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Village Board to Consider Re-Erecting Atwater Beach Security Fence

Two years after the village removed fencing, it will consider replacing it after Lake Drive residents complained of trespassers onto their private beaches.

The Shorewood Village Board will consider whether to approve re-erecting a security fence along either side of , to stop trespassers from entering privately-owned beaches, at its next meeting Monday, 7:30 p.m. at , 3930 N. Murray Ave.

After Shorewood's Park Commission approved removing the fence in 2009, citing a special interest group's concern that the ugly chain-linked fence ruined the beach, Lake Drive residents started complaining of trespassers.

Residents said underage drinking, drug use, littering, broken glass and syringes, theft, unattended fires and vandalism were spilling onto their private land after the fence, deterring beach-goers from venturing pass the boundaries of Atwater Beach and onto private beaches, was removed. , one homeowner called fires, kids having sex and drugs and alcohol on the beach an everyday occurrence.

Estimates have the fence cost ranging from $9,000 to $15,000, according to the meeting agenda. The village wouldn’t exceed $15,000.

T, mainly from agencies that typically have jurisdiction over placing fencing on public beach property. The village talked with the Department of Natural Resources and Army Corps of Engineering, and both said if the fence was placed above the ordinary high water mark, or where the water typically doesn't go beyond, then the village was free to install a fence.

The DNR will not assist the village in determining the high water mark, but rather the village will use historical knowledge and experts to determine its location.

However, a new fence will have to act as a deterrent rather than an actual physical barrier, because the high water mark is not at the water's edge, so beachgoers can simply walk around the fence to venture onto private property.

Mr. Wonderful July 10, 2011 at 06:01 AM
First of all, a fence will do nothing. People will simply walk around it, even in the water. I'm also curious why homeowners aren't responsible for paying to put up a fence to protect their property? Will the village pay to put up a fence anywhere people are having issues?
Bill Trost July 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM
Perhaps this will assist the Village Board: The Ordinary High Water Mark - What is it? Under Wisconsin´s Constitution, lakes and rivers belong to everybody and DNR manages them for the benefit of all citizens. The state Supreme Court has ruled that the state owns title to lakebeds (not streambeds or flowed lands), and that the ordinary high water mark, (OHWM) establishes the boundary between public lakebed and private land. In 1914, the Wisconsin Supreme Court defined the OHWM as "the point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of the water is so continuous as to leave a distinct mark either by erosion, destruction of terrestrial vegetation or other easily recognized characteristic." Water marks are often at various elevations, but the most permanent and prevalent marks constitute the ordinary high water mark. The OHWM doesn´t change with temporary fluctuations in water levels, nor is it always at or near open water, as is the case with cattail marshes and bogs. The Supreme Court has ruled that the area between the water´s edge and the OHWM need not be navigable to be held in the public trust.
John J. O'Neill Sr. July 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Is that even a legitimate function of government? Haven't these "job creators" heard that "we're broke?" Probably not, since the wealthy and the emergency services unions who scabbed out to Scott Walker are the only ones that sacrifice nothing to "balance the budget." I would think that they would have their silk stocking lawyers obtaining permission for them to erect their own fences or, since people will just walk around them anyway (I agree,Mr.W), maybe the could just pitch in as a group of mansion owners and pay for a private security company to post a guard on each side of the beach at night? Problem solved at no cost to the taxpayers and for less money than would fall out of these homeowner's pockets were they to do a collective somersault at any time of the day!
Jay Sykes July 10, 2011 at 01:12 PM
Are they using those giant Alberta Darling signs to keep their fires burning?

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