A professional engineer, a planner, or another person charged with the responsibility to review plats shall provide the approving authority with his or her conclusions as to whether the final plat conforms substantially to the preliminary plat and with his or her recommendation on approval of the final plat. The conclusions and recommendation shall be made a part of the record of the proceeding at which the final plat is being considered and are not required to be submitted in writing.
The body or bodies having authority to approve plats shall approve or reject the final plat within 60 days of its submission, unless the time is extended by agreement with the subdivider. When the approving authority is a municipality and determines to approve the plat, it shall give at least 10 days' prior written notice of its intention to the clerk of any municipality whose boundaries are within 1,000 feet of any portion of such proposed plat but failure to give such notice shall not invalidate any such plat. If a plat is rejected, the reasons therefor shall be stated in the minutes of the meeting and a copy thereof or a written statement of the reasons supplied the subdivider. If the approving authority fails to act within 60 days and the time has not been extended by agreement and if no unsatisfied objections have been filed within that period, the plat shall be deemed approved, and, upon demand, a certificate to that effect shall be made on the face of the plat by the clerk of the authority which has failed to act.
Under s. 236.11 (1) (a), a village must act within the stated time limit as to a preliminary plat, even though the plat allegedly violates the official city map. Tabling consideration of the plat within the stated time is not sufficient. State ex rel. Lozoff v. Board of Trustees of Hartland, 55 Wis. 2d 64
, 197 N.W.2d 798
Procedure for approval of plats. 236.12(1)
This section shall not apply to cities of the first class nor to unincorporated land in a county having a population of 500,000 or more.
Within 2 days after a preliminary or final plat is submitted for approval, legible copies, together with a list of the authorities to which the plat must be submitted for approval under s. 236.10
or objection under this subsection, furnished by the subdivider at the subdivider's expense, shall be sent, by the clerk or secretary of the approving authority to which the plat is submitted, to the following agencies which have authority to object to the plat:
Two copies for each of the state agencies required to review the plat to the department which shall examine the plat for compliance with ss. 236.15
and 236.21 (1)
. If the subdivision abuts or adjoins a state trunk highway or connecting highway, the department shall transmit 2 copies to the department of transportation so that agency may determine whether it has any objection to the plat on the basis of its rules as provided in s. 236.13
. If the subdivision is not served by a public sewer and provision for that service has not been made, the department shall transmit 2 copies to the department of safety and professional services so that that agency may determine whether it has any objection to the plat on the basis of its rules as provided in s. 236.13
. In lieu of this procedure the agencies may designate local officials to act as their agents in examining the plats for compliance with the statutes or their rules by filing a written delegation of authority with the approving body.
Four copies to the county planning agency, if the agency employs on a full-time basis a professional engineer, a planner, or other person charged with the duty of administering planning legislation and adopts a policy requiring submission so that body may determine if it has any objection to the plat on the basis of conflict with park, parkway, expressway, major highways, airports, drainage channels, schools, or other planned public developments. If no county planning agency exists, then 2 copies to the county park commission except that in a county with a county executive or county administrator, 2 copies to the county park manager, if the subdivision abuts a county park or parkway so that body may determine if it has any objection to the plat on the basis of conflict with the park or parkway development.
Within 20 days of the date of receiving the copies of the plat any agency having authority to object under sub. (2)
shall notify the subdivider and all approving or objecting authorities of any objection based upon failure of the plat to comply with the statutes or rules which its examination under sub. (2)
is authorized to cover, or, if there is no objection, it shall so certify on the face of a copy of the plat and return that copy to the approving authority from which it was received. The plat shall not be approved or deemed approved until any objections have been satisfied. If the objecting agency fails to act within the 20-day limit it shall be deemed to have no objection to the plat. No approving authority may inscribe its approval on a plat prior to the affixing of the certificates under either sub. (4)
The clerk or secretary of the approving authority forwarding copies of the plat under sub. (2)
shall certify on the face of the plat that the copies were forwarded as required and the date thereof and that no objections to the plat have been filed within the 20-day limit set by sub. (3)
or, if filed, have been met.
Where more than one approval is required, copies of the plat shall be sent as required by sub. (2)
by the approving authority to which the plat is first submitted.
