Register January 2017 No. 733
Chapter NR 118
STANDARDS FOR THE LOWER ST. CROIX NATIONAL SCENIC RIVERWAY
Lower St. Croix riverway management zones.
Land uses and structures in the Lower St. Croix river district.
Conditional use standards.
Nonconforming uses and structures and substandard lots.
Ch. NR 118 Note
Note: Chapter NR 118 as it existed on June 30, l980 was repealed and a new chapter NR 118 was created effective July 1, 1980.
NR 118.01 Purpose.
The following rules are necessary to reduce the adverse effects of overcrowding and poorly planned shoreline and bluff area development, to prevent pollution and contamination of surface waters and groundwaters and soil erosion, to provide sufficient space on lots for sanitary facilities, to minimize flood damage, to maintain property values, and to preserve and maintain the exceptional scenic, cultural and natural characteristics of the water and related land of the Lower St. Croix riverway in a manner consistent with the national wild and scenic rivers act (P.L. 90-542
), the federal Lower St. Croix river act of 1972 (P.L. 92-560
) and the Wisconsin Lower St. Croix river act (s. 30.27
Lower St. Croix riverway boundaries.
These rules shall apply within the boundaries of the Lower St. Croix national scenic riverway as set forth in the master plan jointly prepared by the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin and the national park service pursuant to P.L. 92-560
except that the incorporated area of the city of St. Croix Falls lying west of STH 35 and STH 87 in section 30, T34N, R18W shall be included.
NR 118.02 Note
Note: A boundary map and legal description of the riverway boundary is available in the office of each local zoning authority within the district boundaries.
Lower St. Croix riverway management zones.
Each ordinance enacted or amended by a city, village, town or county within the Lower St. Croix national scenic riverway boundaries shall designate Lower St. Croix riverway management zones in accordance with s. NR 118.04
(3) Local zoning ordinances.
Counties, cities, villages and towns within the Lower St. Croix national scenic riverway boundaries shall adopt zoning ordinances as required by s. 30.27
, Stats., except that a town is not required to adopt an ordinance under this chapter if the county in which the town is located has adopted a local zoning ordinance that applies to the town. Local zoning ordinances adopted pursuant to s. 30.27
, Stats., and this chapter may be more, but not less, restrictive than the standards contained in these administrative rules. In no case shall a use or activity allowed by these rules be permitted contrary to local zoning ordinances.
NR 118.02 History
Cr. Register, June, 1980, No. 294
, eff. 7-1-80; CR 03-054
: am. Register October 2004 No. 586
, eff. 11-1-04.
NR 118.03 Definitions.
For the purpose of this chapter:
“Accessory structure" means a subordinate structure, the use of which is incidental to, and customarily found in connection with, the principal structure or use of the property. Accessory structures include, but are not limited to, detached garages, sheds, barns, gazebos, patios, decks (both detached and attached), swimming pools, hot tubs, fences, retaining walls, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, detached stairways and lifts.
“Accessory use" means a use subordinate to and serving the principal use on the same lot and customarily incidental thereto.
“Agriculture" means beekeeping; livestock grazing; orchards; raising of grain, grass or seed crops; raising of fruits, nuts or berries; placing land in federal programs in return for payments in kind; owning land, at least 35 acres of which is enrolled in the conservation reserve program under 16 USC 3831
; and vegetable raising.
“Antenna" means any device or equipment used for the transmission or reception of electromagnetic waves, which may include an omni-directional antenna (rod), a directional antenna (panel) or a parabolic antenna (disc).
“Bed and breakfast operation" means a place of lodging for transient guests that is the owner's personal residence, that is occupied by the owner at the time of rental, and in which the only meal served to guests is breakfast.
“Bluffline" means a line along the top of the slope preservation zone.
“Building line" means a line measured across the width of a lot at that point where the principal structure is placed in accordance with setback provisions.
“Camouflage design" means a wireless communication service facility that is disguised, hidden or screened, but remains recognizable as a tower or antenna.
“Compliant building location" means an area on a lot where a building could be located in compliance with all applicable ordinance requirements.
“Conditional use" means a use that is specifically listed in a local zoning ordinance as either a conditional use or special exception and that may only be permitted if the local zoning authority determines that the conditions specified in the ordinance for that use are satisfied.
