Planning & Zoning

In January of 1993, the Town of Merrimac adopted a Development Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  In December 2004, the Town adopted the Smart Growth Development Plan as required under the Wisconsin statute, amending the original development plan.

What requires a Building Permit?

Any addition or alteration exceeding $500 in one calendar year. Here are some examples of projects, but not limited to this list, which requires a permit:

  • Additions and Remodeling (all structures)
  • Deck
  • Fence
  • Accessory Buildings (includes garages, yard sheds <100 sq. ft.)
  • Siding (excluding repairs less than 100 sq. ft.)
  • Roofing (except overlays or repairs less than 100 sq. ft)
  • Window/Door Replacement (when the opening is enlarged)
  • New Single Family Residential
  • New Multi-family, Commercial (site approval required by Zoning Commission)
  • Signs (commercial, industrial and residential)
  • Swimming Pool
  • Electrical Permits are required, but not issued by the town.  Contact General Engineering.

If you are not certain whether or not you need a permit, it is highly recommended that you call and ask.  Fees triple if construction begins prior to a permit being issued. You can download a Land Use/Building Permit Application and make payments at the bottom of this page. Permits ARE NOT considered issued until it is actually approved.  If you pay online, you must still mail or email your signed application with required documentation.

General Guidelines

These guidelines are not all-inclusive as they relate to the Town Ordinance, however, here are some simple guidelines for new construction:

  • A new home requires a UDC Permit issued by General Engineering independent of the town's permit.  The town is a non-enforcing community under 2,500 in population and is not required to perform inspections on remodels or accessory structures valued under $1 million.
  • You must observe all highway setbacks from the right-of-way (Town Roads - 30 feet) and all side and rear yard setbacks (10 feet - from the ground up).
  • You must have a living area no less than 1,000 sq. ft. and at least 20 feet wide.  The height of the building cannot exceed 35 ft. above grade (measured from the road side).
  • Accessory structures may not exceed 24 ft. by 30 ft. or 14 ft. in height within 1,000 feet of Lake Wisconsin.  All others residential properties may not construct a larger accessory structure without a Conditional Use permit from the Town Board after the recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission.  Accessory structures are not allowed on a property that does not have a primary residence.
  • All lots must be large enough to accommodate all setbacks, off-street parking, and sanitary requirements.  Sauk County determines minimum lot size based on Shoreland Zoning or sanitation requirements, but the minimum lot size for a new lot is 20,000 sq.ft.
  • UDC Permitting does not exempt property owners from requiring permits in the Town and/or Sauk County.
  • The town requires a Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the town; the UDC occupancy permit can be used to obtain one from the town.
  • Know your zoning district as these guidelines are for the Single Family Residential District.

County Shoreland Protection Ordinance

Any property located within 1,000 feet of shoreline requires a Land Use Permit from Sauk County for new construction and exterior expansion of an existing property. Shoreland Zoning requirements are established by the State of Wisconsin (NR-115) and enforced by Sauk County. Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Department can assist you with these rules. You still require a permit from the Town of Merrimac, however, a permit will not be issued within Shoreland Zoning until approval from Sauk County has been granted when required.

Sauk County Private Sewage System Ordinance

Sauk County enforces private sewage systems as required by state law. Prior to building, replacing, or placing an addition onto a home, you must obtain a permit from Sauk County. The Town of Merrimac will not grant a Building Permit until Sauk County has granted approval.

Online Application is available!

Please note that a Payment request will be sent to you after your Building Permit application is submitted. Use the button below.


Additional Contact Information:

  • General Engineering (UDC Inspections): (608) 617-9869
  • Sauk County Land Resources and Environment:  (608) 355-3285
  • Town of Merrimac Zoning Administrator Stephanie Brensike: (608) 493-2588



Permits ARE NOT considered issued until it is actually approved. If you pay online, you must still mail or email your signed application with required documentation.