Town of Oregon
Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
1. Call Plan Commission meeting to order.
Chairman Duffin called the regular plan commission meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.
Present: Paul Morrison, Tom Wiedenbeck, Andy Blomstrom, Dave Hagemann, Brian Duffin, Arlan Kay and Sharon Christensen.
Also present: Town Board Chairperson Wayne Ace, Supervisor Arlen Christensen, Supervisor Fred Clark, Treasurer/Deputy Clerk Jennifer Hanson, and several members of the public.
2. Approval of minutes from the last meeting.
Motion by Kay to approve the minutes from last meeting. Seconded by Hagemann. Motion carried 7-0.
3. Public Comments.
a. Appearance by Susan Krebsbach
Josh Weiss, 5478 Windridge Road, appeared on behalf of the neighborhood to express concerns regarding the potential conservation subdivision by Susan Krebsbach. He listed several concerns: 1) Safety along the road for walkers, bikers and children with an extra 100 cars a day; It is a narrow road with no shoulders. 2) The land was meant for a single family home consistent with Farmland Preservation Plan. 3) Concern about storm water control and management and the run-off onto neighboring properties. 4) Emergency vehicles and snow plows that would cut into the size of the properties or reduce size of conservation area. 5) Dane County ordinance limiting the length of a private road to 1,000 feet, but proposal is for 1,500 feet. There are a few questions: 1) Who approves the plan and what are the standards for the road? 2) Who owns the roadway? Is it smart for the town to own this road? 3) Does the town have the manpower and resources to snowplow and maintain the road? This property was not set aside as a planned development area in the town’s comprehensive plan. Her property has a restriction for no further development.
Ron Rieder, 5477 Windridge Road, appeared but has nothing more to add.
Duffin explained that the property at 1000 Wesley Road has a zoning restriction limiting land divisions to one home per 35 acres in Rural Preservation II. A change in zoning to Rural Conservation Subdivision would eliminate that zoning restriction. The reclassification to Rural Conservation Subdivision would allow for development of the property. There is nothing on the deed that limits the property from further development. A deed restriction at the county is a called a zoning restriction at the town.
The road would be paid for by Susan Krebsbach and meet all specifications set by the town. The storm water study is being completed and will help to determine if this is an appropriate site. The discussions of a conservation subdivision have been underway for about a year. The conservation subdivision was placed into the Comprehensive Plan in 2007 to add tax base to the township and not rely on farmers using their splits. There are no conservation subdivisions in Dane County, but has been used around the Milwaukee area. Susan Krebsbach is the first landowner to ask for a reclassification to Rural Conservation Subdivision in the Town of Oregon. The plan commission is just starting to look into the possibility that this property would be an appropriate site for a conservation subdivision. The public will be involved in every step of the process.
The town asked for a traffic study and was told by Pam Dunphy, deputy commissioner at Dane County Highway and Transportation Division, that a traffic was not necessary. She did calculations and said that adding 9 lots are well within the safety parameters. The town board agreed to not proceed with a traffic study.
Caroline Templeton, 930 Hillcrest Lane, discussed safety concerns with the increase in traffic. Duffin suggested discussing those concerns with the town board.
Josh Nordstrum, 5520 Sheil Dr., discussed the revenue generated from property taxes on the additional homes and whether it was a benefit to the town with the additional need for plowing and maintenance.
A resident expressed concern for neighbors that will have a hardship by putting another building behind existing homes.
Duffin understands the concern, but feels a conservation subdivision maybe valuable to the town because the property is within annexation of the Village of Oregon and could have substantial more development in the future. The requirement for a conservation subdivision requires that 60% of the land remain in conservation allowing for 40% of the land to be developed. The 24 acres of conserved land would never be able to be developed in the future.
The conserved prairie land would continue to pay property taxes. There are several questions that the town will need answered as this process moves forward. The town will want to meet with the prairie group chosen to maintain the conserved land.
Susan Krebsbach, 1000 Wesley Road, bought the property in 1998 and built their home in 2001. Susan is unable to care for the property alone and is not in a financial position to donate the land. Susan cares about her land and neighbors. Susan wants to preserve the prairie. Susan answered questions from the audience.
There was discussion that the future growth of the Village of Oregon is unknown, but the area is within the Village of Oregon extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Susan Krebsbach formally submitted a request for a Conservation Subdivision last month to the town. Susan reached out to her neighbors for an open house. The first objective for the town is to draft a Conservation Subdivision Ordinance. Once the ordinance is adopted, then the town would review the storm water studies to determine if this is a suitable site. If this determines it is a suitable site then a public hearing would be held to reclassify her property from Rural Preservation II to Rural Conservation Subdivision. This would also need to occur at the county. The second public hearing would be to actually approve the conservation subdivision development. The second hearing would also need to occur at the county. This is a long process and it is just beginning. The plan commission is unsure how long this process will take. The Conservation Subdivision Ordinance will be for used for the entire town.
