AB 568/SB 445
A new bill introduced to the Wisconsin Legislature, Assembly Bill 568 (also Senate Bill 445), on December 4, 2015, proposes that political subdivisions (cities, towns, villages, or counties) may not designate historic landmarks without the consent of the building owners. The bill would also revoke the right of political subdivisions to require or prohibit actions regarding preservation of the aesthetic or historic character of historic properties. The bill was introduced by Representatives Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) and Robert Brooks (R-Saukville) and co-sponsored by Senators Frank Lasee (R-DePere), and Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).
The bill passed through the State Assembly on February 11, 2016, and will now be considered in the state Senate. Much of the harmful language was removed. Rather than being able to immediately contest designation of their property as historic, property owners may go through an appeals process if they reject the designation.