Prohibition against conveyance of riparian rights. 30.133(1)(1)
Beginning on April 9, 1994, and except as provided in s. 30.1335
, no owner of riparian land that abuts a navigable water may grant by an easement or by a similar conveyance any riparian right in the land to another person, except for the right to cross the land in order to have access to the navigable water. This right to cross the land may not include the right to place any structure or material, including a boat docking facility, as defined in s. 30.1335 (1) (a)
, in the navigable water.
This section does not apply to riparian land located within the boundary of any hydroelectric project licensed or exempted by the federal government, if the conveyance is authorized under any license, rule or order issued by the federal agency having jurisdiction over the project. This section does not apply to riparian land that is associated with an approval required for bulk sampling or mining that is required under subch. III of ch. 295
Small lock boxes were not “intended for any type of independent use" within the meaning of a condominium “unit" under s. 703.02 (15) and were not valid condominium units. Without a valid condominium unit, the transfer of riparian rights purportedly attached to the condominium lock boxes was in violation of this section. ABKA Limited Partnership v. Department of Natural Resources, 2002 WI 106
, 255 Wis. 2d 486
, 648 N.W.2d 854
This section prohibits the severing by easement or by a similar conveyance of riparian rights from the riparian lands to which they are attached, preventing the reservation of riparian rights apart from riparian land by an easement, as well as the granting of riparian rights to a nonriparian. Berkos v. Shipwreck Bay Condominium Association, 2008 WI App 122
, 313 Wis. 2d 609
, 758 N.W.2d 215
Marina condominiums. 30.1335(1)(a)
“Boat docking facility" means a pier, wharf, boat slip, or multi-boat-slip facility.
“Dwelling" means a structure or part of a structure that is used or intended to be used as a home or residence by one or more persons to the exclusion of all others.
“Marina condominium" means a condominium in which the common elements, limited common elements, or condominium units consist of or include boat docking facilities and to which either or both of the following apply:
One or more of the boat docking facilities is not appurtenant to a dwelling.
No owner of riparian land may create a marina condominium on the riparian land on or after June 1, 2007. Any declaration for a marina condominium that is recorded on or after June 1, 2007, is invalid and establishes ownership of the riparian land as a tenancy in common that is held by the owners of the marina condominium units.
Notwithstanding sub. (2)
, a declaration that creates or purports to create a marina condominium and that is recorded before June 1, 2007, shall be effective in creating the marina condominium regardless of subsequent activity affecting the declaration.
If a marina condominium as described in par. (a)
contains more than 300 boat slips, the declarant shall make at least 40 percent of the total number of boat slips in the marina condominium available for rent or for transient use by the public. When the declarant conveys title to, or another interest in, a condominium unit that is affected by this restriction on use, the declarant shall include a statement of the restriction in the instrument of conveyance.
For a marina that is converted into a marina condominium, if the owner of the marina is issued a permit or other authorization under this subchapter to place, maintain, or use a boat docking facility before the date that a declaration was recorded converting the marina into a marina condominium, the permit or authorization shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of the other sections of this subchapter and may not be rescinded or modified by the department or a municipality or by court or administrative order if the grounds for the rescission or modification are based on the fact that the marina has been converted to a marina condominium. The permit or authorization shall remain in effect regardless of any subsequent activity affecting the declaration. This paragraph does not apply to any permit or authorization that is issued after the date that the declaration was recorded converting the marina into a marina condominium.
For a marina condominium that was not previously a marina, if the owner of a marina condominium is issued a permit or other authorization under this subchapter to place, maintain, or use a boat docking facility, the permit or authorization shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of the other sections of this subchapter and may not be rescinded or modified by the department or a municipality or by court or administrative order if the grounds for the rescission or modification are based on the fact that the boat docking facility is part of a marina condominium as opposed to a marina. The permit or authorization shall remain in effect regardless of any subsequent activity affecting the declaration.
(5) Increase in size or number.
