“Members-elect" means those members of the governing body of a political subdivision, at a particular time, who have been duly elected or appointed for a current regular or unexpired term and whose service has not terminated by death, resignation, or removal from office.
“Political subdivision" means a city, village, town, or county.
“Project" means a specific and identifiable land development that occurs on defined and adjacent parcels of land, which includes lands separated by roads, waterways, and easements.
“Substandard lot” means a legally created lot or parcel that met any applicable lot size requirements when it was created, but does not meet current lot size requirements.
Except as provided under par. (b)
or s. 66.0401
, if a person has submitted an application for an approval, the political subdivision shall approve, deny, or conditionally approve the application solely based on existing requirements, unless the applicant and the political subdivision agree otherwise. An application is filed under this section on the date that the political subdivision receives the application.
If a project requires more than one approval or approvals from one or more political subdivisions and the applicant identifies the full scope of the project at the time of filing the application for the first approval required for the project, the existing requirements applicable in each political subdivision at the time of filing the application for the first approval required for the project shall be applicable to all subsequent approvals required for the project, unless the applicant and the political subdivision agree otherwise.
An application for an approval shall expire not less than 60 days after filing if all of the following apply:
The application does not comply with form and content requirements.
Not more than 10 working days after filing, the political subdivision provides the applicant with written notice of the noncompliance. The notice shall specify the nature of the noncompliance and the date on which the application will expire if the noncompliance is not remedied.
The applicant fails to remedy the noncompliance before the date provided in the notice.
Notwithstanding any other law or rule, or any action or proceeding under the common law, no political subdivision may enact or enforce an ordinance or take any other action that prohibits a property owner from doing any of the following:
Using a substandard lot as a building site if all of the following apply:
The substandard lot or parcel has never been developed with one or more of its structures placed partly upon an adjacent lot or parcel.
The substandard lot or parcel is developed to comply with all other ordinances of the political subdivision.
A political subdivision may enact a down zoning ordinance only if the ordinance is approved by at least two-thirds of the members-elect, except that if the down zoning ordinance is requested, or agreed to, by the person who owns the land affected by the proposed ordinance, the ordinance may be enacted by a simple majority of the members-elect.
Notwithstanding the authority granted under ss. 59.69
, and 62.23
, no political subdivision may enact or enforce an ordinance or take any other action that requires one or more lots to be merged with another lot, for any purpose, without the consent of the owners of the lots that are to be merged.
A political subdivision may not establish an expiration date for an approval related to a planned development district of less than 5 years after the date of the last approval required for completion of the project. This section does not prohibit a political subdivision from establishing timelines for completion of work related to an approval.
If a political subdivision or a utility district requires the installation of a water meter station for a political subdivision, neither the political subdivision nor the utility district may require a developer to install a water meter that is larger than a utility-type box, and may not require a developer to include heating, air conditioning, or a restroom in the water meter station. Any requirements for such a project that go beyond the limitations specified in this paragraph must be funded entirely by the political subdivision or utility district.
If a political subdivision employs a building inspector to enforce its zoning ordinance or other ordinances related to building, and a developer requests the building inspector to perform an inspection that is part of the inspector's duties, the inspector shall complete the inspection not later than 14 business days after the building inspector receives the request for an inspection.
If a building inspector does not complete a requested inspection as required under subd. 1.
, the developer may request a state building inspector to provide the requested inspection, provided that the state inspector has a comparable level of zoning and building inspection qualification as the local building inspector.
If a developer provides a political subdivision with a certificate of inspection from a state building inspector from an inspection described under subd. 2.
, which meets the requirements of the inspection that was supposed to be provided by the local building inspector, the political subdivision must accept the certificate provided by the state building inspector as if it had been provided by the political subdivision's building inspector.
Development moratoria. 66.1002(1)(b)
“Development moratorium" means a moratorium on rezoning or approving any subdivision or other division of land by plat or certified survey map that is authorized under ch. 236
“Municipality" means any city, village, or town.
“Public health professional" means any of the following:
“Registered engineer" means an individual who satisfies the registration requirements for a professional engineer as specified in s. 443.04
Subject to the limitations and requirements specified in this section, a municipality may enact a development moratorium ordinance if the municipality has enacted a comprehensive plan, is in the process of preparing its comprehensive plan, is in the process of preparing a significant amendment to its comprehensive plan in response to a substantial change in conditions in the municipality, or is exempt from the requirement as described in s. 66.1001 (3m)
, and if at least one of the following applies:
The municipality's governing body adopts a resolution stating that a moratorium is needed to prevent a shortage in, or the overburdening of, public facilities located in the municipality and that such a shortage or overburdening would otherwise occur during the period in which the moratorium would be in effect, except that the governing body may not adopt such a resolution unless it obtains a written report from a registered engineer stating that in his or her opinion the possible shortage or overburdening of public facilities justifies the need for a moratorium.
The municipality's governing body adopts a resolution stating that a moratorium is needed to address a significant threat to the public health or safety that is presented by a proposed or anticipated activity specified under sub. (4)
, except that the governing body may not adopt such a resolution unless it obtains a written report from a registered engineer or public health professional stating that in his or her opinion the proposed or anticipated activity specified under sub. (4)
presents such a significant threat to the public health or safety that the need for a moratorium is justified.
An ordinance enacted under this section shall contain at least all of the following elements:
A statement describing the problem giving rise to the need for the moratorium.
A statement of the specific action that the municipality intends to take to alleviate the need for the moratorium.
Subject to par. (b)
, the length of time during which the moratorium is to be in effect.
A statement describing how and why the governing body decided on the length of time described in subd. 3.
A description of the area in which the ordinance applies.
An exemption for any activity specified under sub. (4)
that would have no impact, or slight impact, on the problem giving rise to the need for the moratorium.
A development moratorium ordinance may be in effect only for a length of time that is long enough for a municipality to address the problem giving rise to the need for the moratorium but, except as provided in subd. 2.
, the ordinance may not remain in effect for more than 12 months.
A municipality may amend the ordinance one time to extend the moratorium for not more than 6 months if the municipality's governing body determines that such an extension is necessary to address the problem giving rise to the need for the moratorium.
A municipality may not enact a development moratorium ordinance unless it holds at least one public hearing at which the proposed ordinance is discussed. The public hearing must be preceded by a class 1 notice under ch. 985
, the notice to be at least 30 days before the hearing. The municipality may also provide notice of the hearing by any other appropriate means. The class 1 notice shall contain at least all of the following:
A summary of the proposed development moratorium ordinance, including the location where the ordinance would apply, the length of time the ordinance would be in effect, and a statement describing the problem giving rise to the need for the moratorium.
The name and contact information of a municipal official who may be contacted to obtain additional information about the proposed ordinance.
Information relating to how, where, and when a copy of the proposed ordinance may be inspected or obtained before the hearing.
A development moratorium ordinance enacted under this section applies to any of the following that is submitted to the municipality on or after the effective date of the ordinance:
History: 2011 a. 144
Discontinuance of a public way. 66.1003(1)(1)
In this section, “public way" means all or any part of a road, street, slip, pier, lane or paved alley.
The common council of any city, except a 1st class city, or a village or town board may discontinue all or part of a public way upon the written petition of the owners of all the frontage of the lots and lands abutting upon the public way sought to be discontinued, and of the owners of more than one-third of the frontage of the lots and lands abutting on that portion of the remainder of the public way which lies within 2,650 feet of the ends of the portion to be discontinued, or lies within so much of that 2,650 feet as is within the corporate limits of the city, village or town. The beginning and ending of an alley shall be considered to be within the block in which it is located. This subsection does not apply to a highway upon the line between 2 towns that is subject to s. 82.21
The common council of any city, except a 1st class city, or a village or town board may discontinue all or part of an unpaved alley upon the written petition of the owners of more than 50 percent of the frontage of the lots and lands abutting upon the portion of the unpaved alley sought to be discontinued. The beginning and ending of an unpaved alley shall be considered to be within the block in which it is located. This subsection does not apply to a highway upon the line between 2 towns that is subject to s. 82.21
Notwithstanding subs. (2)
, proceedings covered by this section may be initiated by the common council or village or town board by the introduction of a resolution declaring that since the public interest requires it, a public way or an unpaved alley is vacated and discontinued. No discontinuance of a public way under this subsection may result in a landlocked parcel of property.
A hearing on the passage of a resolution under par. (a)
shall be set by the common council or village or town board on a date which shall not be less than 40 days after the date on which the resolution is introduced. Notice of the hearing shall be given as provided in sub. (8) (b)
, except that in addition notice of the hearing shall be served on the owners of all of the frontage of the lots and lands abutting upon the public way or unpaved alley sought to be discontinued in a manner provided for the service of summons in circuit court at least 30 days before the hearing. When service cannot be made within the city, village or town, a copy of the notice shall be mailed to the owner's last-known address at least 30 days before the hearing.
