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Plan Commission Minutes
Aug 21, 2018
PDF Version: 56218_2018-Aug-21_Plan Commission Minutes.pdf



  1. Open Public Hearing:

Chairman Brian Duffin called the public hearing to order at 6:33 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

  1. Land Rezone and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Request.  Petition # DCPREZ-2018-11326 and DCPCUP-2018-02431.  Parcel #0509-171-9210-4; 996 Storytown Rd., Brooklyn, WI  53521.  The request is to rezone to allow for a horse boarding facility and sanity fixtures and for a CUP for horse boarding, sanitary fixtures and unlimited livestock on 3-16 acres.  The 13.41 acres will be rezoned from A-4 to A-2(8).  No new building sites will be created.  Owner is Tami and Tracy Bahr, 1408 Ashburn Way, Verona, WI  53593.  Applicant is Gretchen Arndt Hoernke, 5204 Broadhead St., McFarland, WI  53558.

Brian Duffin clarified that the business being proposed is psychotherapy for people utilizing horses and not psychotherapy for the horses.  Gretchen Hoernke and Tami Bahr appeared to present the request.  Gretchen is an equine specialist that will be living on the property and managing the horses.  Tami is a licensed clinical social worker and uses the Eagala model of therapy to treat a variety of mental health issues. 


Tami explained the business has been operating out of other locations for six years and this facility will provide the privacy needed for therapy.  There are currently eight (8) horses used in the therapy program.  There are five (5) part-time employees.  Tami sees about twenty (20) clients and the other therapist sees about twelve (12) clients. 


Gretchen explained that they would like to start with nine (9) horses including three (3) mini horses.  They are asking for a maximum of twenty (20) horses.  All the horses will live outside on a track system with lean-to shelters.  The track system is a twenty-five feet strip of land that goes around the property with feeding stations throughout to encourage the horses to move.  The fencing will not be on the property line.  There will be room to drive around the outer property with a vehicle. 


Gretchen said a storm water management has not been completed, but they are aware that one will be required by the county based on the buildings to be constructed.  They wish to retain as much green space as possible.  They plan to build a 60’X120’ indoor riding area, 30’ X 30’ office building and 30’ X 70’ feed building. 


Gretchen said they plan to compost the manure to spread on the property and will give the rest to an agricultural community.


Most of the horses are owned by Gretchen and Tami.  The focus is not on boarding horses as all the horses will be used in therapy.  Usually only two (2) to four (4) horses are used in a group therapy session.  The model of therapy used doesn’t involve riding the horses.


Penny Root, 993 Tipperary Road, requested a maximum of fifteen (15) horses.  Duffin said the county will follow-up on all complaints if a landowner is violating the conditional uses.


Wayne Ace expressed concern over the size of the groups, the number of boarders, the hours of operation and the location of the manure system.  Duffin asked Tami to draft a one to two paragraph description of the manure management plan to be submitted to the town clerk’s office prior to the September town board meeting. 


Ray Herfel, 1418 County Road D, asked about the fencing to be installed.  Gretchen said they will install two strands of electric rope fencing.  They will not install a line fence.  Duffin said the expectation is the horses will be kept on the property.  Tami said the property will be designed to have double fencing. 


Duffin addressed a few concerns.  Arlen Christensen looked at the driveway and would recommend widening the driveway four (4) to six (6) feet due to trailers that will access the property.  Duffin made the petitioners aware that there is an airstrip next door and would continue to operate.  Duffin said they will not be allowed to park on the town roads and to ensure there is adequate parking.  The manure management plan would need to be submitted to the clerk’s office prior to the September town board meeting that includes the size and location of the manure management bin.  Duffin said the plan commission likes to be consistent on the number of animals allowed.  The plan commission has allowed 2 animal units per acre available for manure application.  This application has ten (10) acres available and therefore the plan commission would recommend twenty (20) animals.  The petitioners would like to add sanitary fixtures of two sinks and a stool.  The petitioners are not sure if they can use the existing septic system or will have to install another septic system.  Duffin explained that condition use permits are generally granted to the land owner and would not run with the property.  If the property were to be sold, then they may need to remove the sanitary fixtures or reapply for a CUP.  Duffin closed the public hearing.                       


