. Referred to Committee on Jobs, Economy
and Mining.
AB655,1,2 1An Act to repeal and recreate 30.2038 of the statutes; relating to:
2establishing the shoreline of Lake Michigan in the city of Milwaukee.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill fixes and establishes the shoreline in the city of Milwaukee (city) in
accordance with an agreement entered into in 1913 (agreement of 1913) between the
Chicago and Northwestern Railway company and the city. The bill provides that this
shoreline constitutes the boundary line between the lake bed of Lake Michigan and
land that is not part of the lake bed of Lake Michigan. The bill specifies than any
restrictions or other conditions imposed on the use of land or conveyance of land
under various enactments of the legislature conveying a part of the lake bed of Lake
Michigan do not apply to land located to the west of the shoreline as established
under the bill. The bill provides that a person may challenge the shoreline boundary
as established under the bill only by bringing an action in court for a declaratory
judgment.
The bill also makes legislative findings and declarations with respect to the
authority of the legislature to act as representative of the state in exercising the
function of trustee of the public trust in navigable waters established under article
IX, section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution. The bill contains other findings that
describe land conveyances under the agreement of 1913 and under various other
legislative enactments and that describe other activities that occurred after 1913 to

establish that the shoreline in the city of Milwaukee is as described in the agreement
of 1913.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB655,1 1Section 1. 30.2038 of the statutes, as created by 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, is
2repealed and recreated to read:
AB655,2,10 330.2038 Milwaukee shoreline established. (1) (a) The shoreline of Lake
4Michigan in the city of Milwaukee is fixed and established to extend from
5approximately the line of East Lafayette Place extended easterly on the north to the
6present north harbor entrance wall of the Milwaukee River on the south as specified
7in an agreement between the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company and the
8city of Milwaukee recorded with the office of the register of deeds of Milwaukee
9County on April 23, 1913, in volume 662, pages 326-330, as document number
10762955.
AB655,2,1311 (b) The shoreline described under par. (a) constitutes the boundary line
12between the lake bed of Lake Michigan and land that is not part of the lake bed of
13Lake Michigan.
AB655,2,19 14(2) Any restrictions, conditions, reverters, or limitations imposed on the use of
15land or conveyance of land under chapter 358, laws of 1909, chapter 389, laws of
161915
, chapter 284, laws of 1923, chapter 150, laws of 1929, chapter 151, laws of 1929,
17chapter 516, laws of 1929, chapter 381, laws of 1931, chapter 76, laws of 1973, 1985
18Act 327
, and any other act conveying a part of the lake bed of Lake Michigan do not
19apply to land located to the west of the shoreline described under sub. (1) (a).
AB655,3,2 20(3) A person challenging the boundary as described under sub. (1) (a) may do
21so only by bringing an action under ch. 841. The person bringing the action under

