2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
December 4, 2015 - Introduced by Representatives Ripp, Kleefisch, Jagler,
Ballweg, Duchow, Hutton, Jacque, Jarchow, T. Larson, Sanfelippo and
Thiesfeldt, cosponsored by Senators S. Fitzgerald, Olsen and
Referred to Committee on Housing and Real Estate.
1An Act to renumber and amend
236.10 (1) (c); to amend
59.69 (3) (a), 59.69 2
(3) (b), 59.69 (3) (e), 59.69 (5) (c), 60.62 (1), 60.62 (3) (a), 236.10 (1) (b) 3. and 3
236.34 (1) (dm); and to create
59.69 (5m), 59.692 (1p), 60.23 (34), 60.62 (6), 4
87.30 (1r), 91.36 (9), 236.10 (1m) and 236.34 (2m) of the statutes; relating to:
5authorizing towns located in populous counties to withdraw from county
6zoning; requiring certain towns to enact a zoning ordinance and a
7comprehensive plan; removing plat and certified survey map approval
8authority from a county if the town in which the subdivision or land is located
9has withdrawn from county zoning; farmland preservation ordinances of towns
10that withdraw from county zoning and eligibility in those towns for the
11farmland preservation tax credit; and prohibiting restrictions on land that is
12not shoreland or that is not within a floodplain.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, if a town board has been granted the authority to exercise
village powers, the town board may enact zoning ordinances using the zoning
statutes that are used by cities and villages, subject to a number of conditions. If the
county in which the town is located has enacted a county zoning ordinance, town
zoning ordinances may not take effect until such ordinances are approved either by
a town meeting or by a referendum vote of the electors of the town and are approved
by the county board. In addition, in counties having a zoning ordinance, no town
zoning ordinance, or amendment of a zoning ordinance, may be adopted by the town
unless approved by the county board; the bill repeals this provision, except as it
applies to Waukesha County.
Also under current law, a county zoning ordinance may not take effect in a town
unless it has been approved by the town board. Once a town board has approved a
county zoning ordinance, the town may not withdraw its approval.
Under this bill, a town board that is located in a county with a population of at
least 485,000 may enact an ordinance withdrawing from coverage of a county zoning
ordinance and a county development plan. A town board may enact the ordinance
during 2017, or during the one-year period every three years after January 1, 2017.
Such an ordinance may not take effect unless the town notifies the county clerk and
one or more officials of the other towns in the county of the proposed ordinance and
the town enacts, and sends copies to the county clerk, a town zoning ordinance, a
comprehensive plan, and an official map. The zoning ordinance that the town must
enact must be either essentially identical to the county zoning ordinance that is in
effect when the town begins its efforts to withdraw from county zoning, or it must be
a model ordinance that is developed and recommended by a group of towns in a
county that have all begun an effort to withdraw from county zoning. In addition,
the ordinance must preserve nonconforming uses. A town that enacts an ordinance
based on the county ordinance may amend it, and the model ordinance may be
amended by a vote of the majority of the towns that have enacted the model
ordinance. With regard to the type of zoning ordinance that applies in a town, the
town may switch back and forth between having the ordinance that is essentially
identical to the county zoning ordinance apply and having the model ordinance
apply. County board approval of a town zoning ordinance is not required if the town
has withdrawn from county zoning.
If a county clerk receives notice from a town before July 1 that the town intends
to withdraw from county zoning, the bill authorizes a county board to enact an
ordinance, before October 1, to repeal all of its zoning ordinances, other than
shoreland and floodplain zoning ordinances. The county must notify all of the towns
that are subject to its zoning ordinances that it intends to enact an ordinance to
repeal those ordinances. The county ordinance to repeal its zoning ordinances must
have a delayed effective date of one year. If a town is so notified, it must enact a
zoning ordinance, comprehensive plan, and official map to take effect on the effective
date of the county's repeal of its zoning ordinance.
Under current law, one of the eligibility requirements for the farmland
preservation tax credit is that the claimant's farmland is either covered by a
farmland preservation agreement or is in a farmland preservation zoning district
under a farmland preservation zoning ordinance certified by the Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). This bill provides that if a
town that withdraws from county zoning adopts a farmland preservation zoning
ordinance before it withdraws, the town's farmland preservation zoning ordinance
is considered to be certified by DATCP until DATCP certifies, or denies certification
of, the ordinance, but not for more than 18 months.
Current law specifies whether a city, village, town, or county has the right to
approve or object to a plat (the map of a subdivision) or certified survey map.
Generally, the location of the subdivision or land determines which local
governmental unit or units have the right to approve the plat or certified survey map.
The bill provides that if a subdivision or land is located in a town that has enacted
an ordinance withdrawing from coverage of a county zoning ordinance, the county
in which the subdivision or land is located has no authority to approve or object to
a plat relating to the subdivision or to a certified survey map relating to the land, but
may object to any portion of the subdivision or land that is shoreland, or that is in
a 100-year floodplain, in the county.
Under current law, a county must enact a shoreland zoning ordinance for all
shorelands in its unincorporated area. Current law defines a shoreland to be an area
within a specified distance from the edge of a navigable water. Current law also
requires a county, city, or village to adopt floodplain zoning ordinances within one
year after certain hydraulic and engineering data becomes available. If no ordinance
is adopted, the Department of Natural Resources, upon its own petition or upon the
petition of an interested state agency or municipality, must adopt a floodplain zoning
ordinance applicable to the county, city, or village.
This bill specifies that the law that requires a county to enact a shoreland
zoning ordinance does not authorize the county to impose a requirement, condition,
or restriction on land that is not shoreland within the county. The bill also provides
that the law requiring a county to adopt a floodplain zoning ordinance does not
authorize a county to impose a requirement, condition, or restriction on land that is
not within any floodplain in the county.
For further information see the local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
59.69 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) The Subject to s. 60.23 (34), the
county zoning agency may direct 3
the preparation of a county development plan or parts of the plan for the physical 4
development of the unincorporated territory within the county and areas within 5
incorporated jurisdictions whose governing bodies by resolution agree to having 6
their areas included in the county's development plan. The plan may be adopted in
whole or in part and may be amended by the board and endorsed by the governing 2
bodies of incorporated jurisdictions included in the plan. The county development 3
plan, in whole or in part, in its original form or as amended, is hereafter referred to 4
as the development plan. To the extent that the development plan applies to
5unincorporated areas of the county, it applies only to those unincorporated areas that
6are subject to county zoning.
Beginning on January 1, 2010, or, if the county is 7
exempt under s. 66.1001 (3m), the date under s. 66.1001 (3m) (b), if the county 8
engages in any program or action described in s. 66.1001 (3), the development plan 9
shall contain at least all of the elements specified in s. 66.1001 (2).
59.69 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) The development plan shall include the master plan, if any, of any 12
city or village, that was adopted under s. 62.23 (2) or (3) and the official map, if any, 13
of such city or village, that was adopted under s. 62.23 (6) in the county, without 14
change. In counties with a population of at least 485,000, the development plan shall
15also include, and integrate, the master plan and the official map of a town that was
16adopted under s. 60.62 (6) (a) or (b), without change.
59.69 (3) (e) of the statutes is amended to read:
(e) A Except for a town that has adopted a master plan and official
19map as described in par. (b), a
master plan adopted under s. 62.23 (2) and (3) and an 20
official map that is established under s. 62.23 (6) shall control in unincorporated 21
territory in a county affected thereby, whether or not such action occurs before the 22
adoption of a development plan.
59.69 (5) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) A county ordinance enacted under this section shall not be effective 25
in any town until it has been approved by the town board. If the town board approves
an ordinance enacted by the county board, under this section, a certified copy of the 2
approving resolution attached to one of the copies of such ordinance submitted to the 3
town board shall promptly be filed with the county clerk by the town
. The 4
ordinance shall become effective in the town as of the date of the filing, which filing 5
shall be recorded by the county clerk in the clerk's office, reported to the town board 6
and the county board, and printed in the proceedings of the county board. The 7
ordinance shall supersede any prior town ordinance in conflict therewith or which 8
is concerned with zoning, except as provided by s. 60.62. A town board may withdraw
9from coverage of a county zoning ordinance as provided under s. 60.23 (34).
59.69 (5m) of the statutes is created to read:
59.69 (5m) Termination of county zoning.
(a) Subject to par. (b), if a county 12
clerk receives a notice from a town under s. 60.23 (34) (b) 1. before July 1 of the year 13
before a year in which a town may withdraw from county zoning under s. 60.23 (34), 14
a county board may enact an ordinance, before October 1 of the year in which the 15
county clerk receives the notice, to repeal all of its zoning ordinances enacted under 16
this section if it so notifies, in writing, all of the towns that are subject to its zoning 17
(b) An ordinance enacted under par. (a) shall have a delayed effective date of 19
one year. No county board may repeal under this subsection a county shoreland 20
zoning or floodplain zoning ordinance.
