Vilas County Zoning - Zoning

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, beginning March 26, 2020 public access to the Vilas County Courthouse will be limited.  Please see our "Home" tab for details or click here to access Zoning Department guidance for the closure. 

Vilas County Zoning & Planning is resposible for enforcing zoning and land use regulations throught the unincoporated areas of Vilas County, with the exception of areas in the Towns of Lac du Flambeau, Manitowish Waters, and Preque Isle located greater than 1000 feet from a lake, pond or flowage, or 300 feet from a river or stream. For questions regarding specific properties, please contact the appropriate Deputy Zoning Administrator for that town. Click here for a list of Deputy Zoning Administrators.




  • Zoning Permit Application
  • (This form is used for Zoning Permit Application, Demolition Permit Application, and Shoreland Alteration Permit Application)
Note: Additional permits for asbestos and/or lead abatement may be required from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services prior to begining the demolition of a structure. Please click here or check the demolition section of our Solid Waste & Recycling Program Page for contact information.
Note: In certain cases when completing a Vegetative & Stormwater Mitigation Agreement, an affadavit is required to be recorded with the Register of Deeds. Please contact the Planning & Zoning Department for more information.



The towns of Arbor Vitae, Lac du Flambeau, Land o' Lakes, Manitowish Waters, Presque Isle, and St. Germain have town zoning ordinances and town permits may be required for all projects in these areas. See the links to local government sites below for more information on zoning requirements in these communities.

Vilas County Handouts

Other Agency Handouts

Note: All dry boathouses are subject to regulation by the Vilas County Zoning & Planning Department. Wet boat houses and boat shelters erected over the water are subject to regulation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.





Building Codes


Vilas County Zoning & Planning does not enforce the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling (UDC) or commercial building codes  The UDC is enforced by inspectors hired by each town, and the commerical building code is enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS).  Use the contacts below for more information about the UDC or commercial building codes.

RC Inspection Agency
Rick Clem
8735 Hwy 47
Woodruff, WI 54548
(715) 439-4222

Uniform Dwelling Code
Arbor Vitae
Boulder Junction
Lac du Flambeau
Land o' Lakes
Manitowish Waters
Plum Lake
Presque Isle

Baas Inspection Agency
Greg Baas
9695 County Road A
Alvin, WI 54542
(715) 545-3292

Uniform Dwelling Code
City of Eagle River
St. Germain







Wisconsin DSPS
Dan Shanahan
(715) 661-4049

Commerical Builings










Land Use Planning


Vilas County Zoning & Planning is the agency responsible for countywide comprehensive planning under Wis. Stat. §66.1001. In conjunction with the fifteen local municipalities in Vilas County, and the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission we have adopted the 2010 Comprehensive Plan, which includes the Farmland Preservation Plan.

Vilas County Plans & Maps

For more information about the Vilas County Farmland Preservation Plan, contact the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Department at (715) 479-3747 or visit

Town Plans

Floodplain Zoning


In 2012, Vilas County adopted the Vilas County Floodplain Zoning Ordinance and was accepted into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This allows Vilas County property owners to purchase flood insurance from FEMA if they are located in a flood hazard area. It also restricts development in the floodplains to help minimize potential loss of life and property in a flood event. For more information on the NFIP or the floodplain zoning in general, please contact Jane Van Wormer in the Vilas County Zoning & Planning Department at (715) 479-3622 or

A home in the 100 year floodplain has a 26% chance of being flooded at least once during the course of a 30 year mortgage.  Click here to learn more.


Annual Reports





Vilas County Sites

State of Wisconsin Sites

Local Government Sites

Miscellaneous Sites


DNR Contacts


Waterway Questions
(608) 267-2757

Pier Permits
Lakebed Structures or Fill
Wet Boathouses
OHWM & Navigability Determinations
Riprap Permits


Private Wells
William Roberts
(715) 365-8934

Private Well Regulation
Well Driller Regulation
Pump Installer Regulation
Contaminated or Flooded Wells
Well Variances


DNR Complaints
DNR Confidential Tip Line
(800) TIP-WDNR
(800) 847-9367

Enforcement Requests



Stormwater Permits
Melissa Yarrington
(715) 359-0192

Stormwater Permits
for land disturbance >= 1 acre




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