SCENIC EASEMENTS : WISCONSIN PROGRESS

A BRIEF REVIEW IS PRESENTED OF SOME OF THE PROCEDURES USED IN THE SCENIC BEAUTIFICATION PROGRAM IN WISCONSIN. WISCONSIN STATUTES GIVE THE WISCONSIN HIGHWAY COMMISSION THE AUTHORITY TO PURSUE THE BUSINESS OF ACQUIRING EASEMENTS OVER PRIVATE LAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRESERVING THE SCENIC ASPECTS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT DECIDED ON THE FOLLOWING TYPE OF RESTRICTIONS TO BE ESTABLISHED: (1) ADVERTISING BILLBOARDS SHOULD BE ELIMINATED, (2) UNSIGHTLY ACCUMULATIONS OF ANY KIND BE PROHIBITED, AND (3) DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENTIAL SITES SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO A HIGHWAY FRONTAGE WIDTH OF 300 FEET PER LOT. OBJECTIVE ELEMENTS OF A GOOD EASEMENT SHOULD BE DETERMINED FOR THE PRESERVATION, MAINTENANCE, RESTORATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF EACH SITE. THE SCENIC EASEMENT APPRAISAL PROCESS WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO CATEGORIES: SPECIFIC RIGHTS CONVEYED AND SPECIFIC RIGHTS RELINQUISHED. APPRAISAL GUIDELINES ARE DISCUSSED. THE AUTHORITY OF THE WISCONSIN HIGHWAY COMMISSION TO ACQUIRE SCENIC EASEMENTS WAS CHALLENGED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE. THE SUPREME COURT HELD THAT AESTHETICS OR AESTHETIC CONSIDERATIONS CAN SUPPORT A FINDING OF PUBLIC NECESSITY AND THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY ADMINISTERING THE LAW MAY ESTABLISH REASONABLE AREAS TO BE ACQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH THE THE LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE.

  • Authors:
    • Mullen, B J
  • Publication Date: 1966

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200860
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: pp 93-104
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 5 1970 12:00AM