Legislative Alert: WHA Launches “Protect Our Piers” Campaign

Waterfront property: new campaign designed to protect waterfront property rights

 February 17, 2020

For 140 years, Wisconsin property owners had the right to place a pier or dock on their property and enjoy access to Wisconsin’s waterways. A recent court decision from 2018 could put thousands of waterfront property owners in jeopardy of losing their piers because someone else may own the ground under the water.


  • AB 551/SB 501 seeks to clarify the issue and help restore property rights for all waterfront property owners.
  • This legislation would protect all waterfront property owners by preserving their right to place piers and docks on Wisconsin’s beautiful waterways from their land adjacent to the water.
  • The Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance* campaign is designed to raise awareness on the issue and encourage Wisconsinites to take action to protect their piers by contacting their elected representatives.

What’s in play:

The WRA is working with state Rep. Rob Stafsholt and Sen. Patrick Testin on AB 551/SB 501, legislation that seeks to clarify that all waterfront property owners have the right to place a pier subject to the regulations in Chapter 30 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Legislation status:

AB 551/SB 501 received a hearing, and the WRA is working to get this legislation to the floor of the Assembly and Senate for a vote in February and March.

*The Wisconsin Homeowners Alliance (WHA) is a C4 non-profit corporation spearheaded by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. The WHA serves as a public resource and watchdog for advocating and protecting homeowners' interests in the state of Wisconsin. Funding is through efforts of the WRA and a portion of REALTOR® dues.

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