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Group wants Oneida County shoreland protection standards raised

UNDATED (WXPR) -- At one time, Oneida county had what was considered the strongest shoreland protection ordinance in Wisconsin. Over the past decade, the county has reworked language to make the ordinance more flexible for shoreline property owners.

The state sets shoreland protection standards. The legislature does not allow rules less stringent than the state rules, but does allow counties the ability to make the rules stronger than the state baseline.

The Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association this week agreed to begin a campaign to get the public involved in determining the next shoreland protection ordinance. The state is mandating each county update it's ordinance within two years.

Bob Martini is a former DNR water resources employee and served on the county board. He says they want county residents to have a greater say in what the updated shoreland protection ordinance will look like.  "It's our opinion Oneida county has the weakest shoreline protection ordinance in northern Wisconsin. We have the second­ most lakes, but the least protection for those lakes."

Martini hopes more public input will result in a broadly­ based ordinance.  "The committee that is working on this, the Planning and Development committee formerly known as the planning and Zoning committee, is not the right venue for this discussion. This is too important of an issue to leave up to those five guys on the Planning and Development committee."

Martini says the current ordinance now is far weaker than all the other neighboring counties.