August 2, 2011
MADISON - Summer passes quickly, so owners of larger waterfront piers are encouraged to learn now if they qualify for a free, one-time registration of piers that exceed size standards set in 2004, state habitat protection officials say.
"While the registration deadline's been extended to April 1, 2012, it's easier to measure your pier in the summer to see if it qualifies to be registered," says Martye Griffin, who coordinates the pier registration program for the Department of Natural Resources.
The vast majority of piers statewide do not need to be registered because they fit the size standards that lawmakers established in 2004 for piers to be exempt from state permitting processes.
Lawmakers created the free, one-time registration process to grandfather in most of the larger existing piers that exceeded the size standards. Having the pier registered protects property owners if neighbors or others complain about the pier's size in future years, and allows DNR and local governments to know the larger pier is legal.
Piers exempt from any permitting and that do not need to be registered are a maximum of 6 feet wide; can have a loading platform up to 8 feet wide; don't interfere with neighbors or public boating and fishing; and have no more than two boat slips for the first 50 feet of shoreline frontage owned and an additional boat slip for every full 50 feet owned thereafter, Griffin says.
Larger piers that don't fit these standards may qualify for the free, one-time registration. To qualify for registration, these piers must have been first placed in the water before February 2004 and meet additional dimensional limits.
A downloadable registration form and other materials to complete the registration process are available on the Piers, Docks and Wharves registration page of the DNR website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Martye Griffin (608) 266-2997