County Executive Falk Announces Wetland Protection Ordinance
June 15, 2005
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today signed a County Board resolution requiring a seventy-five foot setback from wetlands in the county to maintain healthy wetlands.
The ordinance, which applies to the unincorporated areas of Dane County, helps prevent water pollution, protects fish spawning grounds and wildlife habitat, preserves shore cover and natural beauty, and conserves inland-wetland areas. Dane County has more than 50,000 acres of wetlands.
“What better way to celebrate Yahara Lakes Week,” said Falk. “This ordinance makes Dane County a leader in wetland protection. By increasing the distance between the wetlands and development, we can make sure these important natural resources are protected.”
The ordinance is stricter than the state minimum, which allows for development immediately adjacent to wetlands. The county ordinance also applies to both shoreland wetlands and inland wetlands and creates a 75 foot buffer between development and the wetland.
The ordinance also provides for a “grandfather clause” for existing structures which allows them to be legally repaired without limitation, removed and replaced or even expanded up to 150% of the footprint of the original building.
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