Is your pier exempt?


Summer is finally here, and with the beginning of the season comes a good opportunity to remind everyone who has a pier that Wisconsin has new regulations. The good news is that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates that more than 85% of all existing piers already meet the exemption requirements, so most waterfront owners don’t need to do anything differently.

Sizes for an Exempt Pier:
•    Width – Maximum six feet wide for the pier.
If the pier is not located in an Area of Special Natural Resource Interest, an 8-foot long by 8-foot wide loading platform or deck is allowed at the waterward end of the pier.
•    Length – The length needed to moor your boat, use a boat lift, or to reach a 3-foot water depth, whichever is greater
•    Location – Does not interfere with the rights of other riparian owners
•    Number of Boats – Two for the first 50 feet of frontage, one for every additional full 50 feet.

If your pier is not exempt, but you had the pier before 2004, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing as long as you don’t expand or modify it. You just need to register your pier through a one-time free registration process. Around 10% of piers that are not exempt already meet the registration requirements. To be eligible to be grandfathered, piers must:
•    Have been placed before Feb. 6, 2004.
•    Have a main stem that is a maximum of 8 feet wide.
•    Have a loading platform at the end of the pier that is a maximum of 200 square feet or a maximum of 300 square feet if it’s 10 feet wide or less
•    Not interfere with the rights of other riparian owners.

If you do not meet the specifications for an exempt pier or a registered pier, you have two options. First, you can apply for a pier permit. There is no guarantee you will get one, and it could take months, but after April 1, 2011, you will not be able to put the pier in without it. Doing so will put you at risk of a complaint and DNR action. The second option is to change the size of your pier to conform to the exception or registration specifications. Remember, registration is free until April 1, 2011.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: