Pierce County, WI
 
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A. 
Structure color.
(1) 
All new, expanded, or reconstructed structures shall be earthtone in color.
(2) 
Structures designated as historic buildings on local, state, or national historic registers or located in designated historic districts shall either be earthtone in color or colored appropriate to the period in history for which they are designated.
B. 
Signs. Signs are allowed with a land use permit per § 240-62 and if one or more of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The sign is approved by state or local government and is necessary for public health or safety.
(2) 
The sign indicates areas that are available or not available for public use.
(3) 
The sign is not visible from the river and is otherwise lawful.
C. 
Slope preservation zone.
(1) 
No structures, except piers, wharves, structural erosion control measures, stairways, and lifts, may be placed in slope preservation zones.
(2) 
Slopes greater than 12% may not be altered to become less than 12%.
(3) 
No filling or grading is allowed in slope preservation zones that directly face and/or drain directly to the river.
D. 
Structural erosion control.
(1) 
Except for rock riprap as allowed per Subsection F, structural erosion control measures above the OHWM and within the OHWM setback area and bluffline setback area are allowed with a land use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
The structural erosion control measure is constructed outside of the slope preservation zone.
(b) 
The Zoning Administrator determines that structural erosion control measures are necessary to address significant ongoing erosion that nonstructural erosion control measures cannot control.
(c) 
The structural erosion control measure is constructed of natural materials and is made as visually inconspicuous as is reasonable.
(d) 
The structural erosion control measure is designed in accordance with USDA Wisconsin Field Office Technical Guide (WI FOTG) Section IV or any subsequent revisions to USDA standards.
(2) 
Constructing, updating, maintaining or reconstructing structural erosion control measures in slope preservation zones is allowed by a conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
The Zoning Administrator determines that structural erosion control measures are necessary to address significant ongoing erosion that nonstructural erosion control measures cannot control.
(b) 
The structural erosion control measure is constructed of natural materials and is made as visually inconspicuous as is reasonable.
(c) 
The person seeking to construct the structural erosion control measure submits and has approved by the Zoning Administrator all of the following items:
[1] 
A detailed construction plan with timelines and contact information.
[2] 
A vegetation management plan per Subsection G.
[3] 
An erosion control plan that shows how the structural erosion control measure will be constructed, what land-disturbing activities will take place, what, if any, vegetation will be removed, and how new, native vegetation will be reestablished.
E. 
Filling and grading.
(1) 
Filling and grading outside of a slope preservation zone as described in § 239-8B(2) are allowed with a land use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
No filling, grading, or draining of wetlands is allowed.
(b) 
No filling and grading activities within 40 feet of a slope preservation zone are allowed.
(c) 
Any vegetation that is removed is replaced with native vegetation.
(d) 
Filling and grading activities are designed and implemented in a manner to minimize erosion, sedimentation, tree damage, and impairment of fish and wildlife habitat.
(e) 
WDNR stormwater construction technical standards are implemented.
(f) 
Filling and grading activities does not disturb more than 10,000 square feet of land.
(2) 
Filling and grading in the areas described in § 239-8C(5) are allowed by conditional use permit if the standards under Subsection E(1) above are met.
F. 
Rock riprap and shoreland protection. Rock riprap within a slope preservation zone and in the OHWM setback area is allowed with a land use permit if the Zoning Administrator determines that riprap is necessary to prevent erosion in flood-prone areas and if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
Either a state permit is granted for the riprap or statutory criteria or administrative rule standards are met and a state permit is not required for the riprap.
(2) 
The rock riprap is designed in accordance with the WI FOTG Section IV and any subsequent revisions to USDA standards, or approved by the Land Conservation Department.
(3) 
Existing vegetation on the shoreline and in the water is maintained as much as possible, and reasonable, without disturbance.
(4) 
All bare soil on the slope above the riprap shall be stabilized with a native seed mix, native vegetation, or mulch.
(5) 
Deep-rooted native vegetation shall be planted among the riprap to help stabilize it, screen it, and enhance wildlife habitat.
(6) 
The property owner shall be responsible for maintaining the riprap as follows:
(a) 
Upon the first rainfall following installation of the riprap, an inspection shall be made.
(b) 
Thereafter, riprapped areas shall be checked following large storms or floods, especially those that are near or exceed the storm frequency used in the design. Displaced riprap should be removed from its downstream location and new riprap placed according to the specifications above.
G. 
Vegetation management.
(1) 
Vegetation in the Riverway District shall be managed with the goals of:
(a) 
Maintaining the essential character, quality, and density of native growth.
(b) 
Screening structures to make them visually inconspicuous.
(c) 
Preventing disturbance of environmentally sensitive areas such as, but not limited to, steep slopes, shorelines, and blufftop areas.
(d) 
Maintaining and restoring historically and ecologically significant plant communities and enhancing diversity.
(e) 
Maintaining and restoring native ground cover, understory, and overstory vegetation.
(2) 
Successional climax forest and presettlement oak savanna will be the preferred ecotypes.
(3) 
Vegetative screening of structures will take priority over restoration and maintenance of preferred ecotypes.
(4) 
Vegetation removal other than that allowed under § 239-8A(1) and (2) is allowed with a land use permit if all of the standards under Subsection G(5) below are met.
(5) 
All of the following vegetation management standards shall apply whenever vegetation is disturbed in the Riverway District:
(a) 
Vegetation on lands within the OHWM setback, bluffline setback (not to be less than 40 feet landward of blufflines for this purpose), and the slope preservation zone shall be left undisturbed, except as provided for elsewhere in this subsection or as provided in Subsections K and N.
(b) 
Vegetation may not be disturbed or removed if it would disrupt the visually inconspicuous character of structures, reduce the quality or diversity of the plant community, or increase the potential for erosion, except as provided elsewhere in this subsection or as provided in Subsections K and N.
(c) 
Lawns within the OHWM setback areas, slope preservation zones, and bluffline setback areas may not be expanded. However, the mowing of existing lawns may be continued.
(d) 
The growth and harvest of non-wood fiber crops, the removal of vegetation in order to allow permitted uses or structures or special exception uses, the removal of state-designated noxious weeds, and the pruning or removal of vegetation to prevent insect infestation or disease that threatens large areas of vegetative cover per § 66.0407, Wis. Stats., are allowed.
(e) 
Herbicide use shall be limited to direct topical application to cut stems to kill noxious weeds, exotic species, poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac or as a prescribed treatment within a forest stewardship management plan.
(f) 
Compatible and comparable native species of vegetation shall be used for replacement or new plantings.
(g) 
Noxious weeds, exotic species, poison ivy, poison oak, or any other vegetation that is removed shall be replaced with native vegetation.
(h) 
The practice of forestry shall be allowed on lands for which a forest stewardship plan has been developed under Chapter 77, Wis. Stats., or Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR 46 or 47, and on lands managed under forest stewardship.
[1] 
Forest stewardship plans shall employ best management practices for water quality protection, erosion control, and generally accepted forest management guidelines and must be approved by a WDNR forester. Generally accepted forest management guidelines are contained in Wisconsin Forest Management Guidelines, PUB-FR-226 2003, available from the WDNR.
[a] 
Forest stewardship plans prepared under this section shall be implemented to employ commonly accepted silvicultural practices approved by a WDNR forester, to ensure that silvicultural practices are compatible with the riverway goals or protecting natural scenic values and ensuring that structures will remain visually inconspicuous.
[2] 
Forest stewardship plans shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator to be kept in a property file.
[a] 
Cutting, harvesting or removing timber under this provision on land that is visible from the river during the time when the leaves are on the deciduous trees may only include the following practices:
[b] 
Small regeneration cuts with boundaries designed to harmonize with naturally occurring shapes;
[c] 
Shelter wood cuts not to exceed the size, shape, spacing or timing of regeneration cuts; or
[d] 
Selection cuts leaving a residual timber stand of at least 60 square feet basal area.
(i) 
In addition to any other penalties, the penalty for removing vegetation in violation of this chapter shall include replacement of vegetation with native vegetation at the property owner's expense according to the following schedule:
Tree Replacement Schedule
DBH of Existing Tree
Removed
Number of Replacement Trees
(2 inches DBH)
Less than 6 inches
1
Between 6 and 12 inches
3
Between 12 and 18 inches
4
Between 18 and 24 inches
5
Between 24 and 30 inches
7
Between 30 and 36 inches
10
Greater than 36 inches
The equivalent of 2-inch DBH trees or greater needed to equal the DBH of the removed trees
DBH = Diameter at breast height.
H. 
Private on-site wastewater treatment systems (POWTS). Private on-site wastewater treatment systems shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter Comm 83 and Chapter 191, Pierce County Sanitary Ordinance.
I. 
Land divisions. Land divisions are allowed by conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
All lots proposed to be built upon shall meet the minimum lot size requirements per § 239-9 and shall be suitable for residential development in their existing condition without the need for a variance.
