A large tree fell down into a yard on Fair Street in Wautoma on June 14. Photo by Erin Gabrielson.

Information regarding Storm Damage Repairs

As Waushara County works to recover from the severe storms from June 12 through 15, many residents are likely in the process of assessing damage, cleaning up their property, working with insurance companies on claims and making plans to repair or rebuild their homes and outbuildings.

The Waushara County Zoning and Land Conservation Office would like to remind residents to be extremely cautious of any contractor who knocks at your door.

  • Residents should make sure the contractor is registered with the State of Wisconsin, and ask to see their state registration card. Obtain a written contract which includes a start and completion date, warranty information, and who will be responsible for obtaining permits. Then, make sure all permits are in place before construction begins. For a list of contractors that commonly work in the area and are familiar with the permitting and inspection process, please look on the Waushara County website at www.co.waushara.wi.us or contact the Zoning and Land Conservation Office at (920) 787-0453 so a list of contractors can be mailed to you.
  • Structures damaged or destroyed in the storm that will be repaired or replaced may fall under special statutory exemptions contained in Stats. 59.69. This rule allows for non-conforming structures to be repaired or restored to the same size, location, and use that it had immediately before the damage or destruction occurred, provided the damage or destruction is the result of natural causes such as violent wind. A non-conforming structure is one that does not meet the setback requirements of the Waushara County Code such as side lot, road or wetland setbacks. Other sections of the statutes cover repair and/or replacement of non-conforming structures due to water setback. A non-conforming use is one, which is not normally permitted in the zone that the structure is located in.
  • Statutory provisions do not exempt landowners from obtaining required permits. A land use permit is required from the Zoning Office if construction will exceed $1,000 in value or the construction area is 100 square feet or more. If you have any questions on the permit process, or whether a permit is needed for your project, feel free to contact the Waushara County Zoning Office at (920) 787-0453. You may also come into the office on the second floor of the courthouse to apply in person. It is a good idea to bring pictures with you so the employees can better understand your project and properly assist you in the rebuilding process. If necessary, the office staff would be happy to meet you on your property to answer questions and go over all your options, just call (920) 787-0453 to arrange a meeting time.
  • Any repairs or replacements of dwellings or public buildings that include structural components such as decks, porches, foundations, and roofs; or repairs and/or upgrades to electrical, heating or plumbing systems are also required to obtain permits from the building inspector. These permits include inspections at various stages of construction to insure all work done is in accordance with state building codes. If you have any questions regarding uniform dwelling code or commercial permits, please contact the local building inspector at (920) 787-6510, or stop by on the second floor of the courthouse during office hours, which are weekdays from 8 to 10:30 a.m.