WRA Legislative Alert: The WRA Supports the Homeowners Bill of Rights

 August 04, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court and Wisconsin Supreme Court recently decided against the interests of property owners in three cases. These decisions demonstrate the need for legislative action to protect the rights of property owners to use and develop their property. Two Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced a proposal known as the Homeowners Bill of Rights.

What's in play

Proposal:¬†The WRA supports the Homeowners Bill of Rights legislation and will work for passage this year. See the article, ‚ÄúHomeowners Bill of Rights: The Legislature‚Äôs Response to Recent Anti-property Rights Cases‚ÄĚ for more information about this legislation.


  • Substandard lots: The proposal would protect the ability of property owners to develop and sell substandard lots that were legal when they were created but do not meet current lot size requirements.
  • Conditional use permits: The proposal creates a statutory framework for conditional use permits (CUPs) and provides certainty for property owners by establishing a fair and reasonable approval process.
  • Variances: The proposal defines ‚Äúarea variance‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúuse variance‚ÄĚ and states the burden of proving ‚Äúunnecessary hardship‚ÄĚ can be met.
  • Vested rights: The proposal indicates that an application for a development permit is grandfathered from any changes to local ordinances at the time the application is submitted even if the local government has multiple permit requirements for the development.

Bill status

Introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature by Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow.

The WRA engages in advocacy on behalf of REALTORS¬ģ¬†and property owners through a variety of programs including the REALTORS¬ģ¬†Political Action Committee and the Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance.¬†¬†

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