Prairie du Sac Shoreline Authorization Program FAQs
What does the Shoreline Authorization Program do?
The Shoreline Authorization Program (SAP) establishes guidelines for shoreline management within the project boundary of the Prairie du Sac Dam. The SAP meets the needs of landowners by monitoring and approving vegetation management, shoreline structures and erosion measures within the project boundary.
Why is the Shoreline Authorization Program being put in place now?
Alliant Energy’s Prairie du Sac Dam on the Wisconsin River operates under a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Our FERC license requires us to manage the use of shoreline property within a project boundary established by the regulatory agency. The Shoreline Authorization Program allows us to clarify our obligations and avoid potential conflicts.
I am not sure the Shoreland Authorization Program is a requirement for me, what should I do?
To find out if your new project or facility must be approved by the Shoreland Authorization Program (SAP) visit the Prairie du Sac Shoreline Authorization Program website and view the Shoreline Authorization Program (SAP) TABLE 1 document. If you are uncertain whether the SAP applies, contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (255-4268) before you begin any construction projects. We’ll send a surveyor to determine if your property falls within the project boundary at no cost to you.
Shorelines and Project Boundaries
What is the project boundary?
The project boundary is a shoreline area established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as part of our dam operating license. Our FERC license defines the area within the boundary as shown on this map . The project boundary includes all areas on the map located below the elevation of 774.4 feet – a level determined by FERC. Most of Lake Wisconsin’s shoreline lies within the FERC project boundary.
If you do not know your property’s elevation level, contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (255-4268) before you begin any construction projects. We’ll send a surveyor to determine if your property falls within the project boundary at no cost to you.
How do I know for sure if my shoreline property is located within the project boundary?
The project boundary map provides an overall picture of the areas we manage. If you are uncertain whether your shoreline property lies within the boundary, contact Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (255-4268) before you begin any construction projects. We’ll send a surveyor to determine if your property falls within the project boundary at no cost to you.
My lot extends to the shoreline. I’d like to build a storage shed on a part of my property that is not located on the shoreline. Do I need to contact Alliant Energy?
No, you do not need approval from the Shoreline Authorization Program to build on private land located outside the immediate shoreline within the project boundary. You may, however, need to acquire permits from local, state or other agencies. If you are unsure if your proposed project area is located within the boundary, contact Alliant Energy.
We want to build a project along the Lake Wisconsin shoreline, but we don’t know what permits we need or what kind of projects we are allowed to build. Who should we contact?
Your local county planning and zoning departments can tell you what they require. You should also review the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shoreland zoning website.
I’d like to repair an existing rock wall along the shoreline. My property extends to the water’s edge. Do I need to contact Alliant Energy?
Minor repairs to structures already in place as of mid-September 15, 2020, do not require Alliant Energy’s approval. We define minor repairs as those that alter or improve less than 50% of a structure. To alter an existing structure by more than 50% or build a new structure If this is a new improvement, the alterations exceed 50% of the structure, and/or it is along the immediate shoreline would likely require Alliant Energy approval. Visit web for details.
I am putting my pier back in the water this spring. Do I need to contact Alliant Energy?
If the pier was in place prior to September 15, 2020, you do not need to contact Alliant Energy.
Our property does not extend to the water’s edge, but it’s adjacent to shoreline we believe is owned by Alliant Energy. We must cross this land to get to the water. We’d like to build a new dock on this land. Do we need permission to do so?
Building a new dock within the project boundary requires approval from the Shoreline Authorization Program. Alliant Energy would also require a separate agreement to use any of our land located outside the project boundary. When we review proposals from our neighboring landowners, Alliant Energy must consider both Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements and our role as stewards for our land and the area’s natural resources. We commit to work with landowners who wish to plan shoreline projects that may require use of our adjacent lands.
Structures and Facilities
What types of structures and facilities must be approved?
SAP Table provides a comprehensive list of structures and facilities that must be approved under the Shoreline Authorization Program.
