Shoreland Permit Procedures


A Shoreland Permit (PDF) is required when one of the following projects occurs within the unincorporated Townships or the Village of Somers. Note: the more common projects that occur within the County include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Shoreline stabilization
    This includes projects, such as retaining walls, riprap or bio-revetment installation to prevent erosion.
  • Fill placement
    This includes projects designed to improve drainage in the shoreyard (provided it is not a zoned wetland), or fill used in the foundation of new home construction beyond "usual and customary" amounts normally used for home site development.
  • Dredging or removal of sediments from streams or lake beds
    This includes agricultural sediment removal projects or dredging near the shoreline for watercraft docking.
  • Earth movement/grading, major landscaping and berms

For a more comprehensive list of permissible projects, consult the Kenosha County General Zoning and Shoreland Floodplain Zoning Ordinance. Most projects requiring a shoreland permit from Kenosha County will require a corresponding Department of Natural Resources permit and possibly a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit. 

Kenosha County shoreland permits are not valid without the necessary federal or state permits.


  • To promote public health, safety and welfare
  • To achieve the purposes of s.281.31, Wisconsin Statutes
    • "Maintain safe and healthful conditions
    • Prevent and control water pollution
    • Protect spawning grounds, fish and aquatic life
    • Control building sites, placement of structures and land uses
    • Preserve shore cover and natural beauty"


You must submit a complete Stipulated Shoreland Permit Application (PDF) including a property survey / site plan (PDF) and the appropriate fee. This fee is based on the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development fee schedule.

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The Value of Shoreland Zoning Video