(2) 
All lots are suitable for their proposed use and will not be subject to the potential for flooding, inadequate drainage, severe erosion, inadequate water supply or inadequate sewage disposal capabilities.
(3) 
Use of lots will not be allowed if there exists unfavorable soil and rock formations, unfavorable topography, or any other feature that is likely to result in harm to the health, safety or welfare of future residents of the lots or of the local community.
(4) 
The property owner shall consult with the State Historical Society concerning potential impacts to archeological sites and provide related documentation to the Zoning Administrator.
(a) 
If the property is found to contain an archeological site, the applicant shall work with the Zoning Administrator to develop and implement a plan to avoid or mitigate impacts to the archeological site with assistance from the State Historical Society.
J. 
Planned residential and cluster developments. Planned residential and cluster developments are allowed by conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The proposed clustering provides a better means of preserving scenic views, open space and shoreline than a traditional single-family residential subdivision.
(2) 
The proposed structures comply with the minimum ordinary high-water mark and bluffline setbacks and height standards as provided in § 239-9.
(3) 
Exceptions to the standards in § 239-9A and C may be allowed, provided that the total number of single-family residences may not exceed 50% more than the total number of single-family residences allowed if the development complied with § 239-9A and C.
(4) 
On any lots that abut the river, all of the standards in § 239-9 shall be met.
(5) 
If lands are divided, the land division meets the general requirements of Subsection I.
K. 
Wireless communications and other transmission facilities.
(1) 
Installation, reconstruction, modification and replacement of wireless communications service facilities are allowed by conditional use permit if § 240-41C and all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
Construction and maintenance shall be conducted using techniques that minimize the cutting or pruning of vegetation in order to preserve mature vegetation and provide screening of the facilities. Erosion control measures shall be used.
(b) 
Wireless communications service facilities shall use building materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that blend the facilities with surrounding natural features or nearby structures and shall be visually inconspicuous.
(c) 
Wireless communications service facilities shall be of camouflage or stealth design, unless placed on existing structures.
(d) 
Wireless communications service facilities may not exceed a height of 50 feet or not more than 20 feet above the tallest structure or tree canopy within a three-hundred-foot radius of the proposed wireless communications service facilities as measured horizontally, whichever is higher.
(e) 
New or reconstructed wireless communications service facilities may not be placed in slope preservation zones, floodplains or wetlands.
(2) 
Construction, updating, maintenance or reconstruction of transmission services are allowed by conditional use permit if § 240-41C and all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
All new, updated or reconstructed transmission services shall be placed underground when determined to be technically feasible by the Zoning Administrator. If an applicant seeks to establish that underground placement is technically infeasible, the application shall explain in detail what factors make it infeasible.
(b) 
If underground placement is determined to be technically infeasible, overhead or aboveground transmission services may be permitted but shall be designed to minimize the adverse visual impact on the scenic character of the Riverway District.
(c) 
New, updated or reconstructed transmission services shall be constructed and maintained using minimally invasive techniques for construction and maintenance, including erosion control. Existing transmission facilities shall be maintained using minimally invasive techniques for maintenance, including erosion control.
(d) 
The cutting or clearing of vegetation for transmission service maintenance may be conducted subject to the following standards:
[1] 
An understory layer of vegetation shall be maintained to prevent erosion and allow succession.
[2] 
Vegetation management shall protect the quality and diversity of the plant community and prevent erosion.
[3] 
Herbicide use shall be limited to direct topical application to cut stems to prevent regrowth.
[4] 
The pruning of normal tree growth for safety reasons or to prevent interference with the transmission service and removal of noxious weeds is allowed.
L. 
Stairways. Stairways are allowed by conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The stairway is required to provide pedestrian access to the river because of steep, rocky, unstable or wet site conditions.
(2) 
The tread width of the stairway may not exceed 48 inches.
(3) 
Landings are located at a vertical interval of not less than 20 feet and shall not exceed 40 square feet in area.
(4) 
Handrails may be permitted in conjunction with stairways and shall be painted or stained the same color as the stairways.
(5) 
Canopies or roofs are not allowed on stairways.
(6) 
Stairways, handrails and landings shall be anchored and supported above grade with pilings or footings.
(7) 
Stairways shall be constructed of unfinished wood or stone or shall be painted or stained with earthtone colors.
(8) 
Stairways shall be visually inconspicuous and shall be located in the most visually inconspicuous portion of the lot.
(9) 
Native vegetation plantings shall be used to form a vegetative canopy to screen the stairway from the river.
(10) 
Vegetation shall effectively screen stairways from the river within five years.
(11) 
Existing vegetation may be removed within one foot of either side of the stairway route and up to eight feet above the stairway floor.
(12) 
Only one stairway may be permitted on a lot that abuts the river.
(13) 
A plan shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator and certified by a registered professional engineer or architect showing that the stairway components are securely anchored to prevent them from shifting and from causing accelerated erosion.
M. 
Lifts. Lifts are allowed by a conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The lift is required to provide pedestrian access to the river because of steep, rocky, unstable or wet site conditions.
(2) 
No lift shall be designed for the transport of boats or machinery up or down the bluff face.
(3) 
The car of the lift may not exceed four feet by six feet. Cars may have handrails, but no canopies or roofs shall be allowed.
(4) 
Lifts shall be located in the most visually inconspicuous portion of the lot. The location of the transporting device or power source shall be visually inconspicuous.
(5) 
All visible parts of the lift shall be painted or finished in earthtone, nonreflective colors and shall be visually inconspicuous.
(6) 
Native vegetation plantings shall be used to form a vegetative canopy to screen the lift from the river.
(7) 
Vegetation shall effectively screen lifts from the river within five years.
(8) 
Existing vegetation may be removed within one foot on either side of the lift route and up to eight feet above the lift floor.
(9) 
Only one lift may be permitted on a lot that abuts the river.
(10) 
A plan shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator and certified by a registered professional engineer or architect showing that the lift components are securely anchored to prevent them from shifting and from causing accelerated erosion.
N. 
Public and private roads.
(1) 
Construction, reconstruction or right-of-way maintenance for public roads and private roads serving two or more properties or single-family residences is allowed by a conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(a) 
No new road may be constructed in slope preservation zones, in an area 40 feet landward of blufflines, within 200 feet of the river, within 100 feet of tributary watercourses, or in wetlands.
(b) 
Route design and construction or reconstruction shall minimize visual impacts by using terrain features to blend the road into the landscape, avoiding cuts and fills as much as feasible.
(c) 
New roads shall be visually inconspicuous.
(d) 
Reconstruction of existing roads shall be performed in a manner that does not increase visibility of the road from the river.
(e) 
Cutting or clearing vegetation for road right-of-way maintenance shall be conducted in accordance with the following standards:
[1] 
Vegetation shall be managed to allow an understory layer to remain in place to prevent erosion and allow succession. Vegetation may not be disturbed in such a way that there would be reduced quality or diversity of the plant community or increased potential for erosion.
[2] 
Herbicide use shall be limited to direct topical application to cut stems to prevent regrowth. The pruning of normal tree growth for safety reasons or to prevent interference with infrastructure and the removal of noxious weeds is allowed.
[3] 
The mowing of a safety zone from the edge of the pavement back 15 feet or to the ditch bottom, whichever is less, and clearing intersection vision triangles is allowed. Other parts of the right-of-way may be mowed to control noxious weeds and undesirable brush only after July 15 of each year to avoid impacts to ground-nesting birds.
[4] 
The cutting of trees more than four inches in diameter breast height is prohibited, except that trees that pose a hazard to public health or safety may be removed.
(2) 
Public entities may apply for a one-time special exception permit for long-term maintenance of public road right-of-way, subject to all standards listed in Subsection N(1)(e) above and to periodic monitoring.
O. 
Bed-and-breakfast operations. A bed-and-breakfast operation is allowed by conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The bed-and-breakfast operation provides four or fewer rooms for rent to transient visitors.
(2) 
The bed-and-breakfast operation has sufficient parking spaces on site or on public roads for guests.
P. 
Nature-oriented, educational nonprofit facilities. A nature-oriented, educational nonprofit facility is allowed by conditional use permit if all of the following standards are met:
(1) 
The facility will not cause environmental pollution or erosion.
(2) 
The facility has sufficient parking on site or on public roads for patrons.
Q. 
Home occupations. A conditional use permit may be issued for the use of a single-family residence for a home occupation if all of the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The owner or person who rents the residence on a full-time basis conducts the home occupation.
(2) 
The home occupation is conducted inside of the residence and is subordinate to the use of the home as a principal residence.
(3) 
The home occupation will not cause environmental pollution.
(4) 
If the home occupation causes additional persons to visit the residence, sufficient parking is provided on the lot or on public streets.