Shore Land Zoning Has The Power To Move Buildings 12/6/17
A garage which was built too close to a lake front needs to be moved or cut off.
According to Taylor County Zoning Administrator Kyle Noonan a garage was built with an overhang which is 8 feet too close to Long Lake in northern Taylor County. According to Mr. Noonan the eave overhang of one corner of the 28 by 30 foot structure is 68 feet from the ordinary high water mark of the lake. The required distance for accessory structures is 75 feet. The building owner Rhonda Emmerich applied for a variance to the codes which would allow her to keep the building in its location.
A public hearing to grant the variance was held before the Board of Adjustment on December 6th. The board consists of Stanley Schmidt, Arlen Albrecht and Dave Krug. Kyle Noonan indicated that when a permit was applied for on April 28th there was a concern of the location of the town of Rib Lake road right of way. Rhonda Emmerich said that 3 town officials met at the site and agreed to the location of the building 33 feet from the center of the road. On the other end of the building, a stake was placed at 75 feet from the lake for one corner of the building with the lake meandering to a distance which is less than 75 feet on the other corner. The owners commented they didn’t realize the entire building had to be 75 feet from the lake.
It was noted that 3 neighbors’ cabins or homes were at 57, 48 and 35 feet from the lake. Administrator Noonan pointed out that principle structures such as homes or cabins may be closer than 75 feet to the water depending on several factors, but new accessory structures such as a garage must be 75 feet from the water.
Stanley Schmidt said that Long Lake Road legally ends about half way in front of the Emmerich lot and is legally only .93 mile long although it goes past their lot to several other homes. He said legally the town doesn’t own much of that road in front of you and the building could have been closer to the road.
Arlen Albrecht expressed his concern for aquatic life with structures encroaching on waterways. It was noted that Long Lake is actually a private land locked lake with no public access.
Dave Krug said that he took a ride to see the structure. He felt it was a very nice looking building and didn’t see what harm a few feet would do. He said we need to talk about hardship.
Stan Schmidt said it is after the fact resulting in self-inflicted hardship. He said there were no unique restrictions on the property which would have prevented moving the building’s location. He said “Rules are rules and we’re not empowered to change the rules.”
A Town of Rib Lake official commented that in cases such as this, using a ruler may not be reliable. He felt that a certified survey to show the distance from the water to the building would have been a good decision.
Dave Krug said that this was a tough issue due to the fact that the building is up. He questioned whether the property owners knew that the building was too close to the water.
Arlen Albrecht replied that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Krug reminded the board that they made exceptions for the height of Taylor Electric’s tower and the Stetsonville Water Tower in regard to the airport zoning regulations. Albrecht replied that was a different issue dealing with public safety. Schmidt expressed his concern of setting a precedent. Krug said it will be a major undertaking to move or tear down the building. Albrecht said its’ location is against state and county rules and ordinances.
Dave Krug made a motion to grant the variance but the motion failed due to the lack of a second. Stanley Schmidt said he sympathized with the building owners but he made a motion to deny the variance “based on the rules before us”. Albrecht seconded the motion and the motion to deny the variance passed on a 2 to 1 vote with Dave Krug voting no. Zoning Administrator Kyle Noonan told the board that he would give the building owners until July 1st to have the building in compliance with the 75 foot setback rule.