Home : Plan Commission > Plan Commission Minutes

Selected Plan Commission Minutes
Plan Commission Minutes
Jun 21, 2016
PDF Version: 49484_2016-Jun-21_Plan Commission Minutes.pdf

 Town of Oregon 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


1.         Open Public Hearing:

Town of Oregon Plan Commission Chairman Duffin called the public hearing to order on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 6:35 p.m.


Members present:  Paul Morrison, Tom Wiedenbeck, Dave Hagemann, Brian Duffin and Arlan Kay.  Member absent:  Andy Blomstrom and Sharon Christensen.


Also present:  Town Board Chairman Wayne Ace, Town Board Supervisors Phil Van Kampen, Arlen Christensen & Fred Clark and Treasurer/Deputy Clerk Jennifer Hanson.  Brian Standing and Roger Lane from Dane County Zoning. 


a.                   Land Rezone Request. Petition # DCPREZ-2016-11017; Parcel # 0509-164-6258-3; 5571 Ralph Road.  The request is to rezone to allow reduce setback for proposed addition.  The property would be rezoned from R-1 to R-3 for proposed addition.  Petitioner and Owner is Shane and Erin Dammen, 5571 Ralph Road, Oregon, WI  53575. 

Shane and Erin Dammen appeared to request a rezone from R-1 to R-3 to allow for a fourteen (14) foot deep addition on the back of their house.  The addition would replace a ten (10) foot deep screened-in porch that would be removed.  The additional four (4) feet would cause them to be out of compliance in R-1 zoning.  The rear yard setback is fifty (50) feet in R-1 and twenty-five (25) feet in R-3.  Kay was concerned about putting the town in a spot zoning situation when they have a sizable lot.  They looked at other areas to expand, but this was the natural area because the screened-in porch is old and needs to be replaced.  This location also creates a better flow for a dining room.  Other possible locations for expansion would require excavating the basement and pouring foundation.  Duffin said the town has approved similar requests in the past when there were no safety concerns or objections from neighbors.    


2.         Close Public Hearing.

Duffin closed the public hearing at 6:40 p.m. and went directly into the regular plan commission meeting.


3.         Call Plan Commission meeting to order.

Chairman Duffin called the regular plan commission meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.


4.         Discussion and possible Recommendation to the Town Board:

a.                   Land Rezone Request. Petition # DCPREZ-2016-11017; Parcel #0509-164-6258-3; 5571 Ralph Road. 

Kay has an issue with spot zoning.  Motion by Hagemann to approve Land Division and Rezone Request; Petition # DCPREZ-2016-11017; Parcel #0509-164-6258-3.  Seconded by Wiedenbeck.  Motion carried 4-1, opposed by Kay.


5.         Approval of minutes from the last meeting.

Motion by Wiedenbeck to approve the minutes from last meeting.  Seconded by Hagemann.  Motion carried 5-0.




6.         Public Comments.

Susan Krebsbach, 1000 Wesley Road, appeared to discuss converting her property into a conservation subdivision.  She attended a plan commission meeting in October and was advised to talk with both Dane County and the Village of Oregon which she has done.  She is wondering what would be the next step.  Duffin explained that there is language for a conservation subdivision in the town’s comprehensive plan, but the town’s land use map would need to be amended.  The property is eligible to become a conservation subdivision.  The biggest concern is if the Village of Oregon would object to the proposal.  There was discussion on whether the village would object.  Susan was told by the village to go back to the town.  Duffin said another concern was the increase of traffic through the subdivision. 


Brian Standing explained the process for amending the town comprehensive plan to allow for a conservation subdivision.  Since this area is not classified as a farmland preservation the town would not need to recertify the town’s farmland preservation plan.  Standing suggested taking a broad view of this area and holding public meetings to determine if this makes sense for the total area.  There is not a minimum acreage for a conservation subdivision.  Dane County has not passed a conservation subdivision.  There is a model conservation subdivision ordinance available from the UW extension.  First the town would adopt the changes and then request that Dane County amend the county plan.  The town can provide draft changes to Brian Standing during the town amendment process and he will address issues that maybe of concern to avoid any potential conflicts at the county level.


