PLATTEVILLE — The Platteville Golf and Country Club is paying $12,000 in fines to settle a Department of Natural Resources lawsuit over violations of state water and wetland protection laws.
The settlement ends several years of litigation over a country club expansion project.
“We’re just glad to put it all behind us,” said Steve Becker, president of the country club’s board.
The country club purchased adjacent land for a driving range and installed drain tile in 2005. The DNR accused the country club of illegally filling in a stream that is a tributary of the Little Platte River, graded more than 10,000 square feet of the stream bed and banks, and illegally filling in “adjacent wetlands.”
Becker said the DNR visited the site, and the country club “thought we’d received a verbal OK. Several years went by, and the DNR told us we had filled in a navigable stream. It’s hard to find a navigable stream there, but the DNR said we’d filled it in without a permit.”
The DNR filed charges against the country club in 2011. As part of the agreement, the country club removed the drain tile and fill from the area.
“Wisconsin law requires that property owners may not disturb streams and wetlands unless they have been granted a permit to do so,” said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in a Department of Justice news release.
The agreement requires that the country club “shall monitor the site for stabilization and check for erosion and head-cutting” and report back to the DNR for the next two years.