The trust owns property on Mill Lake in the Town of LaGrange subject to a shoreland zoning ordinance that requires a 75-foot shoreyard setback and a 10-foot right-of-way setback. An existing residence winterized but not a year-round hone, is situated within the shoreyard setback. The trust sought an area variance to construct a two-story, 22-by-24-foot garage, with space for two cars on the upper level and for another car or storage on the lower level. Building between the house and the road would require variances from both shoreyard and right-of-way setbacks. Option two would require a single right-of-way setback variance but would place the garage in a corridor that currently offers an unobstructed view of the lake form the road and the first tee of the nearby golf course. There was no opposition to the trust’s preferred option requiring two variances, but the board denied the application. The trial and appeals courts affirmed, rejecting an argument that the board proceeded on an incorrect theory of law because it failed to adequately consider the effect of a variance on the public’s interest in an unobstructed lake view. The trust did not establish unnecessary hardship or the need for a garage; an applicant is not entitled to approval merely because no witnesses appear in opposition.
Hamilton Living Trust v. Walworth County Bd. of Adjustment, 2012 WL 385501 (WI App. 2/2/2102)
The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=77630
This abstract appears in the May 2012 Planning and Environmental Law. For more information about this publication from the American Planning Association see: www.planning.org/PEL