  1. Call Plan Commission meeting to order.

Chairman Duffin called the Plan Commission to order immediately following the public hearing. 


  1. Roll Call.

Present: Supervisor Arlen Christensen, Dave Hagemann, Andy Blomstrom, Tim Yanacheck, and Chairman Brian Duffin

Absent: Sharon Christensen and Arlan Kay

Also Present: Town Board Chairman Wayne Ace, Supervisor Fred Clark Jr., Deputy Clerk Jennifer Hanson, Dane County Assistant Zoning Administrator Dan Everson and several members of the public


  1. Discussion and possible Recommendation to the Town Board.
  2. Land Rezone and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Request.  Petition # DCPREZ-2018-11326 and DCPCUP-2018-02431.  Parcel #0509-171-9210-4; 996 Storytown Rd., Brooklyn, WI  53521

Yanacheck would like to remain consistent with restrictions placed upon other properties in the town.  Blomstrom agreed with Wayne Ace that this application is not a typical agricultural application and therefore reasonable restrictions including hours of operations should be put into place.  The plan commission discussed limiting the hours of operation from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with three weeknights until 8:00 p.m.  Hagemann would have liked for the buildings to be labeled on the map and been able to see the manure management plan.  He clarified that the electric fence would be twelve (12) to fifteen (15) feet away from the lot line.  Any signage would have to follow the county requirements. 


Motion made by Yanacheck and seconded by Blomstrom to approve Petition # DCPREZ-2018-11326 and DCPCUP-2018-02431with the following conditions: 

  1. The airstrip that is currently place will continue to be part of our township and we don’t anticipate any problems between the petitioners or the airstrip.  If any problems arise, they would be brought to the town.  The town fully backs the airstrip. 
  2. Recommended that the driveway be widen for safe access to and from the property.
  3. Adequate parking will be provided to make sure no vehicles are parked on the road. 
  4. A manure management plan will be put into place and presented to the county ZLR for their inspection and the town board.
  5. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 9-5, with three (3) nights a week till 8:00 p.m.
  6. No loudspeakers and all lighting directed downward.
  7. Twenty (20) animal units will be the maximum allowed.
  8. Sanitary fixtures allowed will be one (1) toilet and two (2) sinks outside of the primary residence.
  9. All septic tank requirements will be provided for by the county inspection and followed accordingly.
  10. The conditional use permit (CUP) will run with the land owners.

Motion carried 5-0.

  1. Approval of minutes.

Motion made by Yanacheck and seconded by A. Christensen to approve the Plan Commission Meeting Minutes from July 17, 2018.  Motion carried 5-0.


  1. Public Comments.

Steve Clark, 5858 Lincoln Rd., appeared to ask about the updated zoning revision by Dane County.  Blomstrom clarified that zoning doesn’t affect the use-value assessment. 


  1. Appearance by Dan Everson, Dane County Zoning.

Dan Everson, Assistant Zoning Administration for Dane County Zoning, appeared to discuss driveway easements.  Dane County requires all new lots to have sixty-six (66) feet of road frontage.  In lieu of the sixty-six (66) feet of road frontage, a land owner can apply for shared access.  This application requires approval from both the town and county zoning committee along with a maintenance agreement.  At least one of the lots must have sixty-six (66) feet of road frontage.  The maximum number of lots to be served by one driveway is four (4) lots and applies to single-family, residential zoned properties only.  He said only two applications for road frontage exceptions have been requested this year.


There was additional discussion regarding agricultural easements, transfer of development rights, tiny houses and withdrawal from county zoning.


  1. Discussion and possible Recommendation to the Town Board re: Draft Zoning Map for Dane County Comprehensive Revision.

The plan commission reviewed a list of recommended changes to commercial zoned properties in the town.  The changes will be submitted to the county for updating the draft zoning map.  The county will mail a postcard to the landowners that includes the proposed zoning change and date of the public information meeting.  The public information meeting will be held on Monday, September 24th at the town hall.  Dane County staff will run the meeting.   



  1. Communications.

There was discussion about sanity fixtures in agricultural buildings. 


  1. Adjournment.

Motion made by Hagemann and seconded by Yanacheck at 9:40 pm.  Motion carried. 


Respectfully Submitted,



Jennifer Hanson, Deputy Clerk

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