Can I have a boathouse on my property?

The Shoreland Zoning Ordinance permits boathouses provided it is not a wet boathouse. The boathouse shall be located to as to minimize earth disturbing activities and shoreland vegetation removal, shall be designed exclusively for the storage of watercraft and related marine equipment and shall not be used for human habitation or commercial purposes. A boathouse with rooms above or within, used for purposes other than the storage of watercraft and related marine equipment, shall not be deemed to be a boathouse. Features inconsistent with the use of the structure exclusively as a boathouse are not permitted in or on boathouses such as:

  • Cooking Facilities
  • Fireplaces
  • Heating
  • Patio Doors
  • Plumbing

The boathouse shall not be closer than three feet to any side lot line. Railings are not permitted on top of the boathouse, nor shall roofs be designed to provide general outdoor living space, i.e. as a deck. Only one boathouse is permitted on a lot. Please contact our office for explanations of other size and location regulations.

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1. What Ordinances do Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management regulate?
2. When is a Zoning Permit required?
3. What if I am only replacing what is there, do I still need a zoning permit?
4. What is the process for applying for a zoning permit?
5. Is a zoning permit required for a fence?
6. Do I need a permit from the Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management Department for my construction, land disturbance or vegetation removal project?
7. Why does the County require an inspection or an updated survey be submitted even though the Building Inspector inspects the construction?
8. How do I find out what zoning district my property is zoned?
9. What areas are in the County’s zoning jurisdiction?
10. What Walworth County permits will I need to construct a single family residence?
11. When is the Zoning office open?
12. Do I need an appointment to apply for a permit?
13. Where is the Land Use and Resource Management Department located?
14. Where can I obtain my tax key number?
15. Where can I find the legal description of my property?
16. Do I need a permit to cut/remove trees on my property?
17. Can I store unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles on my property?
18. Do I need approval to operate a home occupation from my residential property?
19. Is more than one dwelling unit allowed on a property?
20. Can I have an in-law unit or a guest house on my property?
21. Can I have a mobile home on my property?
22. Does the County issue permits for piers and other structures placed on the bed of a water body?
23. Can I have a boathouse on my property?
24. How many accessory structures can I have on my property?
25. I have a vacant piece of land. Can I construct an accessory structure, without a residence, on the parcel?
26. Can I have horses on my property?
27. What if I have a sub-standard lot or structure?
28. What if I have a legal non-conforming structure?
29. Who do I contact for regulations governing land divisions (subdivisions and certified survey maps)?
30. I want to build a pond. Do I need a County Permit?