59.692 (1p) of the statutes is created to read:
This section does not authorize a county to impose a requirement, 23
condition, or restriction on land that is not shoreland within the county.
60.23 (34) of the statutes is created to read:
60.23 (34) Town withdrawal from county zoning.
(a) Subject to pars. (b) and 2
(c), after December 31, 2016, and before January 1, 2018, and during the one-year 3
period every 3 years after January 1, 2017, enact an ordinance withdrawing the town 4
from coverage of a county zoning ordinance that had previously been approved under 5
s. 59.69 (5) (c) and from coverage by a county development plan that has been enacted 6
under s. 59.69 (3) (a), except that a town board may act under this paragraph only 7
if the town is located in a county with a population of at least 485,000.
(b) Subject to pars. (c) and (d), an ordinance enacted under par. (a) may not take 9
effect until all of the following occur:
1. Not later than 180 days before enacting an ordinance under par. (a), the town 11
notifies the county clerk and one or more officials of every other town in the county, 12
in writing, of the town's intent to enact an ordinance under par. (a).
2. The town enacts a zoning ordinance under s. 60.62, a comprehensive plan 14
under s. 66.1001, and an official map under s. 62.23 (6), and the town sends certified 15
copies of such documents to the county clerk.
(c) 1. The zoning ordinance that the town enacts under s. 60.62 must be 17
essentially identical to either the county zoning ordinance that is in effect when the 18
town issues the written notification described in par. (b) 1., or to the model ordinance 19
described in subd. 2. A town that enacts an ordinance that is essentially identical 20
to the county ordinance may amend the ordinance following the procedures specified 21
in s. 60.62.
2. All towns in a county that issue a written notification described in par. (b) 23
1. shall work together to develop a model zoning ordinance. The model ordinance 24
may be recommended for enactment by a majority vote of the towns that participate 25
in drafting the model ordinance in that county. Once the model ordinance is
recommended, a town may enact the ordinance under s. 60.62. The model ordinance 2
may be amended by a majority vote of the towns that have enacted the model 3
ordinance in that county.
3. A town which enacts either an ordinance that is essentially identical to a 5
county ordinance, as described in subd. 1., or a model ordinance, as described in subd. 6
2., may switch at any time from having one type of ordinance apply in the town to 7
having the other type of ordinance apply in the town.
4. The zoning ordinance that the town enacts under s. 60.62 may not prohibit 9
the continued use of any building, premises, structure, or land that is lawful under 10
the county zoning ordinance that is in effect when the town issues the written 11
notification described in par. (b) 1. With regard to the continued nonconforming use 12
of any building, premises, structure, or land that is lawful under that county zoning 13
ordinance, the town ordinance may not prohibit the nonconforming use even if the 14
building, premises, structure, or land is not in continuous use.
(d) A zoning ordinance enacted under s. 60.62, a comprehensive plan enacted 16
under s. 66.1001, and an official map established under s. 62.23 (6), that are enacted 17
in conjunction with an ordinance enacted under par. (a), shall all take effect on the 18
first day of the 3rd month beginning after certified copies of the documents are sent 19
to the county clerk under par. (b) 2.
60.62 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
Except as provided in s. 60.23 (33) and subject to subs. (2), (3)
and (4), 22
if a town board has been granted authority to exercise village powers under s. 60.10 23
(2) (c), the board may adopt zoning ordinances under s. 61.35.
60.62 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) In counties having a county zoning ordinance, no zoning ordinance 2
or amendment of a zoning ordinance may be adopted under this section unless 3
approved by the county board. This paragraph applies only in counties with a
4population of less than 485,000, and does not apply to a town that has withdrawn
5from county zoning.
60.62 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) Not later than 60 days before a town board that wishes to withdraw 8
from county zoning and the county development plan may enact an ordinance under 9
s. 60.23 (34), the town board shall enact a zoning ordinance under this section, an 10
official map under s. 62.23 (6), and a comprehensive plan under s. 66.1001.
(b) If a town receives notification under s. 59.69 (5m) that the county board has 12
repealed its zoning ordinances, the town board shall enact a zoning ordinance under 13
this section, an official map under s. 62.23 (6), and a comprehensive plan under s. 14
66.1001, all of which take effect on the effective date of the county's repeal of its 15
87.30 (1r) of the statutes is created to read: