Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Planning & Development

Dane County Shoreland Zoning Permits

The zoning division of the Dane County Planning and Development Department is responsible for reviewing and approving shoreland zoning permits for development projects near environmentally sensitive areas outside of the Cities and Villages in rural Dane County.  This page provides information on shoreland permit requirements instructions for making application.

A bird at a boat launch walking toward a vegetated shoreline on Lake Mendota

Shoreland and Wetland Zoning

Lands within 300 feet of a river or stream, or 1000 feet of a lake or pond are determined to be within the shoreland zoning district and subject to special regulations intended to protect our environmentally sensitive areas located throughout Dane County.  In many cases a shoreland zoning permit is required for development occurring within the shoreland or a wetland.

Additional permits may also be required from the Dane County Land and Water Resources office.

Shoreland Zoning Permits


Projects that require a shoreland zoning permit:

Any construction, reconstruction, expansion, replacement, or relocation of impervious surfaces within 300 feet of a navigable body of water (lake, pond, stream).  Impervious surface is considered anything other than vegetation, and manmade.

Any new permanent or temporary structures within 300 feet of a navigable body of water.

Any vertical or horizontal expansion of an existing structure within 300 feet of a navigable body of water.

Removal of Trees, Shrubs, or vegetation within 35 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a body of water.



Required information:

Plat of Survey from a licensed surveyor showing the following:

  • Scaled drawing of property lines with dimensions
  • Size and location of all buildings and structures located on the property
  • Size and location of all impervious surfaces including driveways, stone patios, pavers, steps, landing, decks, and retaining walls.
  • Size of all vegetative areas (grass, mulch)
  • Ordinary high water mark location
  • Topographical information
  • Floodplain boundary (if present)
  • Contours of existing and proposed grading
  • Additional features may be needed to comply with erosion and mitigation requirements


Review and approval process:

Development within the shoreland zoning district begin with application for a shoreland zoning permit from Dane County Zoning.

The application will be reviewed for compliance with Chapter 11: Shoreland and Wetland Zoning regulations and determination will be made on any additional permits required.

A review letter is provided stating additional permit requirements, including but not limited to:

After the conditions of the review letter have been satisfied the shoreland zoning permit will be issued, and if the development requires a general zoning permit, one may be applied for.

Shoreland zoning staff

Hans Hilbert

Assistant Zoning Administrator

Primary contact for Shoreland, Wetland, and Floodplain Zoning

Phone: (608) 266-4993