Urban Planning & Real Estate
- Wisconsin Real Estate Property Transfer-Disclosure of Information.
The 2017 Wisconsin Act 222 was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker on April 3, 2018. The law requires that owners of a property divulge whether or not there are burials on their property prior to selling.
- There are currently 9700 total burial sites in Wisconsin. There are 6400 cemetery and other burial sites and 3300 Native American mounds thoughout the state of Wisconsin. There are another 600+ Native American mounds waiting to be catelogued after field verification. Over 13,000 years of human occupation in the state of Wisconsin leads to the conclusion that a great deal of land within the state of Wisconsin contains burials.
- It is advantageous for realtors, property purchasing individuals as well as businesses to have research conducted to determine if a particular property contains burials and is subjected to Wisconsin burial statute §157:70. A great deal of time and money can be saved by having research conducted prior to purchasing or selling property. Most cities in Wisconsin currently have previously recorded, uncateloged burial sites within their respective city limits. These sites require a “Notice to Disturb” letter to the Wisconsin Historical Society and hiring a registered professional archaeologist prior to development of the property to conduct the research, write the letter and perform fieldwork. Failure to comply with 157:70 can result in penalties and fines and referal to the Department of Justice.
- Agencies must take into consideration the effect of a proposed action, such as a ground disturbing activity upon previously recorded historic properties, such as archaeological sites within the state of Wisconsin. An archaeological site is a location on the landscape that contains evidence of past human activity. The Wisconsin Historical Society-Archaeological Sites Inventory is a restricted-access database encoding approximately 32,000 sites within Wisconsin. The database covers archaeological sites, burial mounds, cemeteries, and cultural sites. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, these sites are mapped to the nearest quarter section when viewing their location. The database is only accessed by professionals in historic preservation such as an archaeologist. The Architecture and History Inventory (AHI) database includes nearly 150,000 properties.
- 40 State agency decisions; negotiation.
(1) Each state agency shall consider whether any proposed action of the state agency will affect any historic property that is a listed property, on the inventory or on the list of locally designated historic places under s. 44.45. If the state agency determines that its proposed action will affect any historic property, it shall notify the officer.
(1m) The historical society and a state agency notified under s. 44.39 (2) jointly shall identify actions of the state agency that may cause or permit an adverse effect on historic property including, but not limited to, any state agency action that involves the exercise of state agency authority in the issuance of a permit, license, authorization, variance or exception or in any grant of financial assistance and any state agency action related to property owned by the state agency or related to its long-range planning and facilities development.
(a) Upon receipt of a notice under sub. (1) the officer shall determine whether the proposed action will have an adverse effect upon a historic property that is any of the following:
- A listed property.
- On the inventory.
- On the list of locally designated historic places under s. 44.45.
(b) The officer shall make the determination under par. (a) within 30 days of receipt of the notice under sub. (1) or notify the state agency that an extension of time, not to exceed 30 days, is necessary to make the determination. If the officer notifies the state agency of an extension, he or she shall include in the notice the reasons for the extension.
(3) If the officer determines under sub. (2) that the proposed action will have an adverse effect on the historic property, the officer may require negotiations with the state agency to reduce such effects. If the negotiations result in an agreement as to the means of reducing such effects, the agreement shall be incorporated into the state agency’s proposed action. The officer shall prepare a written report on the effects and the status of all negotiations. The officer shall submit the report to the governor and to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3).
(4) A state agency may deny or impose conditions on a permit, license, authorization, variance, exception or award of financial assistance identified under sub. (1m) in order to reduce any adverse effect on historic property.
History: 1989 a. 31.