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Town of Oregon Plan Commission Meeting Minutes
Feb 15, 2010

  1. Call Plan Commission meeting to order.
    The regular plan commission meeting of the Town of Oregon was held on Monday, February 15, 2010. Chairman Darryl Weber called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. The following Plan Commission members were present: Paul Morrison, Andy Blomstrom, David Hagemann, Darryl Weber, Brian Duffin, Sharon Christensen, Town Board Supervisor Chris Johnson, Dane County Supervisor Jerry Jensen and Deputy Clerk, Jennifer Hanson. There is one unfilled position on the Plan Commission.
  2. Discussion and recommendation to the Town Board re: CSM review of lot line adjustment at 4795 Eisenhower Street .
    No resident representation appeared. The landowners are requesting a change in lot lines by recording a new certified survey map. The landowners are submitting this request together. Lot 1 is owned by Brian Busler, 4795 Eisenhower St. and Lot 2 is owned by Tom Bushar, 4789 Eisenhower St . Duffin noted that Lot 1 is losing more square footage than Lot 2. The lot sizes are not below the number of square feet required for that subdivision. Motion Hagemann/Christensen seconded to approve the CSM request for lot line adjustment at 4795 & 4789 Eisenhower Street . Motion carries.
  3. Approval of minutes from the last meeting.
    Christensen asked for sentence 3, under Item #4, be changed to read, “Mr. Jensen explained he is doing two things; the first is creating 4 lots by splitting off the house from and the buildings and the second is creating two CSM lots and one postage stamp lot.” Motion Duffin/Christensen seconded to approve the plan commission meeting minutes from Monday, January 18, 2010 with change. Motion carries.
  4. Public Comments.
    Tom Buglass, 5775 Lincoln Road owns 62 acres in the Town of Oregon and discussed his desire to keep his property undeveloped. Mr. Buglass is looking into a conservation easement with the state. Duffin clarified that this would be part of the PACE or Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements program. Mr. Buglass said developers, the school and a sports center have approached him with an interest in purchasing his property but he does not want to sell. Hagemann read a description of the PACE program. Duffin explained that if the town were to sign up for the PACE program, the town would have to pay 50% of the cost and the state would cover the other 50%. The state and the Town would then be co-holders of the easement. PACE is a new program under Working Lands Initiative. The benefit of the PACE program is that the land can never be developed. The board explained transfer of development rights or TDR to Mr. Buglass. TDR is different than PACE. TDR allows landowners to sell their development rights/splits to other landowners that do not have a split available. Duffin explained different ways for the town to generate money to fund the 50% required under the PACE program. Mr. Buglass does not have an appraisal of his property, but thinks it is very high because of the woods. Weber would like to get more information from Brian Standing and the town planner. The board would also like to see this property remain undeveloped and is interested in pursuing PACE. Jerry Jensen suggested contacting Jim Welsh from the Natural Heritage Land Trust because he is very knowledgeable in setting up conservation easements. There was continued discussion of the appraisal process for property under the PACE program.
  5. Discussion and possible Approval re: the Village of Oregon amending their ordinances to allow for rounding up of land splits.
    Weber has not heard anything back from the Village, but didn’t feel that there was any reason for concern.
  6. Discussion and possible Action re: advertising for open position on Plan Commission.
    Mr. Weber presented the board with an ad he drafted for the open position. The board would like to place an ad in the Oregon Observer and on the town website. Duffin suggested having the applicants initially only submit a letter of interest and an interest form for prospective applicants to be placed on the town website. The board requested a block ad to be placed in next week’s Oregon Observer and run for one week. The board will review the letters of interest at a special Plan Commission work session/pizza party on Monday, March 22nd. The Plan Commission will recommend a candidate for the open position and the town board will approve the candidate.
  7. Discussion and possible Approval re: Amending Chapter 10 of the Dane County Code of Ordinances, Creating Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Zoning Districts.
    Dane County Supervisor, Jerry Jensen said that the Town’s Association changed the text of the TDR ordinance amendment by adding the word ‘voluntary’ twice and added text that clarifies how the zoning works. Mr. Jensen clarified that this is not a program but a framework that puts the zoning in place. Mr. Jensen is not in favor of TDR, but supports this amendment because it would give the towns the ability to figure out how to make it work. Christensen asked about the sending and receiving areas. Mr. Jensen believes the town’s subdivisions would be a perfect receiving area. Duffin pointed out that the Village could use extraterritorial zoning over receiving areas. The local municipality would determine the sending and receiving areas. Since this is not a program, many questions that are unknown. Jerry Jensen said splits can be sent outside of the town. Duffin is concerned about the loss of tax base with sending splits outside of the town. Motion Hagemann/ Duffin seconded to approve Dane County Ordinance Amendment, Creating Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Zoning Districts. Christensen voted no. Motion carries. Blomstrom added that he wants this to be between landowners and not involve zoning. Duffin doesn’t believe in sending and receiving areas because the board treats all residents the same. Hagemann asked Christensen for her reasons on voting no. Christensen explained that she is uncomfortable passing something that nobody knows and there are too many unanswered questions. After additional discussion Hagemann rescinded his motion and voted no. Blomstrom didn’t vote. 3 Yes - 2 No -1 Abstained.
  8. Update on Comprehensive Plan.
    The completed Comprehensive Plan binders were given to the plan commission members.
  9. Discussion and possible action re: updating application paperwork for land split, re-zone or CSM.
    Christensen discussed the need to have a more user friendly application. Christensen liked the Land Use Application from the Town of Perry because the instructions were straight forward and easy to understand. Christensen would like the applicants to meet with the board prior to submitting an application. The board also wants a statement put on the application that a density study is strongly encouraged. The Plan Commission decided it needed more time to review the different applications and will discuss at the next work session.
  10. Communications.
    Weber would like the Update on Comprehensive Plan to be removed from future agendas. Duffin discussed attending the Working Land Initiative meeting he attended at the end of January. The purpose of the meeting was to inform landowners and primarily farmers of the different programs that are part of the Working Lands Initiative. Farmland Preservation is one program under Working Lands Initiative. Under Farmland Preservation, a conversion fee, which is approximately $1,000 an acre, applies only when you take land out of A-1 or A-3 and put it into a zoning other than A-1, A-3 or A-4. The PACE program was also discussed. Duffin explained the appraisal process under PACE. Another program is the Ag Enterprise Units. The state hopes to get farmers or landowners to sign a contract to not develop their land for 15 years. The state wants tracts of land that are contiguous and somewhere in the size of 1,000 acres or more. In return for signing the contract, the landowner would receive double the tax credits currently received under Farmland Preservation. TDR was another program discussed. The last program is the Urban Services Protection program. This program would take the incentive away from cities and villages to annex.
  11. Adjournment.
    Motion Christensen/Hagemann seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jennifer Hanson

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