In lieu of the procedure under subs. (2)
, the subdivider or the subdivider's agent may submit the original plat to the department which shall forward 2 copies to each of the agencies authorized by sub. (2)
to object. The department shall have the required number of copies made at the subdivider's expense. Within 20 days of the date of receiving the copies of the plat any agency having authority to object under sub. (2)
shall notify the subdivider, and all agencies having the authority to object, of any objection based upon failure of the plat to comply with the statutes or rules which its examination under sub. (2)
is authorized to cover, or, if there is no objection, it shall so certify on the face of a copy of the plat and return that copy to the department. After each agency and the department have certified that they have no objection or that their objections have been satisfied, the department shall so certify on the face of the plat. If an agency fails to act within 20 days from the date of the receipt of copies of the plat, and the department fails to act within 30 days of receipt of the original plat it shall be deemed that there are no objections to the plat and, upon demand, it shall be so certified on the face of the plat by the department.
The department and the state agencies referred to in s. 236.13 (1)
may charge reasonable service fees for all or part of the costs of activities and services provided by the department under this section and s. 70.27
. A schedule of such fees shall be established by rule by each such agency.
In order to facilitate approval of the final plat where more than one approval is required, the subdivider may file a true copy of the plat with the approving authority or authorities with which the original of the final plat has not been filed. The approval of such authorities may be based on such copy but shall be inscribed on the original of the final plat. Before inscribing its approval, the approving authority shall require the surveyor or the owner to certify the respects in which the original of the final plat differs from the copy. All modifications in the final plat shall be approved before final approval is given.
A "planned public development" under sub. (2) (b) is one that a county board has adopted by ordinance. Reynolds v. Waukesha County Park & Planning Commission, 109 Wis. 2d 56
, 324 N.W.2d 897
(Ct. App. 1982).
Because sub. (2) (a) grants only to a "town or municipality" within which a plat lies the authority to require public improvements as a condition of plat approval, and a county is not a municipality for purposes of ch. 236, a county may not regulate the size of cul-de-sacs, the length of street blocks, and the location of town roads when the plat is located within a town. Rogers Development v. Rock County Planning and Development Committee, 2003 WI App 113
, 265 Wis. 2d 214
, 666 N.W.2d 504
Basis for approval. 236.13(1)(1)
Approval of the preliminary or final plat shall be conditioned upon compliance with:
Any municipal, town, or county ordinance that is in effect when the subdivider submits a preliminary plat, or a final plat if no preliminary plat is submitted;
The rules of the department of safety and professional services relating to lot size and lot elevation necessary for proper sanitary conditions in a subdivision not served by a public sewer, where provision for public sewer service has not been made;
The rules of the department of transportation relating to provision for the safety of entrance upon and departure from the abutting state trunk highways or connecting highways and for the preservation of the public interest and investment in such highways.
As a further condition of approval, the governing body of the town or municipality within which the subdivision lies may require that the subdivider make and install any public improvements reasonably necessary or that the subdivider execute a surety bond or provide other security to ensure that he or she will make those improvements within a reasonable time. The subdivider may construct the project in such phases as the governing body approves, which approval may not be unreasonably withheld. If the subdivider's project will be constructed in phases, the amount of any surety bond or other security required by the governing body shall be limited to the phase of the project that is currently being constructed. The governing body may not require that the subdivider provide any security for improvements sooner than is reasonably necessary before the commencement of the installation of the improvements.
Any city or village may require as a condition for accepting the dedication of public streets, alleys or other ways, or for permitting private streets, alleys or other public ways to be placed on the official map, that designated facilities shall have been previously provided without cost to the municipality, but which are constructed according to municipal specifications and under municipal inspection, such as, without limitation because of enumeration, sewerage, water mains and laterals, storm water management or treatment facilities, grading and improvement of streets, alleys, sidewalks and other public ways, street lighting or other facilities designated by the governing body, or that a specified portion of such costs shall be paid in advance as provided in s. 66.0709
Any county, town, city or village may require as a condition of approval that the subdivider be responsible for the cost of any necessary alterations of any existing utilities which, by virtue of the platting or certified survey map, fall within the public right-of-way.
As a further condition of approval, any county, town, city or village may require the dedication of easements by the subdivider for the purpose of assuring the unobstructed flow of solar or wind energy across adjacent lots in the subdivision.
As a further condition of approval when lands included in the plat lie within 500 feet of the ordinary high-water mark of any navigable stream, lake or other body of navigable water or if land in the proposed plat involves lake or stream shorelands referred to in s. 236.16
, the department of natural resources, to prevent pollution of navigable waters, or the department of safety and professional services, to protect the public health and safety, may require assurance of adequate drainage areas for private on-site wastewater treatment systems and building setback restrictions, or provisions by the owner for public sewage disposal facilities for waters of the state, as defined in s. 281.01 (18)
, industrial wastes, as defined in s. 281.01 (5)
, and other wastes, as defined in s. 281.01 (7)
. The public sewage disposal facilities may consist of one or more systems as the department of natural resources or the department of safety and professional services determines on the basis of need for prevention of pollution of the waters of the state or protection of public health and safety.