Duffin asked Roger Lane to discuss the differences between extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and extraterritorial zoning (ETZ).  ETJ is the automatic legal authority a city or village has to object to a land division in a town within 1½ mile of a village or 3 miles of a class 3 city.  ETJ protects areas where future roads, storm water management or utilities will be placed.  ETJ applies to land divisions only.  Extraterritorial zoning (ETZ) is a blanket over the ETJ area that allows a city or village to participate with the town in zoning.  ETZ requires a city or village to adopt a resolution to exercise zoning authority and create a map showing the boundaries.  The law requires a joint plan commission to be created made up of members from both the town and city or village.  The joint plan commission will make all land decisions within the ETZ area.  If the joint committee fails to be created within two (2) years then the ETZ dissolves.  ETJ is an ongoing right, whereas ETZ is an option that can be used by a city or village to obtain zoning.  The Village of Brooklyn and Oregon utilize ETJ to review land divisions in the Town of Oregon.  The City of Fitchburg doesn’t utilize ETJ in the town because the town’s farmland preservation plan is compatible with city’s plan.  Every city and village has ETJ review, but they can choose to exercise based on their comprehensive plan.  The Village of Oregon won’t object to a land division in the town if the density is consistent with the 1 per 35 acres, but may if outside of the 1 per 35 acres.  ETZ can be used to block development or it can be used cooperatively by a city or village and town.  The final decisions in an ETZ would be made by the city or village. 


There was discussion regarding density and lot size in a conservation subdivision.  The county doesn’t prevent 1 acre lots, but Dane County Water Quality Plan does have recommendations about concentration of septic systems on lots smaller than 1 ½ acres.  There could be an issue with the cumulative impact of septic systems since the property borders older subdivisions and how this impacts the nitrate levels.  Susan discussed creating 1 acre lots on 10 acres to preserve the tall grass prairie.  Standing said a general rule of thumb is that 20% of the land is dedicated to public infrastructure which would leave about 8 acres for development.  The county would question the nitrate levels on lots created less than 1 ½ acres.  Roger added that it is important to consider the type of housing unit wanted in relationship to the size of the lot.  There would need to be a legal document created for a homeowners association to maintain the tall grass prairie and ensure it stays on the tax roll.  Lane explained that a conservation subdivision usually revolves around a significant natural feature, like historical bluff, lake or stream.  A conservation subdivision has a permanent easement recorded and could also be deed restricted. 


Duffin suggested that the plan commission have a meeting with the town board to discuss amending the land use map for a conservation subdivision.  The future of this project my change if the town decides to opt out of county zoning.  The town needs to look at the traffic impact on the Windridge subdivision and identify other areas in the town suitable for a conservation subdivision.  Susan expressed her desire for the land to live well beyond her and feels a conservation subdivision is a perfect solution.  The county suggested an alternative to a conservation subdivision is prairie enthusiast groups that will maintain the land in perpetuity.  Duffin mentioned that the cost of installing streets is very expensive.  A storm water management plan would also be required.


Chase O’Brien, 2594 Leopold Way #113, Sun Prairie, WI, would like to create two buildable lots on family land near 509 Glenway Road.  The lots created would be around 15 acres each and would be for him and his sister.  The density study has been completed and there are 4 splits available.  The preliminary CSM has been drafted.  There was discussion regarding the proposed shared driveway.  Lane said there are very specific requirements for joint driveways on lots requiring a driveway easement and suggested talking with Water Land and Resource due to storm water management.  Duffin suggested O’Brien complete the town application to be on the plan commission agenda next month. 


7.         Appearance by Dane County Zoning (Brian Standing and Roger Lane) on Wisconsin Act 178 regarding the option to withdraw from Dane County Zoning.  Informational only, no decision with be made.

