The zoning staff in the Land Conservation & Planning Department are responsible for administration and enforcement of zoning regulations adopted by Pepin County. If you are planning any development activity, please contact our office to see which regulations are applicable to your property.  The sanitary code, floodplain zoning and shoreland/wetland zoning are state mandated regulations and apply to the entire county. Permit application forms can be found at the bottom of this webpage.

Five of the townships in Pepin County have their own local zoning regulations. The City of Durand, Village of Pepin, and Village of Stockholm also have zoning which is administered locally. We can help direct you to the correct person or website if you have questions regarding locally administered zoning.

Pepin County ordinances administered by our staff are summarized below:

  • Chapter 15: Sanitary Code. All properties in Pepin County that are used for human habitation or occupancy are required to either have a septic system or be connected to public sewer. Chapter 15 outlines the state laws that apply to properties that do not have access to public sewer.  The type of septic system that can be installed on your property is based on soil characteristics of your property; a Wisconsin Certified Soil Tester needs to determine the suitability of the soil and lot for a private sewage system. A plumber will design and install a septic system based on the results of your soil test and obtain a sanitary permit. More information about this process is available here. Property owners in Wisconsin cannot install their own septic system! Staff from the county are required to inspect the installation of septic systems and re-connections. All septic systems are required to be maintained by the property owner to ensure they are in working condition, Pepin County sends out reminder letters once every 3 years to have their septic system inspected and/or pumped. Programs are available to low-income households to replace failing septic systems, call our office for more information.
  • Chapter 16: Shoreland Protection Ordinance. The Shoreland ordinance applies to all areas within 1000 feet of a lake, pond, or flowage, 300 feet of navigable rivers and streams, and all DNR identified wetlands within Pepin County. The purpose of this ordinance is to prevent and control water pollution; protect habitat for wildlife, fish, and aquatic species; control building sites, placement of structures, and land use; preserve and restore shoreland vegetation and natural beauty. A land use permit is required for all land disturbing and/or building activities in shoreland areas!
  • Chapter 19: Mississippi River Bluffland Zoning Code. The Bluffland ordinance was adopted in the early 1990's as a means to protect the bluffland areas in the Towns of Pepin and Stockholm. The primary purposes of the overlay zoning code is to prevent groundwater contamination and soil erosion; control building sites, placement of structures and land uses; and protect the unique wildlife habitat and natural aesthetics of the bluff area. Individuals wanting to build in the bluffland area are required to obtain a land use permit and must meet special setback requirements for land disturbing and/or building activities in the bluffland areas!
  • Chapter 20: Floodplain Zoning Code. The Floodplain Zoning Code is mandated by the state and federal government. First and foremost, it is in place to protect life, health, and property. We do not recommend buying property in the floodplain, it floods often in Pepin County! The floodplain maps were updated in 2010; our county ordinance is required to meet the minimum state and federal standards. The WI DNR has created a floodplain guide to help explain some of the regulations that may apply to properties in the floodplain.  Individuals with property in the floodplain are required to obtain permits. Depending on your floodplain district, you may be restricted as to what can be built and must provide supporting evidence that the structures on their property can sustain flooding and do not increase the risk of flooding or damage to other nearby properties. All development in the floodplain, including the placement of fill, requires a permit.
  • Chapter 21: Highway Setbacks and Sign Regulations.  The Highway Setback ordinance that is enforced in the Towns of Lima, Pepin, and Stockholm. Under the Highway Setback ordinance, a land use permit from the county is required before any structure is erected, moved, or structurally altered. The setback distances are determined by the type of roadway: 63 feet from the centerline of town roads, 75 feet from the centerline of county roads, and 110 feet from the centerline of a state highway. Structures are prohibited between the setback line and the roadway.
  • Chapter 22: Telecommunications Towers, Antennas, and Related Facilities. A permit is required for a new tower or a modification (addition of antennas or other equipment); only applies to a few townships, please check with county staff to see if you need a permit.
  • Chapter 28: Great River Road Preservation Zoning Code: Regulates industrial uses along the Great River Road/National Scenic Byway within Pepin County
  • All new business or residential construction within the unincorporated area of the county must obtain an address prior to commencing any development activities.  Property owners need to complete an Address Application form.  Please review/print form by following the link below or by contacting the Pepin County Zoning Office at 715-672-8897.  Our office will notify the owner, post office, town clerk, and all emergency response agencies of the new address. 

 Click on the title of the application/form that you would like to download.