MADISON - The state Supreme Court says the Department of Natural Resources lacked the authority to force a couple to modify their massive Madeline Island pier.
The DNR granted Terrie and Philip Myers a permit in 2001 to build a 70-foot pier. The agency received complaints in 2012 and 2013 that the pier was contributing to shoreline erosion.
The DNR amended the Myers' permit in 2015 to require pier modifications, arguing a permit controls ongoing maintenance even after a pier is completed.
The Supreme Court rejected the DNR's stance Friday, ruling 6-1 that the DNR lost the authority to amend the Myers' permit after it expired in 2004.
A spokeswoman for the state Justice Department, which defended the DNR in the case, didn't immediately respond to an email.