Located in the
Lyman F. Anderson
5201 Fen Oak Drive
Madison, WI 53718-8827
Map to Fen Oak
When the Lakes and Watershed Commission conducted public meetings on various amendments to the
shoreland zoning ordinance in 2003, a number of groups and individuals expressed concern that a
"one-size-fits-all" approach to regulation and planning may not be the best for protecting and
enhancing Dane County's water resources. In 2004, Dane County received a DNR Lake Classification
grant to conduct a Water Body Classification Study including all navigable lakes, ponds, rivers,
and streams within its boundaries. The County requested that the Dane County Regional Planning
Commission take the lead in preparing the analysis and drafting the technical report. In April
2005 the Water Body Classification Study Phase I final report was completed and distributed to
local units of government, public resource management agencies, and private conservation and
environmental groups. The executive summary, complete report, and accompanying maps from Phase I,
along with presentation handouts are available for download elsewhere on this page.
The water body classification study classifies lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams according to
their current level of development and sensitivity to development. The result provides a range
of protection, restoration, and enhancement strategies as well as various management actions that
can be taken depending on the circumstances surrounding a particular site. In this manner a
classification system allows water resource plans, policies, and programs to be tailored to the
needs of the resource as well as the priorities of the community. It also provides a framework
for guiding program resources, promoting cost-sharing opportunities and partnerships among various
agencies and groups, as well as directing their efforts where they will have the greatest beneficial
Based on a review and recommendation by the Lakes and Watershed Commission, Dane County applied
for and received another DNR Classification grant to develop a Phase II management program,
building on the Phase I technical foundation.
TPhase II included public education about the Phase I study, broad community and stakeholder
input to develop objectives and strategies appropriate to each water body class (including both
regulatory and non-regulatory approaches) that build on the Dane County Comprehensive Plan,
and focus group discussions with economic advisors to assess the possible negative and positive
impacts of the proposed shoreland performance standards.
The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission received additional public input on a draft
report in November 2009, and submitted the final report to the Department of Natural Resources
in December 2009.
Partners in preparation of the Water Body Classification Project were the Wisconsin Department
of Natural Resources, Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds, Dane County Planning and
Development, and Dane County UW-Extension. The Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission
served as the Oversight Committee for Phase II management program development.
The Lakes and Watershed Commission decided that its first step following submittal of the
Water Body Classification Report to DNR would be to focus on Dane County shoreland zoning
ordinance amendments required by recent changes to the state shoreland zoning rules (NR 115).
This ordinance amendment work
is being overseen by a joint subcommittee of the Lakes and Watershed Commission and the
County Board’s Zoning and Land Regulation Committee.
Contact Brian Standing,
Dane County Planning and Development at 267-4115 for more information.
The Yahara Waterways Water Trail Guide is a great resource for exploring our area waters.