60.55(1)(a)(a) The town board shall provide for fire protection for the town. Fire protection for the town, or any portion of the town, may be provided in any manner, including:
60.55(1)(a)2. 2. Joining with another town, village or city to establish a joint fire department. If the town board establishes a joint fire department with a village under s. 61.65 (2) (a) 3., the town board shall create a joint board of fire commissioners with the village under s. 61.65 (2) (b) 2.
60.55(1)(a)3. 3. Contracting with any person.
60.55(1)(a)4. 4. Utilizing a fire company organized under ch. 213.
60.55(1)(a)5. 5. Creating a combined protective services department under s. 60.553.
60.55(1)(b) (b) The town board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing and maintenance of fire protection services.
60.55(2) (2)Funding. The town board may:
60.55(2)(b) (b) Charge property owners a fee for the cost of fire protection provided to their property under sub. (1) (a) according to a written schedule established by the town board.
60.55(2)(c) (c) Levy taxes on the entire town to pay for fire protection.
60.55 History History: 1983 a. 532; 1987 a. 399; 2011 a. 32.
60.55 Annotation Any fire department created under this section, whether formed under ch. 181 or 213, is a government subdivision or agency entitled to immunity under s. 893.80 (4). Mellenthin v. Berger, 2003 WI App 126, 265 Wis. 2d 575, 663 N.W.2d 817, 02-2524.
60.55 Annotation This section does not create an exception to the grant of power to the town meeting to authorize land purchases or construction by the town board. If a town board chooses to meet the requirements of this section to provide fire protection by providing housing for fire protection services and also chooses to purchase land and construct that housing, then the town board must proceed with the authorization of the town meeting under s. 60.10 (2) (e) and (f) to purchase the land and construct the building. Town of Clayton v. Cardinal Construction Company, Inc. 2009 WI App 54, 317 Wis. 2d 424, 767 N.W.2d 605, 08-1793.
60.553 History History: 2011 a. 32; 2013 a. 165 s. 115.
60.557(1)(1) If a town incurs costs for a fire call by responding to a vehicle fire on a county trunk highway, the county maintaining that portion of the highway where the vehicle was located at the time of the fire shall reimburse the town up to $200 for the costs if the town submits written proof that the town has made a reasonable effort to collect the cost from the insurer of the person to whom the fire call was provided or from the person to whom the fire call was provided, except that the town may attempt to collect the cost from the person only if the town is unsuccessful in its efforts to collect from the person's insurer or if the person has no insurer. If the town collects the cost from an insurer or such person after the county reimburses the town, the town shall return the amount collected to the county.
60.557(2) (2) If a town incurs costs for a fire call on a state trunk highway or any highway that is a part of the national system of interstate highways and maintained by the department of transportation, the department of transportation shall reimburse the town up to $500 for the costs, even if the fire equipment is not actually used, if the town submits written proof that the town has made a reasonable effort to collect the cost from the insurer of the person to whom the fire call was provided or from the person to whom the fire call was provided, except that the town may attempt to collect the cost from the person only if the town is unsuccessful in its efforts to collect from the person's insurer or if the person has no insurer. If the town collects the cost from an insurer or such person after the department reimburses the town, the town shall return the amount collected to the department.
60.56 60.56 Law enforcement.
60.56(1)(1) General authority.
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:
60.56(1)(a)4. 4. Creating a combined protective services department under s. 60.553.
60.56(1)(am) (am) If a town board establishes a town police department under par. (a) 1. or 2. and does not create a board of police commissioners singly or in combination with another town, village or city, or if a town board establishes a combined protective services department under s. 60.553 and does not create a board of police and fire commissioners, the town may not suspend, reduce, suspend and reduce, or remove any police chief, chief of a combined protective services department, 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:
60.56(1)(am)1. 1. 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.
60.56(1)(am)2. 2. 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.
60.56(2) (2)Funding. The town board may appropriate money to fund law enforcement services.
60.56 History History: 1983 a. 532; 1985 a. 166 ss. 1, 8; 1987 a. 27; 2011 a. 32.
60.56 Annotation 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), 96-3313.
60.56 Annotation 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.
60.563 60.563 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.
60.565 60.565 Ambulance service. 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.
60.57(1) (1) The town board may:
60.57(1)(a) (a) If the town has a police department, establish a board of police commissioners.
LAND USE AND PLANNING
60.61(1) (1) Purpose and construction.
60.61(1)(a)(a) Ordinances adopted under this section shall be designed to promote the public health, safety and general welfare.
60.61(1)(b) (b) 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.
60.61(2) (2)Extent of authority. Subject to subs. (3) and (3m), 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:
60.61(2)(a)1. 1. The areas within which agriculture, forestry, mining and recreation may be conducted, except that no ordinance enacted under this subsection may prohibit forestry operations that are in accordance with generally accepted forestry management practices, as defined under s. 823.075 (1) (d).
60.61(2)(a)4. 4. The percentage of a lot which may be occupied.
60.61(2)(a)5. 5. The size of yards, courts and other open spaces.
60.61(2)(a)6. 6. The density and distribution of population.
60.61(2)(a)8. 8. The trades, industries or purposes that may be engaged in or subject to regulation.
60.61(2)(b) (b) Establish districts of such number, shape and area necessary to carry out the purposes under par. (a). The town board may establish mixed-use districts that contain any combination of uses, such as industrial, commercial, public, or residential uses, in a compact urban form.
60.61(2)(c) (c) Establish building setback lines.
60.61(2)(e) (e) 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.
60.61(2)(f) (f) 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.
60.61(2)(h) (h) Provide for the preservation of burial sites, as defined in s. 157.70 (1) (b).
60.61(2)(i) (i) Provide adequate access to sunlight for solar collectors and to wind for wind energy systems.
60.61(3) (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) if:
60.61(3)(a) (a) The county board fails or refuses, at the meeting, to direct the county zoning agency to proceed under s. 59.69;
60.61(3)(c) (c) 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.
60.61(3c) (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:
60.61(3c)(a) (a) The ordinance or resolution has a reasonable and clearly defined aesthetic or public health or safety objective.
60.61(3c)(b) (b) 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.
60.61(3c)(c) (c) 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.
60.61(3d) (3d)Amateur radio antennas. The town board may not enact an ordinance or adopt a resolution on or after April 17, 2002, or continue to enforce an ordinance or resolution on or after April 17, 2002, that affects the placement, screening, or height of antennas, or antenna support structures, that are used for amateur radio communications unless all of the following apply:
60.61(4)(b) (b) 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. The town zoning committee shall give notice of the public hearing on the preliminary report and of the time and place of the public hearing on the report by a class 2 notice under ch. 985. The town zoning committee shall consider any comments made, or submitted, by the commanding officer, or the officer's designee, of a military base or installation, with at least 200 assigned military personnel or that contains at least 2,000 acres, that is located in or near the town. 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. The town board shall give notice of the public hearing on the proposed ordinance and of the time and place of the public hearing on the ordinance by a class 2 notice under ch. 985. If the proposed ordinance has the effect of changing the allowable use of any property, the notice shall include either a map showing the property affected by the ordinance or a description of the property affected by the ordinance and a statement that a map may be obtained from the town board. A copy of an adopted ordinance shall be sent to the commanding officer, or the officer's designee, of any military base or installation, with at least 200 assigned military personnel or that contains at least 2,000 acres, that is located in or near the town.
60.61(4)(c)2. 2. 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. and:
60.61(4)(d)1.1. In this paragraph, "comprehensively revise" means to incorporate numerous and substantial changes in the zoning ordinance.
60.61(4)(d)2. 2. The town board may, by a single ordinance, comprehensively revise an existing town zoning ordinance. The ordinance shall be adopted under par. (b).
60.61(4)(e) (e) Neither the town board nor the town zoning committee may condition or withhold approval of a permit under this section based upon the property owner entering into a contract, or discontinuing, modifying, extending, or renewing any contract, with a 3rd party under which the 3rd party is engaging in a lawful use of the property.
60.61(4)(f) (f) The town board shall maintain a list of persons who submit a written request to receive notice of any proposed ordinance or amendment that affects the allowable use of the property owned by the person. If the town zoning committee completes a final report on a proposed zoning ordinance and the town board is prepared to vote on the proposed ordinance under par. (b) or if the town board is prepared to vote on a proposed amendment under par. (c) 1., the town board shall send a notice, which contains a copy of the proposed ordinance or amendment, to each person on the list whose property, the allowable use of which, may be affected by the proposed ordinance or amendment. The notice shall be by mail or in any reasonable form that is agreed to by the person and the town board. The town board may charge each person on the list who receives a notice a fee that does not exceed the approximate cost of providing the notice to the person. An ordinance or amendment that is subject to this paragraph may take effect even if the town board fails to send the notice that is required by this paragraph.
60.61(5)(ab)(ab) In this subsection "nonconforming use" means a use of land, a dwelling, or a building that existed lawfully before the current zoning ordinance was enacted or amended, but that does not conform with the use restrictions in the current ordinance.
60.61(5)(am) (am) An ordinance adopted under this section may not prohibit the continued use of any building, premises, structure, or fixture for any trade or industry for which the building, premises, structure, or fixture is used when the ordinance takes effect. An ordinance adopted under this section may prohibit the alteration of, or addition to, any existing building, premises, structure, or fixture 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, premises, structure, or fixture shall conform to the ordinance.
60.61(5)(b) (b) 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.
60.61(5)(d) (d) Paragraphs (b) and (c) 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.
60.61(5)(e)2. 2. Subject to par. (am), an ordinance enacted under this section may not require the removal of a nonconforming building, premises, structure, or fixture by an amortization ordinance.
60.61(5e) (5e)Repair and maintenance of certain nonconforming structures.
60.61(5e)(a)1. 1. "Development regulations" means the part of a zoning ordinance enacted under this section that applies to elements including setback, height, lot coverage, and side yard.
60.61(5m)(b) (b) An ordinance adopted under this section to which par. (a) applies shall allow for the size of a structure to be larger than the size it was immediately before the damage or destruction if necessary for the structure to comply with applicable state or federal requirements.
60.62 60.62 Zoning authority if exercising village powers.
60.62(1)(1) Except as provided in s. 60.23 (33) and subject to subs. (2), (3) and (4), 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.
60.62(2) (2) 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.
60.62(3)(a)(a) 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.
60.62(3)(b) (b) With regard to a town to which all of the following apply, the town may not adopt or amend a zoning ordinance under this section without county board approval:
60.62(4) (4)
60.62(4)(a)(a) 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, subject to confirmation by the town board. The town chairperson shall also select the presiding officer. The town board chairperson may appoint town board members 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. Appointees to the town plan commission may be removed only by a majority vote of the town board. All other provisions of ss. 61.35 and 62.23 shall apply to a town plan commission that has 5 members.
60.62(4)(c) (c) 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).
60.62 Annotation Judicial review of a county board's legislative decision concerning approval or disapproval of town zoning ordinances submitted under sub. (3) is limited to cases of abuse of discretion, excess of power, or error of law. 79 Atty. Gen. 117.
60.625(1) (1) In this section, "wetland" has the meaning given in s. 23.32 (1).
60.625(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), a town that issues a building permit or other approval for construction activity, shall give the applicant a written notice as specified in subs. (3) and (4) at the time the building permit is issued.
60.625(3) (3) Each notice shall contain the following language: "YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPLYING WITH STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS CONCERNING CONSTRUCTION NEAR OR ON WETLANDS, LAKES, AND STREAMS. WETLANDS THAT ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH OPEN WATER CAN BE DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY. FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN REMOVAL OR MODIFICATION OF CONSTRUCTION THAT VIOLATES THE LAW OR OTHER PENALTIES OR COSTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WETLANDS IDENTIFICATION WEB PAGE OR CONTACT A DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SERVICE CENTER."
60.625(4) (4) The notice required in sub. (2) (a) shall contain the electronic Web site address that gives the recipient of the notice direct contact with that Web site.
60.625(5) (5) A town in issuing a notice under this section shall require that the applicant for the building permit sign a statement acknowledging that the person has received the notice.
60.625 History History: 2009 a. 373; 2011 a. 32.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Dec. 13, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Dec. 13, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-13-14)