Except as provided in this paragraph, no discontinuance of the whole or any part of a public way may be ordered under this subsection if a written objection to the proposed discontinuance is filed with the city, village or town clerk by any of the owners abutting on the public way sought to be discontinued or by the owners of more than one-third of the frontage of the lots and lands abutting on the remainder of the public way which lies within 2,650 feet from the ends of the public way proposed to be discontinued or which lies within that portion of the 2,650 feet that is within the corporate limits of the city, village or town. If a written objection is filed, the discontinuance may be ordered only by the favorable vote of two-thirds of the members of the common council or village or town board voting on the proposed discontinuance. An owner of property abutting on a discontinued public way whose property is damaged by the discontinuance may recover damages as provided in ch. 32
. The beginning and ending of an alley shall be considered to be within the block in which it is located.
No discontinuance of an unpaved alley shall be ordered if a written objection to a proposed discontinuance is filed with the city, village or town clerk by the owner of one parcel of land that abuts the portion of the alley to be discontinued and if the alley provides the only access to off-street parking for the parcel of land owned by the objector.
For the purpose of this section, the narrowing, widening, extending or other alteration of any road, street, lane or alley does not constitute a discontinuance of any part of the former road, street, lane or alley, including any right-of-way, which is included within the right-of-way for the new road, street, lane or alley.
Whenever any of the lots or lands subject to this section is owned by the state, county, city, village or town, or by a minor or incompetent person, or the title to the lots or lands is held in trust, petitions for discontinuance or objections to discontinuance may be signed by the governor, chairperson of the board of supervisors of the county, mayor of the city, president of the village, chairperson of the town board, guardian of the minor or incompetent person, or the trustee, respectively, and the signature of any private corporation may be made by its president, secretary or other principal officer or managing agent.
The city council or village or town board may by resolution discontinue any alley or any portion of an alley which has been abandoned, at any time after the expiration of 5 years from the date of the recording of the plat by which it was dedicated. Failure or neglect to work or use any alley or any portion of an alley for a period of 5 years next preceding the date of notice provided for in sub. (8) (b)
shall be considered an abandonment for the purpose of this section.
Upon receiving a petition under sub. (2)
or upon the introduction of a resolution under sub. (4)
, the city, village, town, or county shall deliver a copy of the petition or resolution to all of the following:
The secretary of transportation, if the public way or unpaved alley that is the subject of the petition or resolution is located within one-quarter mile of a state trunk highway or connecting highway.
The commissioner of railroads, if there is a railroad highway crossing within the portion of the public way that is the subject of the petition or resolution.
Notice stating when and where the petition or resolution under this section will be acted upon and stating what public way or unpaved alley is proposed to be discontinued shall be published as a class 3 notice under ch. 985
In proceedings under this section, s. 840.11
shall be considered as a part of the proceedings.
Notwithstanding ss. 82.10
, no city council or county, village, or town board may discontinue a highway when the discontinuance would deprive a landowner or a public school of all access to a highway.
History: 1973 c. 189
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 774 (1975); 1975 c. 46
; 1993 a. 184
; 1995 a. 239
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 66.1003; 2003 a. 214
; 2009 a. 107
NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 214
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
See s. 236.43
for other provisions for vacating streets.
The enactment of sub. (2m) [now sub. (5)] did not eliminate any vested rights of abutting property owners. Miller v. City of Wauwatosa, 87 Wis. 2d 676
, 275 N.W.2d 876
An abutting property owner under sub. (2) (c) [now sub. (4) (c)] at the very least must be somehow supporting or sustaining travel on the street. Voss v. City of Middleton, 162 Wis. 2d 737
, 470 N.W.2d 625
The plain language of this section unambiguously shows that a town has authority to proceed under sub. (3) to vacate unpaved alley segments, even when considered in conjunction with ch. 236, which provides for county vacation of platted alleys in towns. The legislature could have exempted roads and alleys that fall under ch. 236, but it did not. That omission shows that the legislature did not intend for ch. 236 to be the exclusive means of dealing with unpaved alleys in recorded plats. Smerz v. Delafield Town Board, 2011 WI App 41
, 332 Wis. 2d 189
, 796 N.W.2d 852
Reversion of title. 66.1005(1)(1)
When any highway or public ground acquired or held for highway purposes is discontinued, the land where the highway or public ground is located shall belong to the owner or owners of the adjoining lands. If the highway or public ground is located between the lands of different owners, it shall be annexed to the lots to which it originally belonged if that can be ascertained. If the lots to which the land originally belonged cannot be ascertained, the land shall be equally divided between the owners of the lands on each side of the highway or public ground.
Whenever any public highway or public ground acquired or held for public purposes has been vacated or discontinued, all easements and rights incidental to the easements that belong to any county, school district, town, village, city, utility, or person that relate to any underground or overground structures, improvements, or services and all rights of entrance, maintenance, construction, and repair of the structures, improvements, or services shall continue, unless one of the following applies: