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Plan Commission Minutes
Jan 16, 2018
PDF Version: 55015_2018-Jan-16_Plan Commission Minutes.pdf

 Town of Oregon 

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


  1. Call to Order.

Plan Commission Chairman Brian Duffin called the January 16, 2018 Plan Commission meeting to order at 6:42 p.m. 


  1. Roll Call.

Roll call was not taken, but the following Plan Commission members were present Blomstrom, A. Christensen, S. Christensen, Duffin, Hagemann, Kay and Yanacheck.


  1. Approval of minutes.

a)  November 21, 2017.

Amended to include the wording “current landowner.”  Motion made by A. Christensen and seconded by Yanacheck to approve the November 21, 2017 Plan Commission Meeting Minutes.  Motion carried 7-0.

b)  Jt. Meeting December 18, 2017.

Motion made by A. Christensen and seconded by Yanacheck to approve the December 18, 2017 Joint Meeting Minutes.  Motion carried 7-0.


  1. Public Comments.

a)  Susan Krebsbach, 1000 Wesley Road, conservation subdivision

Duffin would like Ms. Krebsbach and all other residents to ask questions during the discussion. 


  1. Public Appearances

a)Andrew Bremer, Project Planner for MSA Professional Service

Andrew Bremer appeared to answer questions the plan commission had when reviewing the conservation subdivision ordinance.


Duffin asked the following questions:

From Town of Oregon Land Use Plan. 

  1. Explain the sentence on page 17:  The open space to be preserved that is associated with the proposed development should be identified in the Town or County parks and open space plan.

Bremer explained the state, county and some municipalities have plans that are specific to parks and open space long-range planning.  This sentence is asking the town to consider those plans when reviewing the open space to be preserved in a conservation subdivision.  The open space is not required to be open to the public.  Only 40% of the land in a conservation subdivision can be developed.    

From Title10 – Chapter 10 Land Division and Subdivision Code

  1. Page 4: Explain “Exceptional or undue hardship” when referencing variance.

Bremer said the definition is in the following paragraph b) 1, 2 & 3.  Bremer said a variance shouldn’t be granted for uses or cost, but for bulk requirements such as setbacks or height.  A variance could be granted if the design of the plat may not follow the strict conformance of the plan, but the town didn’t see this as a threat to public safety, health or welfare.  Duffin asked if a variance could be granted to allow a conservation subdivision if the parcel falls under the 40-acre requirement.  Bremer suggested amending the ordinance rather than granting a variance.  The town’s conservation subdivision ordinance was based on a model ordinance and tweaked by the town.  The reason for the 40-acre minimum was to set a threshold and eliminate very small conservation subdivision.  There was discussion on the parcel size requirement for a conservation subdivision based on the 5-lot minimum.  Bremer said the two options to allow a conservation subdivision under 40-acres is either by variance or amending the ordinance.  The reason for allowing ¾-acre lot sizes in conservation subdivisions versus a 2-acre lot size in traditional subdivisions is the trade off to preserve 60% of the land. 

  1. Who would normally act as our “Town Engineer?”  Are you qualified?

MSA can provide engineering and planning service to the town.  If the town were to consider a conservation subdivision, then those costs would be passed onto the developer.  Bremer could give a ballpark cost associated with reviewing a conservation subdivision development, however there are many unknown costs associated with new developments.  Chairman Ace suggested amending the ordinance to include a retainer to be used to cover these fees.

  1. Are unsewered subdivision currently allowed in Dane County?

Brian Standing answered this question earlier in an email.  As for unsewered subdivisions, the answer is yes, where:

  • such development is supported by, and meets all siting criteria of, the comprehensive plan and the Dane County Farmland Preservation Plan
  • there are no concerns regarding groundwater contamination from an overly high density of septic systems (more than one system per 1.5 to 2.0 acres, or particularly susceptible soils)
  • development avoids all resource protection corridors
  • there are no other environmental or neighborhood (sic)
  • adequate public infrastructure, including public roads, is provided

Bremer concurred with this answer.

