Water and Side Lot Line Setbacks

Langlade County Ordinance

All buildings and structures must be set back a specified distance from the shoreline and from the lot lines on either side of the property. Accessory buildings, such as detached garages, have a different side lot line setback compared to principal structures. Accessory buildings must be separated from each other and from the principal structure by a set distance.

Why we have this in our ordinance

Shoreline and side lot setbacks will:

protect vegetated buffer zones by reducing shoreline disturbance,

reduce runoff into the waterway,

create a better view of the water from the home,

separate structures from each other allowing for greater privacy,

screen structures when viewed from the water,

reduce effects of prevailing winds by leaving a windscreen of vegetation, and

reduce noise levels.


What you can do...

Initially, go out and measure the shoreline and side lot line setbacks for your proposed structure(s). You may discover that the optimum view of the water is best achieved by locating your house farther back than the minimum requirements. You may have trees that you would like to preserve if you follow a specific layout. Work in harmony with the natural area as much as possible. Make the house fit the lot, not the lot fit the house. You can use the screening effect of trees to create privacy, and protect your home from prevailing winter winds. Locating your garage to block prevailing winds will lower winter heating bills, as well. Also, if you have a buffer of vegetation between your house and your neighbors, you will also reduce potential noise levels between properties. Once you have staked out your building(s), contact the LRRD for a verification of your setback measurements.

General Setbacks

Langlade County Ordinance

GENERAL SETBACKS FOR ALL WATERWAY CLASSES – These standards relate to additional setback requirements to roads, wetlands, drainageways, wells, and septic systems.


Description Minimum Setback Description Minimum Setback
Dwelling and Garage Setbacks
 - Wetland 
 - Drainageway
Road right-of-way
 - State or Federal (Class “A” HWY)
 - County (Class “B” HWY)
 - Town (Class “C” HWY)
Side Lot Line (detached garage)
Distance between buildings

25 feet
15 feet

50 feet
42 feet
30 feet
7.5 feet
10 feet
Drainfield Setbacks
 - Building
 - Lot line/road 
 - Ordinary High-water Mark
 - Well
Septic/Holding Tank Setbacks
 - Building
 - Lot line
 - Well

10 feet
5 feet
50 feet
50 feet

5 ft
2 ft
25 ft