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For the most up-to-date information on shoreland zoning, check out the Wisconsin Lakes​ website under Lake Policy. 

Shoreland Zoning Resources

Information Community-based Social Marketing

The Value of Shoreland Zoning
[PDF handout]

Final Draft November 2021. Center for Land Use Planning at UW-Stevens Point



Wisconsin County Code Administrators' NR 115 Guidebook
[web site]

Final Draft May 27, 2011. Wisconsin County Code Administrators (WCCA)


A Model County Shoreland Zoning Ordinance  for Wisconsin’s Shoreland Protection Program 
[PDF 1.02 MB]

Version 2.0 / June 3, 2010 / Revised December 14, 2010. WDNR / Heidi Kennedy -  Shoreland Policy Coordinator  



NR 115 revisions cover letter for draft ordinance
[PDF 120 KB]

December 14, 2010 / WDNR memo. WDNR / Heidi Kennedy -  Shoreland Policy Coordinator  



Creating an effective shoreland zoning ordinance: a summary of Wisconsin shoreland zoning ordinances

[PDF 3.2 MB]

This document is intended to provide a summary of Wisconsin county shoreland zoning ordinances. These summaries are not to be used in lieu of any specific ordinance. For any questions relating to site specific concerns, please refer to the official shoreland zoning ordinance for the county of concern or contact the zoning department for that county.  WDNR WT-542-00, 2000  


Local innovation in shoreland management
[PDF 1.10 MB]

Examples of local innovation in shoreland management. 11/23/10 Wisconsin Association of Lakes
< > 608-661-4313 \ 800-542-5253   



A Bright Future for Our Waters factsheet
[PDF  2.92 MB]

Changes to shoreland development standards better protect clean water and habitat for generations to come.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) 



Shoreland mitigation standards
[PDF 175 KB]

Summary of mitigation standards for counties through out Wisconsin. May 23, 2000 Bureau of Watershed Management, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)  



Chapter NR 115 Wisconsin's Shoreland Protection Program​
[PDF 62 KB]

Furthers the maintenance of safe and healthful conditions; prevents and controls water pollution; protects spawning grounds, fish and aquatic life; controls building sites, placement of structure and land uses and reserves shore cover and natural beauty.  State of Wisconsin / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) 


Shoreland and shoreland wetland zoning standards PowerPoint
[PDF 1.2 MB]

Overview of updates and changes to the NR115 rule after 30+ years. Presenter: Gregg Breese, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)  


How can I limit the water quality impacts of swimming and camping?​
[PDF 818 KB]

Lake Home & Cabin Kit factsheet giving guidelines for lake-friendly recreational use along your shoreline. University of Minnesota Extension Service Faculty  



Questions and answers for the proposed statewide shoreland development minimum standards
[PDF 102 KB]

March 2010 frequently asked questions and answers to the updated NR115 rule changes. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)  



County-level water classification in Wisconsin: an assessment
[PDF 2.36 MB]

As of this summary in 2007, seventeen counties had adopted classification systems of two to four groups, with different shoreland zoning rules for each water class, ranging from very protective to the status quo of statewide minimum rules.  Prepared by: Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL), June 2007  


Paths and walkways
[PDF 209 KB]

Managing foot traffic for lake protection. Conservation Practices for Homeowners Factsheet Series / State of Maine, Department of Environmental Quality  




Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine It's Influence on the Evolution of Wisconsin's Water Ethic.
[PDF ]

Prepared for and presented at the 2010 Wisconsin Lakes Convention. By: Michael J. Cain 



WDNR Safeguarding Our Shorelands for the Future web link​ 

WDNR web link. WDNR 




Effectiveness of Shoreland Zoning Standards to Meet Statutory Objectives: A Literature Review with Policy Implications  
[PDF ]

Prepared by: Thomas W. Bernthal / Edited by Julia R. Barrett PUBL-WT-505-97 



To Play the Game - You Need to Know the Rules
[PDF ]

Town-County Relationships In Zoning Administration Center for Land Use Education, UW-Stevens Point. By: Michael D. Dresen 



Comparisons of undeveloped and developed shorelands, northern Wisconsin, and recommendations for restoration 2003 research paper.

[PDF ]

By: Joan Elias and Mike Meyer 



Shoreland Development Density and Impervious Surfaces.
[PDF ]

Center for Land Use Education, UW-Stevens Point. By Lynn Markham 



Streambank and shoreline protection 580​
[PDF 131KB]

State standard for streambank and shoreline protection in Wisconsin. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) / Standards Oversight Committee (SOC) 



Shoreland habitat 643A
[PDF 31KB]

State standard for shoreland habitat restoration in Wisconsin. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) / Standards Oversight Committee (SOC)



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