  1. Page 18.  Explain Development Yield Analysis.

This is how many lots can be built on a parcel based on the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and Subdivision Ordinance.  A 40-acre parcel would be allowed 20, 2-acre lots in a traditional subdivision.  A 40-acre parcel in a conservation subdivision would allow 40% or 16-acre to be developed and allow 20, ¾-acre lots.

  1. Page 40.  Sidewalks shall be required.  None of our traditional subdivisions have sidewalks.

The Town Board can decide on a case by case basis if sidewalks are required for both traditional and conservation subdivisions.

  1. Page 49.  Explain exemptions from parkland dedication or payment of fees in lieu of land.

A subdivision would have land set aside for parkland dedication, but sometimes communities would rather have money called fees in lieu of land.  This exemption is intended for a landowner that is doing a land division, but is not intending to build on the land.  The town would require the landowner to record a deed restriction instead of parkland dedication or fees in lieu of land.  There was lengthy discussion on fees that can be charged by communities. 

  1. Page 52.  Explain exceptions to the 40-acre minimum requirement.

An exemption to the 40-acre minimum requirement is that the area to be preserved is adjacent to area already being preserved, like a county park.  

  1. Page 52.  Explain Development Yield – Our town now requires a 2-acre minimum lot size for traditional subdivisions?

This was already explained.  It is not based on the acreage to be developed, but the entire parent parcel.

  1. Page 53.  Is an existing house part of the conservation subdivisions?  Does it need a minimum 2-acre lot size?

Yes, the existing single, family house is included and could have a lot size under 2 acres. 

  1. Explain the storm water management study process.  Define water courses.

Not answered.

  1. Page 54 D.  Is CRP considered an agricultural use?

Blomstrom said the Department of Revenue looks at CRP as agricultural land.

  1. Page 56 G.  What qualifies as a 50-foot access?

This would be one 50-foot width access point to the shared open space.  Krebsbach questioned the need for a 50-foot access.  There was lengthy discussion on the need for a 50-foot access.   

  1. Page 59 5iii.  Explain facilities and the Town’s requirement for maintaining such facilities.

The plan commission was concerned that the town would be responsible to maintain facilities that are privately owned.  The town was under the impression that they would not be required to maintain these spaces.  Bremer feels this should be flagged to be reviewed and possibly to add the wording, if the town so chooses.  There was discussion on the town’s responsibilities if the open space isn’t maintained.   


The steps Susan Krebsbach would need to take to request a conservation subdivision were discussed.  She would need to make a written request to the town board to consider amending the conservation subdivision ordinance.  The town board could then direct the plan commission to review the conservation subdivision ordinance or deny her request.  If the town board denies her request, then she could request a variance.  The board would be required to give her a reason for denial of the variance request.  If the town agrees to amend the conservation subdivision ordinance, she would petition to amend the land use map to designate that area as rural conservation subdivision.  The county would also need approve the land use map change.  After that has been completed, she would work with the plan commission on the design and layout of the subdivision to create a preliminary plat.  The preliminary plat would need to be recommended from the plan commission to the town board.  The final step would be approval of the final plat.


Duffin asked if the town should amend the land use map to include areas of rural conservation subdivisions to eliminate the two-step process.  Bremer would like to update the town’s comprehensive plan to modernize it, streamline it and make it more user friendly, but didn’t recommend including rural conservation subdivisions on the map because the town would have to explain why those areas are included and others not included.  The plan commission has completed their review of the comprehensive plan, but is waiting for the county to finish the Chapter 10 revisions before finalizing.


  1. Discussion and Possible Recommendation to the Town Board re: Conservation Subdivision Ordinance, Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and RH Policy 1f.

No further information presented.


  1. Discussion and Possible Recommendation to the Town Board re: Updates to the Town Comprehensive Plan.

The Town Board would like to have the changes made by the plan commission presented in a format of before and after.


  1. Communications
  2. Re-scheduling February Plan Commission Meeting due to the Spring Primary Election.

The next Plan Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27.

  1. Set date of next Plan Commission Work Session.

The next Plan Commission work session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13 to review the draft zoning map submitted by Dane County.


  1. Adjournment.

S. Christensen  moved, seconded by Hagemann to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m.  Motion carried 7-0.


Respectfully submitted, 


Jennifer Hanson 

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