“Department" means the Wisconsin department of natural resources.
“Disabled" means having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
“Earth-tone" means colors that harmonize with the natural surroundings on the site during leaf on conditions.
“Expansion" means an addition to an existing structure regardless of whether the addition is vertical or horizontal or both.
“Filtered view of the river" means that one can see the river through the vegetation, while any structure remains visually inconspicuous.
“Footprint" means the land area covered by a structure at ground level, measured on a horizontal plane. The “footprint" of a residence includes attached garages and porches, but excludes decks, patios, carports and roof overhangs.
“Foundation" means the underlying base of a building or other structure, including but not limited to pillars, footings, and concrete and masonry walls.
“Human habitation" means the use of a building or other structure for human occupancy, including but not limited to cooking, eating, bathing and sleeping.
“Land division" means any division of a parcel of land by the owner or the owner's agent, for the purpose of transfer of ownership or building development, which creates one or more parcels or building sites of 20 acres or less.
“Landscape architect" means a person who has graduated with a major in landscape architecture from a college accredited by the American society of landscape architects.
“Lift" means a mechanical device, either temporary or permanent, containing a mobile open top car including hand or guard rails, a track upon which the open top car moves, and a mechanical device to provide power to the open top car.
“Local zoning ordinance" means any county, town, city or village zoning ordinance, portion of an ordinance, or amendments thereto, adopted by a local unit of government, with authority from state enabling legislation, which regulates the use of land within the Lower St. Croix riverway.
“Lot" means a contiguous parcel of land with described boundaries.
“Lower St. Croix riverway" or “Lower St. Croix national scenic riverway" means the area described in s. NR 118.02 (1)
“Management zones" means the Lower St. Croix riverway management zones established in s. NR 118.04
“Mitigation" means action taken to minimize the adverse impacts of development. The term “mitigation" includes, but is not limited to, the installation of vegetative buffers, the removal of nonconforming structures from the shoreland setback area, and the implementation of best management practices for erosion control and storm water management.
“Net project area" means developable land area minus slope preservation zones, floodplains, road rights-of-way and wetlands.
“Nonconforming structure" means a building or other structure whose location, dimensions or other physical characteristics do not conform to the standards in the current local zoning ordinance but which was legally constructed or placed in its current location prior to the adoption of the ordinance or ordinance amendment that made it nonconforming.
“Nonconforming use" means the use of land or a structure or other premises that does not conform to the land use restrictions in the current local zoning ordinance, but which was legally established prior to the adoption of the ordinance or ordinance amendment that made it nonconforming.
“Ordinary high water mark" has been defined by the Wisconsin supreme court to mean the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of surface water is so continuous as to leave a distinctive mark such as by erosion, destruction or prevention of terrestrial vegetation, predominance of aquatic vegetation, or other easily recognized characteristic. Where the bank or shore at any particular place is of such character that it is difficult or impossible to ascertain where the point of ordinary high water mark is, recourse may be had to the opposite bank of a stream or to other places on the shore of a lake or flowage to determine whether a given stage of water is above or below the ordinary high water mark.
“Ordinary maintenance and repair" means any work done on a nonconforming structure that does not constitute expansion, structural alteration or reconstruction and does not involve the replacement, alteration or improvement of any portion of the structure's foundation.
“Planned cluster development" means a pattern of development that places residences into compact groupings as a means of preserving open space.
“Porch" means a building walkway with a roof over it, providing access to a building entrance.
“Principal structure" means the main building or other structure on a lot that is utilized for the property's principal use. The term “principal structure" includes attached garages and porches.
“Reasonable accommodation" means allowing a disabled person to deviate from the strict requirements of the county's zoning ordinances if an accommodation is necessary and reasonable, in order not to unlawfully discriminate against the disabled person and to allow them equal housing opportunity.
NR 118.03 Note
Federal courts have interpreted the “reasonable accommodations" requirement in the Federal Fair Housing Act to mean that an accommodation is reasonable “if it does not cause any undue hardship or fiscal or administrative burdens on the municipality, or does not undermine the basic purpose
that the zoning ordinance seeks to achieve." Oxford House, Inc. v. Town of Babylon
, 819 F. Supp. 1179
, 1186 (E.D.N.Y. 1993)