Legislation would lead to costly delays while limiting public participation
Legislation developed by builders to speed up the permitting of structures in public waterways would do the exact opposite according to 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.
“Special Session AB 24 is billed as a way to get permits faster for projects that are built in public waterways. In reality, the legislation would curb public input and pose harm to natural resources and actually slow down the permitting of projects in Wisconsin,” said Steve Hiniker, Executive Director.
SS AB24 would, among other things, limit the time the Department of Natural Resources has to review a permit application for a project that would be built in the public waterway. If the agency didn’t act on the permit within a specified time period, the project would be deemed approved.
“If the DNR is forced to act on a permit before an adequate review of the proposed activity can be complete, the agency could simply deny the permit. This means that the permit applicant would have to start over with a new permit application (and fees) which will lead to costly delays. Or, if the agency approved the project without due consideration, natural values of the lake or river could be compromised,” added Hiniker.
“While permit applicants will be experiencing new delays because of this legislation, the public will be denied a fair opportunity to participate in the review of projects that are constructed in the public waterways of Wisconsin. The legislation places strict time limitations on the opportunity for public comment on proposed projects.”
“Special Session Assembly Bill 24 should be scrapped as costly and ineffective,” concluded Hiniker.