An amendment or modification of a declaration as described under sub. (3) (a)
may not increase the size of the boat docking facility or the size or the number of boat slips in a boat docking facility.
(6) Subsequent activity affecting a declaration.
For purposes of this section, subsequent activity affecting the declaration consists of any of the following:
Any amendment, modification, or restatement of the declaration by court or administrative order or by consent of the owners of the condominium units as authorized under ch. 703
Any determination by court or administrative order that the declaration is void or voidable or that the condominium units in the condominium are not intended for any type of independent use.
(7) Department enforcement.
Notwithstanding sub. (4)
, the department retains the authority to enforce the terms and conditions of a permit or other authorization except to the extent that such terms and conditions relate to the form of ownership of a boat docking facility.
History: 2007 a. 20
; 2009 a. 180
Use of exposed shore areas along streams. 30.134(1)(a)
“Artificial ditch" means a ditch, channel, canal or other stream of water that has no prior history as a stream.
“Exposed shore area" means the area of the bed of a navigable body of water that is between the ordinary high-water mark and the water's edge.
“Riparian" means the owner, lessee or occupant of land that abuts a navigable body of water.
Members of the public may use any exposed shore area of a stream without the permission of the riparian only if it is necessary to exit the body of water to bypass an obstruction.
(3) Restrictions; members of public. 30.134(3)(a)(a)
In using an exposed shore area of a stream, as authorized under sub. (2)
, a member of the public may not enter the exposed shore area except from the water, from a point of public access on the stream, or with the permission of the riparian.
Use of an exposed shore area of a stream by members of the public does not grant an easement or other right to the exposed shore area that is greater than the right granted to the public under this section.
(4) Restrictions; riparians; others. 30.134(4)(a)(a)
No riparian may prohibit a member of the public from using, as authorized under this section, an exposed shore area of a stream.
No riparian may charge a fee for the use, as authorized under this section, of an exposed shore area of a stream.
No person may obstruct a highway with the intention to impede or prohibit access by the public to an exposed shore area of a stream.
The right granted to the public under this section to use an exposed shore area of a stream does not apply to any of the following:
An exposed shore area of an impoundment on a stream.
Any location on a stream where there is no surface water flowing in the stream.
History: 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
Regulation of water ski platforms and jumps. 30.135(1)(1)
A riparian owner placing a water ski platform or water ski jump in a navigable waterway is exempt from the permit requirements under this chapter if all of the following requirements are met:
The platform or jump does not interfere with public rights in navigable waters.
The platform or jump does not interfere with rights of other riparian owners.
The platform or jump is located at a site that ensures adequate water depth and clearance for safe water skiing.
If the department determines that any of the requirements under sub. (1)
are not met, the riparian owner shall submit an application for an individual permit to the department. The notice and hearing provisions under s. 30.208 (3)
apply to the application.
History: 1997 a. 27
; 2003 a. 118
Reports of and hearings on violations. 30.14(1)(1)
Municipalities to report violations.
The governing body of each municipality shall promptly report to the department every violation of s. 30.12
which occurs or which it has reason to believe is likely to occur within the municipal boundaries.
(2) Hearings by department.
Upon complaint by any person to the department that any wharf, pier or other structure exists in navigable water in violation of s. 30.12
or that any wharf, pier or other structure proposed to be built in navigable water will violate s. 30.12
, the department shall investigate and may hold a hearing to determine whether the wharf, pier, or other structure is or would be in violation of those sections. If no hearing is held, the complainant shall be informed of the results of the investigation.
History: 1987 a. 374
; 1997 a. 174
Penalty for unlawful obstruction of navigable waters. 30.15(1)(1)
Any person who does any of the following shall forfeit not less than $10 nor more than $500 for each offense:
Unlawfully obstructs any navigable waters and thereby impairs the free navigation thereof.
Unlawfully places in navigable waters or in any tributary thereof any substance that may float into and obstruct any such waters or impede their free navigation.