No approving authority or agency having the power to approve or object to plats shall condition approval upon compliance with, or base an objection upon, any requirement other than those specified in this section.
Where more than one governing body or other agency has authority to approve or to object to a plat and the requirements of such bodies or agencies are conflicting, the plat shall comply with the most restrictive requirements.
Any person aggrieved by an objection to a plat or a failure to approve a plat may appeal therefrom as provided in s. 62.23 (7) (e) 10.
, within 30 days of notification of the rejection of the plat. For the purpose of such appeal the term "board of appeals" means an "approving authority". Where the failure to approve is based on an unsatisfied objection, the agency making the objection shall be made a party to the action. The court shall direct that the plat be approved if it finds that the action of the approving authority or objecting agency is arbitrary, unreasonable or discriminatory.
An outlot may not be used as a building site unless it is in compliance with restrictions imposed by or under this section with respect to building sites. An outlot may be conveyed regardless of whether it may be used as a building site.
Local units of government may not reject a proposed plat under this section unless the plat conflicts with an existing statutory requirement or an existing written ordinance, master plan, official map, or rule under sub. (1). State ex rel. Columbia Corporation v. Town of Pacific, 92 Wis. 2d 767
, 286 N.W.2d 130
(Ct. App. 1979).
Under sub. (2) (a), authority to condition plat approval on public improvements is granted solely to the governing body of the municipality in which the subdivision is located. Rice v. City of Oshkosh, 148 Wis. 2d 78
, 435 N.W.2d 252
Municipalities have no authority to impose conditions upon a subdivision that extend beyond the municipality's borders. Pedersen v. Town of Windsor, 191 Wis. 2d 664
, 530 N.W.2d 427
(Ct. App. 1995).
Sub. (2) (a) does not grant a municipality the power to establish public improvement requirements without an ordinance. Pedersen v. Town of Windsor, 191 Wis. 2d 664
, 530 N.W.2d 427
(Ct. App. 1995).
Sub. (1) (d) does not prevent municipalities from enacting more restrictive sewer regulations than the rules cited in that paragraph. Manthe v. Town of Windsor, 204 Wis. 2d 546
, 555 N.W.2d 156
(Ct. App. 1996), 95-1312
So long as any issues addressed in both a master plan and an official map are not contradictory, for purposes of sub. (1) (c), the master plan is consistent with the official map. A master plan is not inconsistent with an official map if the plan contains elements the map does not. Lake City Corp. v. City of Mequon, 207 Wis. 2d 155
, 558 N.W.2d 100
In the area of minimum lot size regulation, the power of a plan commission authorized to review plats is not limited or detracted by zoning regulations. Lake City Corp. v. City of Mequon, 207 Wis. 2d 156
, 558 N.W.2d 100
As sub. (5) does not expressly designate the "appealing authority" to whom appeal papers should be directed, the appellant's service of an appeal on the county planning and development department rather than on the planning and development committee, which had made the disputed decision, was not grounds for dismissal when there had been pervasive use of department personnel and stationery in the process. Weber v. Dodge County Planning and Development Dept. 231 Wis. 2d 222
, 604 N.W.2d 297
(Ct. App. 1999), 99-1116
Sub. (2) (a) does not restrict a town's authority to impose public improvements as conditions for plat approval during a contested annexation. When a town is legally contesting the annexation s. 236.10 (1) (a) requires both the annexing municipality and the town from which the area has been annexed to approve a final plat in accordance with s. 236.12. KW Holdings, LLC v. Town of Windsor, 2003 WI App 9
, 259 Wis. 2d 357
, 656 N.W.2d 752
Chapter 236 does not authorize the transportation department to regulate land divisions that are not subdivisions within the meaning of s. 236.02 (12). Wisconsin Builders Association v. DOT, 2005 WI App 160
, 285 Wis. 2d 472
, 702 N.W.2d 433
A city's extraterritorial plat condition that allowed lots of less than 20 acres only when attached to the public sanitary sewer system had the effect of requiring a public sanitary sewer system for lot sizes smaller than 20 acres, violating the ruling of Rice
that authority to condition plat approval on public improvements is granted solely to the governing body of the municipality in which the subdivision is located.
