Building Regulations

League members may also request an opinion directly from the League via email. Please include the subject heading and number when making such a request.

106. Discusses case law and relevant statutes governing when a municipal employee or official needs to obtain a special inspection warrant under sec. 66.122, Stats, to enter private property for the purpose of conducting health, safety, building, zoning, and similar types of inspections. 6/30/97.

107. Summarizes Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Memorandum Opinion and Order preempting an ordinance adopted by Meade, Kansas imposing certain restrictions on the installation and placement of satellite dishes, including a requirement that property owners obtain a permit and pay a $5 fee. In the Matter of: Star Lambert and Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America, CSR 4913-0 (FCC July 22, 1997). 7/31/97.

108. While municipal and other government units are not wholly immune from application of the doctrine of equitable estoppel, Wisconsin courts are firmly committed to the principle that estoppel will not lie against a municipality so as to bar it from enforcing an ordinance enacted pursuant to the police power. (1/8/97).

109. Reviews and reconfirms previous legal opinion, Building Regulations 104, which concluded that under sec. 13.48(13), Stats., a county is not subject to local building regulations when constructing a jail within a municipality. 10/30/98.

110. A municipality may not enact an ordinance retroactively applying the provisions of the Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC), Chs. ILHR 20-25, Wis. Admin. Code, to housing constructed before the UDC was promulgated in situations where an addition or alteration to an existing dwelling is not being contemplated. Section ILHR 20.02(3) and sec. ILHR 20.03 indicate that the UDC does not retroactively apply to homes built before June 1, 1980. However, sec. ILHR 20.02(1)(d) provides that municipalities may, by ordinance, adopt the provisions of the UDC to apply to any additions or alterations to existing dwellings. 2/24/99.

111. 2015 Wisconsin Act 211 requires the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) to take the following steps with regard to building permits for one- or two-family dwellings by January 2, 2017: 1) establish an electronic system relating to building permits under which a person applies for
a building permit, the municipality issues a building permit to applicants, and the municipality provides copies of the issued permits to DSPS; and 2) prescribe a standard building permit application form and require local governments to use it, except that DSPS may approve a local government’s use of a different form. 3/31/16

112.  Section 66.0104 constrains municipal authority to require registration and inspection of rental properties and declares inconsistent ordinances in effect on March 2, 2016 inapplicable and unenforceable.  Wis. Stat. 706.22 prohibits municipalities from imposing or enforcing time-of-sale, purchase or occupancy (TOSPO) requirements on the sale of real property and declares inconsistent municipal ordinances in effect on July 14, 2015 (time-of-sale) and March 2, 2016 (purchasing and occupancy) inapplicable and unenforceable.  Municipalities can still enforce code compliance, but not in conjunction with the point of sale, purchase, or occupancy.  Original article published in the Municipality April 2017,  pp. 16-18.