How does the Shoreline Authorization Program define an existing structure or facility?
We define an existing structure or facility as one placed or maintained seasonally within the the project boundary prior to September 15, 2020. If the structure or facility requires a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources or any other agency, the landowner must demonstrate that they received either a permit or a permit exemption before the Shoreline Authorization Program was adopted.
How do you know what structures and facilities existed prior to September 15, 2020?
In September 2020, we surveyed the shoreline within the Prairie du Sac Dam project boundary via drone. The survey determined the condition and use of property located within the project boundary.
How do you treat existing or grandfathered structures and facilities?
You may continue to place grandfathered structures and facilities seasonally throughout their useful lives. They must, however, comply with size, location and other requirements under Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and county zoning regulations. They must not conflict with Alliant Energy’s license obligations. Structures and facilities not defined as existing must comply with the Shoreline Authorization Program.
What happens if an existing structure or facility is removed, destroyed, or damaged?
If a grandfathered structure or facility is removed, destroyed or damaged by fire, natural disaster or other means, Alliant Energy must approve any proposed replacement under the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Shoreline Authorization Program.
I plan to remodel a boathouse located entirely on my own property. Do I need to contact Alliant Energy for permission?
Alliant Energy defines existing structures as those that existed prior to September 15, 2020. I worked on a shoreline project late last fall before this program was announced. Will my project be grandfathered in?
Alliant Energy maintains an inventory of all new and grandfathered structures. Please contact us if you did any shoreline work after mid-September 2020 and before this program’s rollout that you believe may fall under the Shoreline Authorization Program. We will review any shoreline work that occurred during this transition period. Most structures and shoreline work that meet the appropriate standards will likely be grandfathered in.
How do I request approval?
To request approval:
- Research all local, state and/or federal permits required for your structure or facility.
- List all permits you believe your project will require when you fill out your application, available at www.alliantenergy.com/pdssap (there’s no application fee).
Within 60 days, Alliant Energy will respond to your request. If we believe your proposed activity meets our guidelines, we will provide a tentative approval letter.
- Submit the approval letter with your application(s) for all required local, state and/or federal permits.
- Submit proof you’ve secured the necessary permit(s) to Alliant Energy before activity begins (email@example.com).
How did Alliant Energy approve shoreline use in the past?
Our company worked with landowners adjacent to the project boundary on a case-by-case basis. Advancements in technology (i.e., geographic information system (GIS), drones, computer and web-based processes) now allow us to offer a more consistent and streamlined approval process to all landowners within the project boundary.
Will Alliant Energy oversee all approvals within the project boundary?
No. All structures and facilities placed and maintained within the project boundary must comply with all applicable local, state and federal regulations. Alliant Energy’s authority over activities in the project boundary is in addition to other applicable laws.
Do I need approval to repair or modify an existing structure or facility?
Alliant Energy must approve any modifications that involve more than 50% of an existing structure or facility. Contact us if you are uncertain whether your proposed modification requires our approval.
How will Alliant Energy monitor landowners for compliance?
Alliant Energy acquired aerial imagery of the Lake Wisconsin shoreline during the fall of 2020. We use this information, along with other publicly available imagery, to establish baseline shoreline structure presence and conditions. We will monitor the entire shoreline and compare those conditions with this historic imagery. We also use our database of newly permitted facilities and alterations to identify non-permitted activities within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission project boundary and on our adjacent fee-owned lands.
I have additional questions related to the Shoreline Authorization Program. Who can I contact?
If your question is not answered here, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I submitted information to email@example.com. How do I know it was received? I’d like to start on my project as soon as possible.
Alliant Energy is committed to reviewing and responding to applications within 60 days of receiving all appropriately completed information. In most instances, you will receive an email back within a week acknowledging your correspondence from Alliant Energy or a contractor assisting us with Shoreline Authorization Program management, landowner contacts and tracking.