Mary Beth Peranteau
“The variety and depth of my practice provides me with insights to efficiently negotiate solutions and with the experience to effectively litigate matters that cannot be resolved by mutual agreement.”
Mary Beth Peranteau assists individuals, associations, businesses and local governments in matters relating to real estate, zoning and land use, property rights disputes and navigable waters law.
Mary Beth advises clients in land use law, including real estate transactions, resolution of boundary disputes, quiet title actions, public dedication, annexation, restrictive covenants, homeowner’s association and subdivision law, environmental permitting and county and municipal zoning proceedings including rezoning, conditional use permits and variances.
Mary Beth is experienced in water law, including pier and other navigable waters permit proceedings and dam regulation, riparian rights disputes and the public trust doctrine, and representation of inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts in regulatory and governance matters.
Mary Beth’s practice also includes energy law matters, including the representation of local electric distribution cooperatives in regulatory compliance, policy and governance matters and member relations, renewable energy procurement and contracting.
Mary Beth specializes in appeals of administrative agency and lower court decisions.
Property / Zoning Law and Litigation
- Represents individuals, associations and local governments statewide in administrative proceedings for zoning approvals and challenges.
- Prosecutes and defends adverse possession claims and boundary disputes, including disputed easement rights and rights in publicly and privately dedicated lands.
- Represented northern Wisconsin lake association in zoning litigation resulting in negotiated settlement permanently protecting riparian lands from development.
Navigable Waters Law and Litigation
- Represents individuals and associations in resolving riparian rights disputes and regulatory matters including easements, riparian boundary disputes and pier rights.
- Litigated a challenge by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to private individuals’ title to lands surrounding a flowage lake created by a historic dam based on adverse possession.
- Advise lake protection and rehabilitation districts in governance, regulatory compliance and lake rehabilitation project development and financing.
- Lead counsel representing citizens in state and federal litigation to enforce Wisconsin’s public trust doctrine, resulting in a trial court judgment enjoining the sale of publicly-owned waterfront property for private, commercial use, in Friends v. City of Sturgeon Bay, Door County Case No. 16-CV-23.
- Represented Wisconsin’s largest inland lake protection and rehabilitation district in DNR proceedings and litigation spanning over a decade, including a successful Wisconsin Supreme Court appeal, leading to the modification of lake water levels to positively impact recreational activity, property values, tourism and other lake-related commerce and municipal tax revenues. Rock-Koshkonong Lake District v. Wisconsin DNR, Appeal No. 2008AP1523.
- Counseled numerous Wisconsin member-owned electric utilities in the development of community solar facilities and member subscription programs providing renewable energy credits to offset residential electric bills.
- Advise numerous member-owned electric utilities in governance, member relations, easement and right-of-way, regulatory, contracting and other general counsel matters.
- Successfully litigated commercial dispute between generation and transmission utility and general contractor based on defects in the provision of emissions control equipment.
- Negotiated State water quality certification under the Clean Water Act for large hydroelectric project in connection with FERC relicensing.
Articles & Presentations
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Presenter, Electric Service Agreements & Contracting Best Practices, June 2021
- Editor, State Bar of Wisconsin Judicial Benchbook, Zoning Chapter, 2019 – present
- Presenter, Large Member Bankruptcies, February 2020
- Guest lecturer, Riparian Rights, University of Wisconsin Law School Real Estate Transactions Course, 2017-2020
- Presenter, 2019 Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention, Lake District Commissioner Advanced Training: Large Projects, April 2019
- Presenter, Capital Credit administration – Common Questions and New Developments, February 2019
- Presenter, 2018 Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention, Lake District Advanced Topics: Dams, April 2018
- Presenter, Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, Communications Lines in Cooperative Easements, April 2018
- Author, “Legislature Enacts New Standards for Conditional Use Permits,” WisBar Inside Track, March 2018
- Presenter, Riparian Rights and Access to Navigable Waters, State Bar of Wisconsin Presentation “Get Off My Lawn: Handling Property Disputes,” June 2016
- Author, Conditional Use Permits: Strategies for Local Zoning Proceedings, 88:8 Wisconsin Lawyer, September 2015
- Author, “Rock-Koshkonong Lake District v. DNR: Public Trust and Agency Discretion Principles Intact,” 87:3 Wisconsin Lawyer, March 2014
- Presenter, Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association, Net Metering and Community Solar Developments, March 2014
Honors & Education
- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1996, cum laude
- Beloit College, B.S., 1989
- Wisconsin, 1997
- Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin