Law enforcement. 60.56(1)(a)(a)
The town board may provide for law enforcement in the town or any portion of the town in any manner, including:
Joining with another town, village or city to create a joint police department. If the town board establishes a joint police department with a village under s. 61.65 (1) (a) 3.
, the town board shall create a joint board of police commissioners with the village under s. 61.65 (1) (b) 1. b.
If a town board establishes a town police department under par. (a) 1.
and does not create a board of police commissioners singly or in combination with another town, village or city, the town may not suspend, reduce, suspend and reduce, or remove any police chief or other law enforcement officer who is not probationary, and for whom there is no valid and enforceable contract of employment or collective bargaining agreement which provides for a fair review prior to that suspension, reduction, suspension and reduction or removal, unless the town board does one of the following:
Establishes a committee of not less than 3 members, none of whom may be an elected or appointed official of the town or be employed by the town. The committee shall act under s. 62.13 (5)
in place of a board of police and fire commissioners. The town board may provide for some payment to each member for the member's cost of serving on the committee at a rate established by the town board.
Appoint a person who is not an elected or appointed official of the town and who is not employed by the town. The person shall act under s. 62.13 (5)
in place of a board of police and fire commissioners. The town board may provide for some payment to that person for serving under this subdivision at a rate established by the town board.
The town board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing and maintenance of law enforcement services.
The town board may appropriate money to fund law enforcement services.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 1985 a. 166
; 1987 a. 27
A town cannot "establish" a police department without official action. Christian v. Town of Emmett, 163 Wis. 2d 277
, 471 N.W.2d 252
(Ct. App. 1991).
That a police chief served on a volunteer basis without compensation did not render him a probationary officer under sub. (1) (am). "At-will" employment has no relevance to whether the procedures outlined in this section must be followed. Town of LaGrange v. Auchinleck, 216 Wis. 2d 84
, 573 N.W.2d 232
(Ct. App. 1997).
A sheriff may not unilaterally withdraw investigative services provided to one urbanized town within the county because the town maintains its own police department. 81 Atty. Gen. 98
Rewards for crime information.
When any heinous offense or crime has been committed against life or property within a town, the town board chairperson, with the consent of a majority of the members of the town board, may offer a reward for the apprehension of the criminal or perpetrator of such offense.
History: 1993 a. 246
The town board shall contract for or operate and maintain ambulance services unless such services are provided by another person. If the town board contracts for ambulance services, it may contract with one or more providers. The town board may determine and charge a reasonable fee for ambulance service provided under this section. The town board may purchase equipment for medical and other emergency calls.
History: 1983 a. 532
; 1991 a. 39
Police and fire commission. 60.57(1)(a)
If the town has a police department, establish a board of police commissioners.
If the town has a fire department, establish a board of fire commissioners.
If the town has both a police and fire department, establish a board of police and fire commissioners.
A board created under this section shall be organized in the same manner as boards of police and fire commissioners under s. 62.13 (1)
A board created under this section is subject to the provisions of s. 62.13 (2)
to the extent that the provisions apply to 2nd and 3rd class cities. In applying s. 62.13
under this section, the town board chairperson has the powers and duties specified for a mayor, the town board has the powers and duties specified for a common council and the town has the powers and duties specified for a city.
History: 1983 a. 532
LAND USE AND PLANNING
General zoning authority. 60.61(1)(a)(a)
Ordinances adopted under this section shall be designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare.
Authority granted under this section shall be liberally construed in favor of the town exercising the powers. This section may not be construed to limit or repeal any powers possessed by any town.
(2) Extent of authority.
Subject to subs. (3)
, if a town is located in a county which has not enacted a county zoning ordinance under s. 59.69
, the town board, by ordinance, may:
Regulate, restrict and determine: the areas within which agriculture, forestry, mining and recreation may be conducted; the location of roads, schools, trades and industries; the location, height, bulk, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures; the percentage of a lot which may be occupied; the size of yards, courts and other open spaces; the density and distribution of population; the location of buildings designed for specified uses; the trades, industries or purposes that may be engaged in or subject to regulation; and the uses for which buildings may not be erected or altered.
Establish districts of such number, shape and area necessary to carry out the purposes under par. (a)
Regulate, restrict and determine the areas in or along natural watercourses, channels, streams and creeks in which trades and industries, filling or dumping, erection of structures and the location of buildings may be prohibited or restricted.
Adopt an official map showing areas, outside the limits of villages and cities, suited to carry out the purposes of this section. Any map adopted under this paragraph shall show the location of any part of an airport, as defined in s. 62.23 (6) (am) 1. a.
, located in the town and of any part of an airport affected area, as defined in s. 62.23 (6) (am) 1. b.
, located in the town.
Regulate, restrict and determine the location, height, bulk, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures and objects of natural growth in any area of the town in the vicinity of an airport owned by the town or privately owned, divide the territory into several areas and impose different restrictions for each area. In exercising its power under this paragraph, the town board may, by eminent domain, remove or alter any buildings, structures or objects of natural growth which are contrary to the restrictions imposed in the area in which they are located, except railroad buildings, bridges or facilities other than telegraph, telephone and overhead signal system poles and wires.
Encourage the protection of groundwater resources.
Provide adequate access to sunlight for solar collectors and to wind for wind energy systems.
(3) Exercise of authority.
Before exercising authority under sub. (2)
, the town board shall petition the county board to initiate, at any regular or special meeting, action to enact a county zoning ordinance under s. 59.69
. The town board may proceed under sub. (2)
The county board fails or refuses, at the meeting, to direct the county zoning agency to proceed under s. 59.69
The county zoning agency's report and the recommended county zoning ordinance prepared pursuant to the report are not presented to the county board within one year; or
The county zoning agency report and recommended county zoning ordinance are presented to the county board within one year and the county board at its next meeting following receipt of the report fails to adopt the ordinance.
(3c) Antenna facilities.
The town board may not enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution on or after May 6, 1994, or continue to enforce an ordinance or resolution on or after May 6, 1994, that affects satellite antennas with a diameter of 2 feet or less unless one of the following applies:
The ordinance or resolution has a reasonable and clearly defined aesthetic or public health or safety objective.
The ordinance or resolution does not impose an unreasonable limitation on, or prevent, the reception of satellite-delivered signals by a satellite antenna with a diameter of 2 feet or less.
The ordinance or resolution does not impose costs on a user of a satellite antenna with a diameter of 2 feet or less that exceed 10% of the purchase price and installation fee of the antenna and associated equipment.
(3m) Migrant labor camps.
The town board may not enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution that interferes with any repair or expansion of migrant labor camps, as defined in s. 103.90 (3)
, that are in existence on May 12, 1992, if the repair or expansion is required by an administrative rule promulgated by the department of workforce development under ss. 103.90
. An ordinance or resolution of the town that is in effect on May 12, 1992, and that interferes with any repair or expansion of existing migrant labor camps that is required by such an administrative rule is void.
The town board shall appoint a town zoning committee consisting of 5 members.
Before the town board may adopt an ordinance under sub. (2)
, the town zoning committee shall recommend zoning district boundaries and appropriate regulations and restrictions for the districts. In carrying out its duties, the town zoning committee shall develop a preliminary report and hold a public hearing on the report before submitting a final report to the town board. If the town zoning committee makes a substantial change in its report following the public hearing, it shall hold another public hearing on the report. After the final report of the town zoning committee is submitted to the town board, the board may adopt an ordinance under sub. (2)
following a public hearing held by the board on the proposed ordinance.
After the town board has adopted a town zoning ordinance, the board may alter, supplement or change the boundaries or regulations established in the ordinance if a public hearing is held on the revisions. The board shall give notice of any proposed revisions in the zoning ordinance and of the time and place of the public hearing on them by a class 2 notice under ch. 985
. The board shall allow any interested person to testify at the hearing. If any proposed revision under this subdivision would make any change in an airport affected area, as defined in s. 62.23 (6) (am) 1. b.
, the board shall mail a copy of such notice to the owner or operator of the airport bordered by the airport affected area.
A proposed amendment, supplement or change to the town zoning ordinance must be adopted by not less than a three-fourths vote of the town board if a protest against the proposed amendment, supplement or change is presented to the town board prior to or at the public hearing under subd. 1.
The protest is signed and acknowledged by the owners of at least 50% of the area proposed to be altered; or
The protest is signed and acknowledged by the abutting owners of at least 50% of the total perimeter of the area proposed to be altered that is included within 300 feet of the parcel or parcels to be rezoned.
A proposed amendment, supplement or change to the town zoning ordinance must be adopted by not less than a two-thirds vote of the town board if the proposed amendment, supplement or change would make any change in an airport affected area, as defined under s. 62.23 (6) (am) 1. b.
and if a protest against the proposed revision is presented to the town board prior to or at the public hearing under subd. 1.
by the owner or operator of the airport bordered by the airport affected area.
In this paragraph, "comprehensively revise" means to incorporate numerous and substantial changes in the zoning ordinance.
The town board may, by a single ordinance, comprehensively revise an existing town zoning ordinance. The ordinance shall be adopted under par. (b)
An ordinance adopted under this section may not prohibit the continued use of any building or premises for any trade or industry for which the building or premises is used when the ordinance takes effect. An ordinance adopted under this section may prohibit the alteration of, or addition to, any existing building or structure used to carry on an otherwise prohibited trade or industry within the district. If a use that does not conform to an ordinance adopted under this section is discontinued for a period of 12 months, any future use of the land, building or premises shall conform to the ordinance.
Except as provided in par. (d)
, immediately after the publication of a town zoning ordinance, the town board shall provide for the compilation of a record of the present use of all buildings and premises used for purposes not in conformity with the zoning ordinance. The record shall contain the names and addresses of the owner of the nonconforming use and any occupant other than the owner, the legal description of the land, and the nature and extent of the use of the land. The record shall be published in the town as a class 1 notice under ch. 985
. Within 60 days after final publication, upon presentation of proof to the town board, errors or omissions in the record may be corrected. At the expiration of the 60-day period, the record shall be filed in the office of the town clerk after the record is first recorded in the office of the register of deeds. The record is prima facie evidence of the extent and number of nonconforming uses existing at the time the ordinance takes effect. Errors or omissions in the record shall be corrected by the town board upon petition of any citizen or by the board on its own motion. The decision of the board concerning errors or omissions is final.
Immediately after the record of nonconforming uses is filed with the town clerk, the clerk shall furnish the town assessor the record of nonconforming uses within the town. After the assessment for the following year and each succeeding assessment, the town assessor shall file a written report, certified by the board of review, with the town clerk listing all nonconforming uses which have been discontinued since the prior assessment. The town clerk shall record discontinued nonconforming uses as soon as reported by the assessor. In this paragraph, "town assessor" includes the county assessor assessing the town under s. 70.99
(d) Paragraphs (b)
do not apply to towns issuing building permits as a means of enforcing the zoning ordinance or of identifying nonconforming uses or to towns which have established other procedures for this purpose.
The town board may by ordinance provide for the enforcement of all ordinances adopted under this section. The board may impose forfeitures and other penalties for violation of ordinances adopted under this section. To enforce compliance with ordinances adopted under this section, the town or the owner of real estate within a district affected by the ordinance may seek a court order.
Zoning authority if exercising village powers. 60.62(1)(1)
Subject to subs. (2)
, if a town board has been granted authority to exercise village powers under s. 60.10 (2) (c)
, the board may adopt zoning ordinances under s. 61.35
If the county in which the town is located has enacted a zoning ordinance under s. 59.69
, the exercise of the authority under sub. (1)
is subject to approval by the town meeting or by a referendum vote of the electors of the town held at the time of any regular or special election. The question for the referendum vote shall be filed as provided in s. 8.37
In counties having a county zoning ordinance, no zoning ordinance or amendment of a zoning ordinance may be adopted under this section unless approved by the county board.
Notwithstanding ss. 61.35
and 62.23 (1) (a)
, a town with a population of less than 2,500 that acts under this section may create a "Town Plan Commission" under s. 62.23 (1) (a)
that has 5 members, all of whom shall be appointed by the town board chairperson, who shall also select the presiding officer. The town board chairperson may appoint himself or herself to the commission and may appoint other town elected or appointed officials to the commission, except that the commission shall always have at least one citizen member who is not a town official. All other provisions of ss. 61.35
shall apply to a town plan commission that has 5 members.
If a town plan commission consists of 7 members and the town board enacts an ordinance or adopts a resolution reducing the size of the commission to 5 members, the commission shall continue to operate with 6 or 7 members until the expiration of the terms of the 2 citizen members, who were appointed under s. 62.23 (1) (a)
, whose terms expire soonest after the effective date of the ordinance or resolution that reduces the size of the commission.
If a town plan commission consists of 5 members and the town board enacts an ordinance or adopts a resolution increasing the size of the commission to 7 members, the town board chairperson shall appoint the 2 new members under s. 62.23 (1) (a)
An amended PUD ordinance that allowed the placement of a PUD in any district, subject only to the approval of the town board as a conditional use, was invalid as it allowed the town to rezone without county board approval. City of Waukesha v. Town of Waukesha, 198 Wis. 2d 592
, 543 N.W.2d 515
(Ct. App. 1995).
Judicial review of a county board's legislative decision concerning approval or disapproval of town zoning ordinances submitted under (3) is limited to cases of abuse of discretion, excess of power, or error of law. 79 Atty. Gen. 117
Town construction site erosion control and storm water management zoning. 60.627(1)
In this section, "department" means the department of natural resources.
To effect the purposes of s. 281.33
and to promote the public health, safety and general welfare, if a town board may enact zoning ordinances under s. 60.62
, the town board may enact a zoning ordinance, that is applicable to all of its area, for construction site erosion control at sites where the construction activities do not include the construction of a building and for storm water management. This ordinance may be enacted separately from ordinances enacted under s. 60.62
A county ordinance enacted under s. 59.693
does not apply and has no effect in a town in which an ordinance enacted under this section is in effect.
(4) Applicability of village zoning provisions.