The Plan Commission Public Hearing was called to order by Town Board Chairperson Darryl Weber on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 6:30PM. The following members were present: Paul Morrison (left at 8:00PM), Lloyd Klahn, Dave Hagemann, Andy Blomstrom, Darryl Weber, Brian Duffin, Sharon Christensen and Deputy Clerk, Jennifer Hanson. Also in attendance is Brian Standing, Dane County Planning & Development and Andrew Bremer, Town Planner.
Mr. Bremer suggested option 3 or option 2. Mr. Standing said the County Board would be supportive of option 2 and possibly option 3. One of the original concerns of the County Board was the size of the rural conservation subdivisions. Mr. Standing said that even if the town goes with Option 2, the plan can be amended in the future. Mr. Standing presented the state certified Dane County Farmland Preservation map for the Town of Oregon that labels the areas around the Villages as transition areas. Mr. Standing explained that the reasons for getting the Farmland Preservation Plan re-certified. Mr. Standing reiterated that the Farmland Preservation Plan has been approved. However, the Comp Plan is pending approval from the County Board and he doesn't feel it will be approved as currently presented due to the objection from the Village of Oregon. Mr. Bremer explained that the changes required to be made to the Comp Plan would be very minimal. The text on conservation subdivisions would remain, however the yellow areas would be removed from the map.
The Plan Commission discussed the four options. Mr. Standing suggested that if the Town were to go with Option 2 to include language to the Comp Plan that the Town is working with the Village on developing conservation subdivisions. Chairman Weber suggested going with option 2. Member Morrison chose option 2. Member Klahn chose option 2. Member Blomstrom chose option 2. Mr. Standing clarified that the issue is not with the concept of conservation subdivision, but with where and how much. Mr. Standing feels the Town could develop limited conservation subdivision but doesn't know exactly where those areas are located or how much. Mr. Standing feels that it is appropriate to leave the text language on conservation subdivisions in the Comp Plan with an explanation of how this might be applied in the future. Mr. Standing explained that the problem for the Village is that both the town and the Village have planned for future development on the same land. Since the land is under extraterritorial zoning, the land is really under joint control. Mr. Standing discussed changes made to Farmland Preservation under the Governor's Budget. Mr. Standing said it is possible that farmland preservation tax credits could be tripled under this proposal. Mr. Standing explained the reasons why there have been so many problems with the Farmland Preservation Plan. Mr. Standing said the Town of Oregon is the only town in Dane County to have received temporary certification under the Farmland Preservation Plan. However, statewide there are many communities with temporary certification that have faced similar issues as the Town of Oregon. That is why there are changes being made in the Governor's Budget. Mr. Standing feels that the revised Comp Plan for the town is solid, much clearer than the previous plan and a good base to work with in the future.
Member Hagemann asked if it was important to add conservation subdivisions near current subdivisions in the township to match with the language in the plan. Discussion followed that they will not include conservation subdivisions on the map, but will leave the text. Member Hagemann chose option 2. Member Duffin chose option 2. Member Christensen chose option 2. Mr. Standing said that if the town were to remove the conservation subdivisions from the map, the Comp Plan would be passed at the county.
There was discussion regarding the necessity of scheduling another public hearing on the Comp Plan. It was recommended by Mr. Bremer to have another public hearing to amend the changes in the Comp Plan. Member Hagemann clarified that the public hearing will be notifying the residents that the conservation subdivisions were removed from the map, but the text remains.
Member Hagemann made a motion to modify the Comp Plan map by removing all conservation subdivision areas also known as yellow areas and leave text in the plan that the Town of Oregon recognizes conservation subdivisions. Member Duffin seconded. Motion carries. Mr. Standing explained that the state looks at the county farmland preservation plans not at the individual municipalities. Mr. Standing had hoped the state would work directly with the town on the Farmland Preservation Plan. The state is now issuing ten year certifications of Farmland Preservation Plans.
The Plan Commission started the second discussion on implementing blanket rezones required as part of the approval of the Farmland Preservation Plan. The state has given the town a deadline of December 31, 2009 for rezoning of parcels. There are three categories; one is non-conforming lots where the residents will be happy to have their zoning changed, the second group would be because the areas are labeled as transitional ag and the zoning would need to be re-zoned to A-3, not A-1Ex; the third group is those residents in A-3 that would be changed to A-1Ex. Mr. Standing is concerned that the third group would be concerned that they are downgrading in zoning. Even though the uses of A-1 Ex and A-3 are exactly the same. Mr. Standing explained that the state views A-3 as land that is currently used for agricultural but in the future all or portions of it will be developed. Discussion followed regarding the process of doing a blanket rezone. Member Morrison left the meeting.
The Plan Commission discussed what would happen if the zoning uses changed after a blanket rezone. The County will produce a list of land owner names and parcel numbers affected by the rezone. Mr. Standing would like the town to review the parcels near the subdivisions. The process of the rezoning would begin by having a petition introduced by a Town Board member or a County Board member. After that, there will be outreach to work with affected landowners. Member Christensen asked about parcels with a postage stamp rezone. Mr. Standing said those parcels could be determined by mapping. Chairman Weber clarified that the County is going to be leading the process of rezones. Mr. Standing would like the town to help with notifying affected landowners and monitoring areas that will be rezoned so it would not conflict with current usage.