Town of Delton v. City of Baraboo, 2007 WI App 120
, 301 Wis. 2d 720
, 731 N.W.2d 308
For every subdivision of land there shall be a survey meeting the following requirements:
All of the monuments required in pars. (a)
shall be placed flush with the ground where practicable.
The external boundaries of a subdivision shall be monumented in the field by monuments of concrete containing a ferrous rod one-fourth inch in diameter or greater imbedded its full length, not less than 18 inches in length, not less than 4 inches square or 5 inches in diameter, and marked on the top with a cross, brass plug, iron rod, or other durable material securely embedded; or by iron rods or pipes at least 18 inches long and 2 inches in diameter weighing not less than 3.65 pounds per lineal foot. Solid round or square iron bars of equal or greater length or weight per foot may be used in lieu of pipes wherever pipes are specified in this section. These monuments shall be placed at all corners, at each end of all curves, at the point where a curve changes its radius, at all angle points in any line and at all angle points along the meander line, said points to be not less than 20 feet back from the ordinary high water mark of the lake or from the bank of the stream, except that when such corners or points fall within a street, or proposed future street, the monuments shall be placed in the side line of the street.
All internal boundaries and those corners and points not required to be marked by par. (a)
shall be monumented in the field by like monuments as defined in par. (a)
. These monuments shall be placed at all block corners, at each end of all curves, at the point where a curve changes its radius, and at all angle points in any line.
All lot, outlot, park and public access corners and the corners of land dedicated to the public shall be monumented in the field by iron pipes at least 18 inches long and one inch in diameter, weighing not less than 1.13 pounds per lineal foot, or by round or square iron bars at least 18 inches long and weighing not less than 1.13 pounds per lineal foot.
The lines of lots, outlots, parks and public access and land dedicated to the public that extend to lakes or streams shall be monumented in the field by iron pipes at least 18 inches long and one inch in diameter weighing not less than 1.13 pounds per lineal foot, or by round or square iron bars at least 18 inches long and weighing not less than 1.13 pounds per lineal foot. These monuments shall be placed at the point of intersection of the lake or stream lot line with a meander line established not less than 20 feet back from the ordinary high water mark of the lake or from the bank of the stream.
Any durable metal or concrete monuments may be used in lieu of iron pipes provided that they are uniform within the platted area and have a permanent magnet embedded near the top or bottom or both.
In cases where strict compliance with this subsection would be unduly difficult or would not provide adequate monuments, the department may make other reasonable requirements.
The governing body of the city, village or town which is required to approve the subdivision under s. 236.10
may waive the placing of monuments under pars. (b)
for a reasonable time on condition that the subdivider executes a surety bond to ensure that he or she will place the monuments within the time required.
(2) Accuracy of survey.
The survey shall be performed by a land surveyor registered in this state and if the error in the latitude and departure closure of the survey or any part thereof is greater than the ratio of one in 3,000, the plat may be rejected.
All permanent survey monuments required by sub. (1) (a), (b), (c), and (d) must be placed in the field prior to submission of a final subdivision plat for state level review; provided, however, that in the event of a waiver under sub. (1) (h), the placement of all permanent monuments other than those required by sub. (1) (a) may be temporarily deferred. 59 Atty. Gen. 262.
Layout requirements. 236.16(1)(1)
Minimum lot width and area.
In counties having a population of 40,000 or more, each lot in a residential area shall have a minimum average width of 50 feet and a minimum area of 6,000 square feet; in counties of less than 40,000, each lot in a residential area shall have a minimum average width of 60 feet and a minimum area of 7,200 square feet. In municipalities, towns and counties adopting subdivision control ordinances under s. 236.45
, minimum lot width and area may be reduced to dimensions authorized under such ordinances if the lots are served by public sewers.
(2) Minimum street width.
All streets shall be of the width specified on the master plan or official map or of a width at least as great as that of the existing streets if there is no master plan or official map, but no full street shall be less than 60 feet wide unless otherwise permitted by local ordinance. Widths of town roads platted after January 1, 1966, shall, however, comply with minimum standards for town roads prescribed by s. 82.50
. Streets or frontage roads auxiliary to and located on the side of a full street for service to the abutting property may not after January 1, 1966, be less than 49.5 feet wide.
