Advice to large pier owners: Get it grandfathered!

Photo by John Nyberg via stock.xchng

Photo by John Nyberg via stock.xchng

If you have a pier that’s outside of new Department of Natural Resources size guidelines, get it grandfathered — if possible – now.

That was the advice of attorney Jeff Janik speaking at the Twin Lakes Protection and Rehabilitation District Annual Meeting and Budget Hearing Saturday morning.

“Once you have this thing registered, the DNR can’t come by and say this is non-conforming and give you a ticket,” Janik said. “It’s a defense.”

Janik was addressing DNR regulations drafted in 2004 that seek to limit the size of piers on Wisconsin waters. The new regulations call for piers to be not more than six feet in stem width with a platform no more than 8 feet by 8 feet.

Any pier built after Feb 6, 2004 that is larger is considered non-conforming,  Janik said.

Larger piers that existed before that 2004 date can be be grandfathered in and not effected by the regulation. But the process is not automatic and requires a registration with the DNR, Janik said. Ask for form R2-09. Registration can be done until April 1, 2011.

Janik also advised property owners to have the pier registration recorded with the deed, which can be done for $20 or less.

But there can still be hitches. If a non-conforming pier has greater than an 8-foot stem width and more than a 200-square-foot platform it will not be able to be registered, Janik said. It that case, owners can still apply for a special permit.

And regarding the question of whether non-conforming piers can be rebuilt, Janik had some more advice to address the possible gray areas that might arise.

“My advice is to always say I’m just doing maintenance on my pier,” Janik said.

In other business at the meeting, a new budget of $232,000 for 2010 was passed in a unanimous vote.  The budget will require no tax levy increase.


One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Regarding your incorrect use of the verb ‘effect’ in several of your reports, I offer the following defintions, examples, and usage comment.

    tr.v. af·fect·ed, af·fect·ing, af·fects
    1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.

    Larger piers that existed before that 2004 date can be [be (sic)] grandfathered in and (are) not [effected (sic)] AFFECTED by the regulation.

    2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
    3. To attack or infect, as a disease

    tr.v. ef·fect·ed, ef·fect·ing, ef·fects
    1. To bring into existence.
    2. To produce as a result.
    3. To bring about.

    USAGE It is quite common for the verb effect to be mistakenly used where affect is intended. Effect is relatively uncommon and rather formal, and is a synonym of `bring about’.

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