DUNN COUNTY, WI
Special Town Meeting held on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Stanton Town Shop, Knapp, WI
Present: See attached sign in sheet
Chairman Monn called the meeting to order at 7pm, Monn introduced the Plan Commission members and town board members. Also stated the driving force behind the purpose of having this meeting is the issue with zoning and the mining of frac sand in our area. Monn stated if at the end of the meeting there is a motion made and seconded we could get the vote on the November ballot and we won’t need to do the voting tonight. However, if no motion is given we will do a vote tonight. This is a non-binding referendum. Monn introduced Terry Dunst, attorney with Bakke Norman. Terry then took over with information concerning pros/cons on town zoning, county zoning, and remaining unzoned.
Defintion of Zoning - we would develop a map to divide the township into sections/districts as to what we would allow in certain areas of the township (agricultural, residential, commercial, ect.) to go along with the ordinance information as to what you could do in those areas. The document would spell out what you can and cannot do with your land according to what section you live in. The Stanton Town Board would have to draft an ordinance to state what we would allow.
Why would we want zoning? An advantage: It is designed to protect property values, to control what goes on in someone’s land (no gas station next to your home in the country)
Disadvantage: It would limit you on what you could do with your own property.
It also costs money to develop zoning.
County zoning advantage: It is all ready to go, all things are put into place and basically we would be ready to go if we so choose.
Disadvantage: The County has the say in what we would do within the township, however they would have to come to the township board and we have some say. We have veto power on any rezoning/redistricting issues.
Town Zoning advantage: The Town Board is in charge of what goes on, so it remains local.
Disadvantage: Could get expensive if someone wants to build something and your neighbor doesn’t like it, it could be become a lawsuit.
Terry stated that if no zoning is in place we cannot stop someone from coming in and doing what they would like to do. But if we are happy with the way we are currently, then stay unzoned.
Cleo Herrick, Dunn County Zoning is here to discuss County Zoning. She stated she is not here to push zoning; she only wants to give information. Cleo went over the county zoning administration. Of the 22 townships in Dunn County, 15 are zoned, 7 are not. County would provide a Board of Adjustment, which is a board to hear appeals, grant variances, and special exceptions. They have various avenues to help control what businesses can do as far as hours of operation, ext. They deal with the rezoning of property. (As stated earlier, the town board does have the veto power in the rezoning issues.)The BOA meet once a month, which is a public meeting.
Currently the county operates under an ordinance written in 1993. A few revisions have taken place over the years to include changes with the times.
What is proposed? A proposed ordinance on the county website which includes zoning districts (3 residential, 5-6 agricultural, 3 commercial, 2 industrial, 1 shore land and recreational, 1 rural community, 1 mineral extraction, 1 rural transitional residential, 1 rural transitional commercial). Proposed scheduled ordinance completion by end of 2012. A county-wide “kick-off” meeting in mid-March, which will mean meeting with the individual townships in Mid-April with the “rough draft” to look at.
Various Questions were asked of Cleo.
Is the BOA an elected board? They are appointed.
Under county zoning, we as a township would put our properties (from the tax roll) into the various districts (Stanton’s would be largely agricultural). Therefore, we as a Township, would have the say in which properties goes into what districts.
Would we be able to opt out if we choose to go with County zoning? Yes, after one year we would be able to opt out, and every time the county does a comprehensive rewrite (which has not happened in the last 20 years) The county is now in the process of a rewrite, so if we join in now we would be operating under the old ordinance, however in the year 2013, at the time of the rewrite we could opt out (or in).
How is county zoning enforced? If a violation occurs, the county is responsible for handling it. They try to resolve it by working with the individual(s) involved, if it can’t be resolved they would turn it over to corporate counsel for prosecuting.
With Town Zoning, the framework would be the same; the town would hire someone to be officer.
Does County Zoning conflict with our current Comprehensive Plan? Cleo stated that they work in unison, it shouldn’t conflict.
Terry encouraged residents to go online to the county website to look at what is automatically allowed within each district.
Marv Lansing stated that within the last 10 years of his being chair, nothing ever happened that wouldn’t fall under the protection of county zoning. However, he also stated that we were very vulnerable during the time of being unzoned. It was suggested that sometimes it’s easier to allow “strangers” to make the decision as opposed to your own town board (referring to the Board of Adjustment).
It was stated that the Township could also write our own ordinance with more restrictive policies to go along with the county; however it would be up to the township to “police” that.
Ordinances that the township has in place now; if the county is MORE restrictive, then the county stands, if the township is MORE restrictive, then the township stands (on that ordinance)
Motion was made by Jack Clark to have no zoning, county zoning, or town zoning be put on the November ballot, 2ndwas made by Dan Hellendrung.(Discussion -- This would still be an advisory vote as the town board still has the ultimate say. Suggestion was made to vote tonight and then only top two choices would be on the ballot. Suggestion was also made instead of no zoning, we put remain unzoned, with current ordinances on the ballot. Terry stated it would be wise to put remain unzoned as long as we don’t change the original motion intent. ) Chairman Monn called for a vote on the motion. Vote passed overwhelmingly by show of hands.
Much discussion ensued on the frac sand mining issues. This meeting was for information on zoning in general, not strictly the frac mining.
Motion to adjourn meeting by Bob Smith, 2ndby Bob Anderson. Approved
Meeting adjourned at 9:15
Town of Stanton Clerk-Treasurer