Constructs or maintains in navigable waters, or aids in the construction or maintenance therein, of any boom not authorized by law.
Constructs or places any structure or deposits any material in navigable waters in violation of s. 30.12
(3) Each day a separate violation.
Each day during which an obstruction, deposit or structure exists in violation of sub. (1)
is a separate offense.
History: 1987 a. 374
Municipalities have the power to construct bridges but are not authorized to construct or maintain bridges that constitute an unnecessary obstruction or hazard to the free use of navigable waters. The bridge undoubtedly is an obstruction. The question becomes, is the obstruction unnecessary or unreasonable under the circumstances. When a bridge was necessary, reasonable, and existing before the plaintiff moved into the area, the defendant city was not required to abate the obstruction. Capt. Soma Boat Line v. Wisconsin Dells, 79 Wis. 2d 10
, 255 N.W.2d 441
If an unattended and anchored boat is left on navigable water for an unreasonable length of time, it constitutes a violation. 63 Atty. Gen. 601.
Removal of obstructions to navigation. 30.16(1)(a)
The governing body of any municipality in this state may cause to be removed to a convenient and safe place any watercraft or float obstructing or interfering with the free navigation of any river, canal, water channel or slip within its harbor after having given reasonable notice to the master or owner or the agent of the master or owner, if known and a resident of this state, or to the person in charge thereof, to so remove such watercraft or float. The governing body of the municipality by ordinance or resolution may authorize any harbor master or other public officer over whom it has jurisdiction to remove the obstruction, and may prescribe the officer's duties with respect thereto and the mode of carrying them into effect and may prescribe penalties for violation of such ordinance or resolution.
Costs of removal.
All costs, charges and expenses of such removal are a first lien on such watercraft or float, which lien may be enforced in the manner provided by law. The owner of any such watercraft or float is also personally liable for such costs, charges and expenses, to be recovered by the municipality by a personal action.
(2) Removal of obstructions to navigation; wharves and piers; alternative.
As an alternative to the procedure specified under sub. (1)
, the governing body of a city, village or town may remove that portion of a wharf or pier which constitutes an unlawful obstruction to navigation as provided under s. 30.13 (5m)
Withdrawal of water from lakes and streams. 30.18(2)(a)(a)
No person may withdraw water from a stream in this state without an individual permit under this section if the withdrawal meets either of the following conditions:
The withdrawal is for the purpose of maintaining or restoring the normal level of a navigable lake or the normal flow of a navigable stream, regardless of whether the navigable lake or navigable stream is located within the watershed of the stream from which the water is withdrawn.
The withdrawal is for the purpose of agriculture or irrigation.
Streams or lakes.
No person, except a person required to obtain an approval under s. 281.41
, may withdraw water from any lake or stream in this state without an individual permit under this section if the withdrawal will result in a water loss averaging 2,000,000 gallons per day in any 30-day period above the person's authorized base level of water loss.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, an applicant for a permit required under sub. (2) (a)
shall file the application with the department setting forth the name and post-office address of the applicant, the name of the stream from which the water will be withdrawn, the point in the stream from which it is proposed to withdraw the water, the name of the lake or stream or the location and riparian status of the land to which the water is to be transferred, the location and description of the canal, tunnel or pipes and other works through which the water is to be withdrawn and transferred, the amount of water to be withdrawn, the periods of time when it is proposed to withdraw such water, the time required for the completion of the canal and other structures necessary for the completed project and, if required by the department, 4 copies of plans showing cross sections and profiles for any canal, tunnel, pipes or other works for withdrawing and transferring the water and any dam and control works at the point of withdrawal and at the point of discharge.
For a withdrawal under sub. (2) (a) 1.
, a map or maps shall accompany the application with a scale of not less than one inch per 2,000 feet, showing the land topography and the probable course of the proposed canal and other works, and the ownership of all lands upon which will be located the canal, tunnel, pipes and all other works for the completed project.