1ch. 841 has the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the
2boundary is not as described under sub. (1) (a).
AB655,2 3Section 2. Nonstatutory provisions.
AB655,3,44 (1) In this Section:
AB655,3,65 (a) "Agreement of 1913" means the agreement described in section 30.2038 (1)
6(a) of the statutes, as affected by this act.
AB655,3,77 (b) "City" means the city of Milwaukee.
AB655,3,88 (c) "Railroad" means the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company.
AB655,3,129 (2) The legislature declares that the state is the trustee of the public trust
10established under article IX, section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution and that the
11legislature is authorized as representative of the state to exercise the function of the
12trustee of that public trust in matters of specific application.
AB655,3,1613 (3) The legislature finds that the best available evidence confirms that the
14boundary line established under section 30.2038 (1) (a) of the statutes, as affected
15by this act, is the location of the natural and historical shoreline of Lake Michigan.
16The legislature further finds all of the following:
AB655,3,1917 (a) That this state, Milwaukee County, the city, and residents of this state have
18relied on this boundary line since the execution and recording of the agreement of
191913.
AB655,3,2120 (b) That since 1913 the city has placed extensive fill on the lake bed easterly
21of the entire length of this boundary line.
AB655,3,2322 (c) That since 1913 all land lying westerly of the boundary line has been
23conveyed by deed, including by deeds conveyed by this state to Milwaukee County.
AB655,3,2524 (d) That some of the parcels of land lying immediately west of the boundary line
25are owned by private parties.
AB655,4,3
1(e) That the boundary line has been explicitly recited by the legislature in
2chapter 150, laws of 1929, chapter 151, laws of 1929, and in subsequent enactments
3of the legislature.
AB655,4,84 (f) That the department of natural resources and the U. S. Army Corps of
5Engineers have prepared comprehensive maps of the lake bed grants to the city that
6concern the city harbor and lake shore of Lake Michigan, all of which depict the
7shoreline as described under section 30.2038 (1) (a) of the statutes, as affected by this
8act.
AB655,4,109 (g) That this state, Milwaukee County, and others have relied on those maps
10in determining their respective rights.
AB655,4,1411 (4) The legislature finds that the agreement of 1913 included a transfer from
12the city to the railroad of a small area of land that was submerged and connected to
13Lake Michigan at the time the agreement of 1913 was executed. The legislature
14further finds all of the following:
AB655,4,1715 (a) That this submerged area of land was located between approximately
16Mason Street on the north and Chicago Street on the south and extended
17approximately 100 feet eastward of the breakwater that existed at that time.
AB655,4,2018 (b) That the railroad built a new breakwater or seawall enclosing this
19submerged area between 1913 and June 1915, that the area was filled, and that the
20area has been upland since that time.
AB655,4,2421 (5) The legislature finds that the submerged area described in subsection (4)
22is not lake bed of Lake Michigan because it had become or shortly would have become
23upland owned by the railroad by the process of accretion. In support of this finding,
24the legislature further finds all of the following:
AB655,4,2525 (a) That the railroad owned the riparian land abutting the submerged area.
AB655,5,4
1(b) That maps show that in 1913 the city had erected a timber cribbing
2projecting several hundred feet into Lake Michigan along a line at approximately
3Wisconsin Avenue extended, and the city was filling in lake bed north of this timber
4cribbing.
AB655,5,75 (c) That later maps show extensive accretion caused by the buildup of alluvion
6south of the timber cribbing as a result of the effects of this cribbing on natural wave
7action.
AB655,5,98 (d) That the city installed rubble mound breakwaters in the lake bed east of the
9submerged area causing further accretion.
AB655,5,1210 (6) If a court finds under section 30.2038 (3) of the statutes, as affected by this
11act, that the submerged area described in subsection (4 ) was lake bed of Lake
12Michigan, the legislature declares all of the following:
AB655,5,1813 (a) That the legislature has the authority as representative of the trustee of the
14public trust in navigable waters to convey a nominal area of lake bed to a private
15party for private purposes if such conveyance furthers the public trust and the
16conveyance is not for a private purpose but is part and parcel of the larger scheme,
17purely public in its nature, as declared by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in City of
18Milwaukee v. State of Wisconsin, 193 Wis. 423 (1927)
.
AB655,5,2519 (b) That the conveyance of lake bed by the city to the railroad under the
20agreement of 1913 was a conveyance of a nominal area of lake bed and was necessary
21in consideration of the conveyance by the railroad to the city contained in the
22agreement of 1913 and the conveyance of lake bed both fostered and advanced the
23public purposes for which the lake bed was ceded to the city and was part and parcel
24of a larger scheme, purely public in its nature. The legislature further finds all of the
25following:
AB655,6,6
11. That the public purposes of the city's harbor and parks project undertaken
2between 1880 and 1930 included the construction of a park and boulevard, the
3establishment and maintenance of breakwaters, bulkheads, piers, wharves,
4warehouses, transfer sheds, railway tracks, airports, and other harbor facilities, and
5the creation of opportunities for improved navigation, fishing, swimming,
6recreation, and enjoyment of scenic beauty in Lake Michigan and its tributaries.
AB655,6,11 72. That these purposes were threatened and frustrated by the rights of the
8railroad, which owned land abutting areas ceded to the city by various acts of the
9legislature, to take ownership of the likely accretion of land caused by the city's park
10and harbor project, to construct docks and piers, to obtain access to Lake Michigan,
11and to exercise other riparian rights.
AB655,6,14 123. That under the agreement of 1913 the railroad conveyed to the city
13substantial amounts of riparian land along the location of the city's park and harbor
14project and all riparian rights connected to that land.
AB655,6,17 154. That under the agreement of 1913 the city conveyed to the railroad the
16submerged area described in subsection (4 ) which was nominal in size, consisting of
17approximately 7 acres.
AB655,6,23 185. That this submerged area had no utility in aid of commerce or navigation or
19any other public purpose, the transfer and fill of this area did not materially affect
20the rights of the public in the free use of the waters of Lake Michigan, and the public
21trust purposes served by the completed city harbor and park project described in
22paragraph (b) 1. substantially outweighed any loss of public rights in navigable
23waters that existed in the submerged area that was conveyed.
AB655,7,2 246. That any public rights in navigable waters that existed in the submerged
25area that was conveyed had or would shortly have been lost when that area became

1upland owned by the railroad by the process of accretion, as described in subsection
2(5).
AB655,7,5 37. That the conveyance of this submerged area served the greater public
4purpose for which the state granted submerged lands to the city and that chapter
5358, laws of 1909
, explicitly authorized that conveyance.
AB655,7,9 68. That the conveyance from the railroad to the city was made in exchange for
7the conveyance of the submerged area and that the agreement of 1913 would not
8have been executed if the conveyance of the submerged area was not included in the
9agreement of 1913.
AB655,7,11 109. That the findings under this paragraph are made in lieu of, and have the
11same effect as, a final judgment entered by a court under chapter 841 of the statutes.
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