4. Discussion and possible Approval re: changes to the Driveway Ordinance.
Arlen Christensen asked for the plan commission to review the driveway ordinance. The changes are indicated in yellow. Duffin asked for plan commission members to review for next month’s meeting. Any driveways currently in place would be grandfathered and the changes would only affect future driveways.
5. Discussion and possible Action re: creation of a conservation subdivision ordinance.
The town board wanted to have some questions answered before having the plan commission work on the creation of the conservation ordinance.
6. Discussion and possible Action re: Amending the Comprehensive Plan to include Rural Development – Conservation Subdivision on the Land Use Map.
The plan commission would like to work on the ordinance prior to amending the land use map. There are no areas in the town identified as Rural Conservation Subdivision. There were a number of areas identified on the land use map ten years ago, but the Village objected to those areas so the town agreed to handle conservation subdivisions on a case-by-case basis. The wording is in the comprehensive plan. Rural Preservation I zoned property is typically agricultural land that is not planned to be developed outside of the allowable splits. Rural Preservation II zoned property is expected to be developed and located around subdivisions and the Village. Rural Preservation II land is allowed to be rezoned into Rural Conservation Subdivision, but not Rural Preservation I land.
7. Discussion and possible Action: Susan Krebsbach, 1000 Wesley Road, potential conservation subdivision.
The town board has a four concerns regarding the conservation subdivision. The first concern is the deed restriction. Susan Krebsbach is currently restricted from building another home because of her zoning restriction, but this is not a condition of her actual deed. Duffin explained that a deed restriction is different than a zoning restriction placed on by the county. Christensen questioned the reasoning of a deed restriction as a tool to limit development if it can be changed. Duffin explained that the town has the ability to reclassify the zoning of properties in the town. The zoning of properties can allow for development. Christensen thought the deed restriction stayed with the property for life. The plan commission reviewed the email from Roger Land at Dane County explaining deed restrictions where placed on properties when the housing density rights have been exhausted on the original farmsteads. A conservation subdivision is intended to be forever as the rights are buried.
A second concern of the town board is the prairie group that would manage the conserved land. Susan is in the process of finding an organization to work with on her project. There has to be parameters on the development of the conservation subdivision in the town through an ordinance. The town board may hire an attorney to draft the conservation subdivision ordinance. The town could develop criteria for potential conservation subdivisions instead of identifying areas on a map. Susan said the prairie would be managed through a homeowner’s organization. The use of the prairie would be left up to the homeowner’s group.
A third concern of the town board was what type of revenue would be generated from the property tax on the house. Susan discussed having some type of restrictions on the size of the homes such as minimum square footage. There was discussion about the value of lot to determine the potential property tax revenue. They believe the homes would be valued between $400,000 and $500,000. The town may want a home to be built on each lot and not one person buying two lots, but only building one home. Blomstrom said that there are studies that show that additional homes put a burden on existing tax payers. The town would get about $1,000 tax revenue on each home per year.
The fourth concern is if the plan commission members wanted to continue pursuing a conservation subdivision ordinance. The members expressed concern in creating an ordinance that would be well thought-out and address all concerns, but not rushed or benefit one specific landowner. The conservation subdivision is part of the current comprehensive plan and should be addressed by the town as requested by the landowner. Duffin said conservation subdivisions were a creative way to generate tax base without disturbing agriculture. Kay said that the Town of Dunn had a study that showed a new subdivision created more expense than generated in revenue. Conservation subdivisions are only allowed on areas around existing subdivisions.
There was discussion about the procedures for Krebsbach’s formal petition for a conservation subdivision. The plan commission believes it will take a year to create the conservation subdivision ordinance. The criteria for a conservation subdivision will be developed that could eliminate Krebsbach’s property from becoming a conservation subdivision. The town board will need to decide if additional density is wanted in the Town of Oregon. Susan Krebsbach requested that her petition for a conservation subdivision be tabled until a conservation subdivision ordinance is in place.
Motion by Blomstrom to accept Krebsbach’s request to table her petition for a conservation subdivision until a conservation subdivision ordinance is in place. Seconded by Wiedenbeck. Motion carried 7-0.
8. Discussion and possible Action re: Retaining Andrew Bremer, planner at MSA to review conservation subdivision.
Duffin said that the town used Andrew Bremer from MSA to create the comprehensive plan in 2007 and would like to work with him again. Duffin will ask the town board for approval to work on the conservation subdivision ordinance. The plan commission would create criteria rather than indicate areas on a map for a conservation subdivision.
9. Discussion and possible Action re: TORC procedures.
The last Wednesday the TORC will be open this year is Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
The letter to Dane County from the Town of Oregon to stay with Dane County zoning was included in the binder.
Kay discussed the email regarding telecommunication towers. There is a request that the Town of Oregon join with other towns to have some say in where towers can be located. The town board will have to review due to the time restrictions.
Motion by Hagemann to adjourn the meeting at 9:55 p.m. Seconded by Christensen. Motion carried 7-0.