Brian Standing and Roger Lane appeared to discuss the new legislation that allows Dane County towns to opt out of Dane County Zoning.  The legislation provides two methods to opt out of county zoning in three year windows.  The town can opt out by referendum or at an annual town meeting.  Standing said the odd part of the legislation is that the town meeting with electors is after the development and adoption of the ordinance by the town board.  Standing said there was a brief period of time when the county board and zoning committee were very aggressive about using county zoning authority to change what towns wanted to do.  However even during that time the vast majority of applications were approved.  Over the last six years less than the 1% of applications have been denied.


The legislation is not clear if the cost of planning, zoning, and land division administration can be pulled out of the county tax levy.  The recently incorporated Village of Windsor had to take on all those functions and passed those costs onto landowners in higher fees.  Under the current Dane County zoning system, the cost of planning, zoning and land division administration are borne by the county tax levy which includes the City of Madison.  This is deep property tax base that supports all these activities.  The costs are not passed down directly to the towns.  This includes the cost of enforcing violations.  Towns that hire private consultants to enforce zoning violation pay by the hour.  There are towns that have given up on enforcing violations because they run out of money.  The attorneys at the county are salary, so it doesn’t cost anymore if the county is sued or not.  One of the reasons for designing cooperative zoning is a recognition that town governments don’t have deep pockets.  The other services provided by Dane County include planning assistance, certification of Farmland Preservation, density study, and GIS mapping. 


Standing feels the current system of cooperative town and county zoning has worked very well and provides a high level of service at a low cost.  The new legislation gives towns leverage over the county board and would provide an incentive for the county board to not become draconian.  The county formed a subcommittee to complete a comprehensive revision to the county zoning ordinance.  The new county zoning ordinance is being formed with input from the towns.  The new legislation also provides county exemption from land division which is unprecedented in the state and it is unclear how this will work.                


Roger Lane said that if a town decides to opt out then it should be prepared.  It will not be as simple as presented.  The third party agencies that provide these services will charge hourly rates.  The town would be responsible for all zoning and land division administration including keeping the records, updating maps, answering resident questions, and zoning enforcement.  Enforcement can be very expensive and towns will likely not get that money back.  The county would no longer maintain the town zoning maps and zoning information would not be viewable on Access Dane.  There are statutory mandates that the county must still provide to towns such as; shore land regulation, flood plain regulation, rural addressing, assigning road names, erosion control and storm water control management. 


Duffin asked if the town can remove the zoning cost from the county levy.  Standing said there is a legal theory that suggests if the county stops providing a service, then the town can extract out an equivalent amount to provide that service.  In this case, the county is still providing the planning, zoning and land division services.  There is nothing in the legislation that changes how properties are assessed.  Most of the property tax revenue comes from the City of Madison, so the incorporated areas are subsidizing the rural areas. Town could be paying twice for these services.  Lane said it is hard to determine a price on planning, zoning and land division administration.   He recommended calling third party agencies for cost, but believes a realistic number is $60,000 to $70,000 per year for zoning administration.  The new legislation gives towns a little more power, but would require a line item on the next budget for zoning administration. 


The subcommittee working on the revision of the county zoning ordinance is projected to be done in September 2017.  There was discussion regarding representation on the county boards.  Standing went over the zoning changes being discussed by the subcommittee and encouraged town participation.  There is a one year grace period allowing towns to continue operating under the old zoning ordinance before implementing the new county zoning ordinance. 


Jerry Jensen thanked Roger Lane and Brian Standing for their work in getting the towns comprehensive plan map approved by DATCAP.  Jensen expressed his delight that the county was more town friendly, but concerned about future elections changing that relationship. 



8.         Discussion and possible Action re: TORC procedures.

The new building at the TORC is completed and will be stained this week.


9.         Update on Anderson Park.

Arlen Christensen reported that there was lack of parking at the Anderson Park.  Dane County Parks will be holding a meeting at the town hall tomorrow night.


10.     Communications.

There was discussion regarding setting up a special joint meeting with the plan commission and town board to discuss both conservation subdivision and opt out of Dane County Zoning. 


11.     Adjournment.

Motion by Hagemann to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.  Seconded by Wiedenbeck.  Motion carried 5-0.


Respectfully submitted,



Jennifer Hanson

Archive View all from: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005