All subdivisions abutting on a navigable lake or stream shall provide public access at least 60 feet wide providing access to the low watermark so that there will be public access, which is connected to existing public roads, at not more than one-half mile intervals as measured along the lake or stream shore except where greater intervals and wider access is agreed upon by the department of natural resources and the department, and excluding shore areas where public parks or open-space streets or roads on either side of a stream are provided.
No public access established under this chapter may be vacated except by circuit court action as provided in s. 236.43
Except as provided in par. (d)
, this subsection does not require any local unit of government to improve land provided for public access.
All of the owners of all of the land adjacent to a public access established under par. (a)
to an inland lake, as defined in s. 30.92 (1) (bk)
, may petition the city, village, town or county that owns the public access to construct shoreline erosion control measures. Subject to par. (e)
, the city, village, town or county shall construct the requested shoreline erosion control measures or request the department of natural resources to determine the need for shoreline erosion control measures. Upon receipt of a request under this paragraph from a city, village, town or county, the department of natural resources shall follow the notice and hearing procedures in s. 30.208 (3)
. Subject to par. (e)
, the city, village, town or county shall construct shoreline erosion control measures as required by the department of natural resources if the department of natural resources determines all of the following:
Erosion is evident along the shoreline in the vicinity of the public access.
The shoreline erosion control measures proposed by the owners of the property adjacent to the public access are designed according to accepted engineering practices.
Sufficient property owners, in addition to the owners of all property adjacent to the public access, have agreed to construct shoreline erosion control measures so that the shoreline erosion control project is likely to be effective in controlling erosion at the location of the public access and its vicinity.
The shoreline erosion control project is not likely to be effective in controlling erosion at the location of the public access and its vicinity if the city, village, town or county does not construct shoreline erosion control measures on the land provided for public access.
A city, village, town or county may not be required to construct shoreline erosion control measures under par. (d)
on land other than land provided for public access.
(f) Paragraphs (b)
apply to public access that exists on, or that is established after, May 7, 1998.
(4) Lake and stream shore plats.
The lands lying between the meander line, established in accordance with s. 236.20 (2) (g)
, and the water's edge, and any otherwise unplattable lands which lie between a proposed subdivision and the water's edge shall be included as part of lots, outlots or public dedications in any plat abutting a lake or stream. This subsection applies not only to lands proposed to be subdivided but also to all lands under option to the subdivider or in which the subdivider holds any interest and which are contiguous to the lands proposed to be subdivided and which abut a lake or stream.
NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 214
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
See also ss. NR 1.91
, Wis. adm. code.
When a strip of land was labeled on a plat "Public Access" that abutted a lake and connected to a public highway, the plat substantially met the statutory requirement of a "clear dedication to the public." While the dedication did not contain the exact formula found in s. 236.20 (4), under Hunt
, 19 Wis. 2d 113
, that is not necessary. Vande Zande v. Town of Marquette, 2008 WI App 144
, 314 Wis. 2d 143
, 758 N.W.2d 187
The circumstances under which the statutory platting standards set forth in subs. (1), (2), and (3) and 236.20 (4) (d) may be waived or varied, with specific reference to the approval of island subdivision plats, are discussed. 62 Atty. Gen. 315.
Each of 2 adjacent platted lots may not be divided for the purpose of sale or building development if the division will result in lots or parcels that do not comply with minimum lot width and area requirements established under sub. (1). Section 236.335 clearly limits the division of a lot in a recorded plat if the resulting lots or parcels do not conform to this chapter. 63 Atty. Gen. 122.
Sub. (3) does not apply to a navigable lake created by artificially enlarging a previously nonnavigable watercourse. 64 Atty. Gen. 146.
The extent to which local governments may vary the terms of ss. 236.16 (1) and (2) and 236.20 (4) (d) by ordinance is discussed. 64 Atty. Gen. 175.
Sub. (4) aims at preventing subdividers from creating narrow, unplatted buffer zones between platted lands and water's edge, thus avoiding public access requirements. 66 Atty. Gen. 85.
Wisconsin coordinate system. 236.18(1)(a)(a)
No plat that is referenced to a Wisconsin coordinate system under sub. (2)
may be recorded unless it is based on a datum that the approving authority under s. 236.10
of the jurisdiction in which the land is located has selected by ordinance.
An approving authority under s. 236.10
may select a Wisconsin coordinate system under sub. (2)
. If it does so, it shall notify the department, on a form provided by the department, of the selection.
An approving authority may, by ordinance, select a different Wisconsin coordinate system under sub. (2)
than the one previously selected under par. (b)
. If it does so, the approving authority shall notify the department on a form provided by the department.