Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Zoning 01/15/2010

Last Updated 1/19/2010 1:08:11 PM



Sawyer County Zoning Committee

January 15, 2010




Zoning Committee Members

JB = James Bassett, Chairman

BM = Bruce Miller

FZ = Fred Zietlow

KM = Kathy McCoy

AM = Arlene Mizerka

WJ = Warren Johnson


Zoning Administration

WAC = William A. Christman, Zoning Administrator

 CY = Cindy Yackley, Deputy Zoning Administrator

TJ = Thomas J. Duffy, Corporation Council



       1)  Call to Order and Roll Call

      JB calls the Public Hearing before the Sawyer County Zoning Committee                                   to order at 8:30 AM in the Sawyer County Courthouse, 10610 Main St.,            Hayward, Wisconsin. Roll is called finding present: JB, BM, FZ, KM, AM, WJ,             WAC, CY and TJ Duffy.

2)      Statement of Committee and Hearing Procedure.

      Those persons wishing to speak will be afforded the opportunity provided they identify themselves and have completed a testimony form.

3)      Statement of Hearing Notice.

      Public Hearing Published as a Class 2 Notice in accordance with Chapter 985 of           the Wisconsin Statutes in the Sawyer County Record on December 30, 2009 and           January 6, 2010.



1)         Town of Hayward – David W. Anderson. Part of Gov’t lot 4, S35, T 41N, R 8W; Part of Parcel 5401 (:4.1.) Volume 556 Records page 188. Approximately 19.50 acres to be rezoned out of the total 27.16 acres. Change from District Agricultural Two to District Residential/Recreational One. (Approximately 7.66 acres is already zoned Residential/Recreational One). Purpose of request is to create lots to sell to the owners of  small lots on the east side of Haskins Road. The Town Board has tabled the application with additional comments. This application has been tabled from the December Public Hearing. No decision received from the Town Board.

WAC reads the application into the record and states that there was a notice in the paper indicating that the Town of Hayward would be holding a public hearing on February 9, 2010 regarding a change to the Town of Hayward Comprehensive Plan regarding the rezone application of David W. Anderson.

BM Motions to table until the February Public Hearing.

JB Seconds Motion.

Dick Dewhurst is present from the Town Planning Committee and states that the town would like it tabled.

Motion Carries.




1)         Town of Hunter – Duffy Family Investments LLC. Lot 1, being part of the fractional E 1/2 of the NE 1/4 in Section 3, and the fractional W 1/2 of the NW 1/4 in Section 2, all in T40N, R 7W; Parcel 1.1.  Doc# 338527; CSM Volume 28 page 299. 1.63 total acres. Property is zoned Residential/Recreational One. Permit is desired for the use of parcel 1.1 for mainland access for an island lot located in the Chippewa Flowage, in Gov’t lot 6, S31, T 40N, R 6W, being part of Parcel :6.3. The Town Board has denied the application with additional comments.


WAC states that this morning, he received a letter requesting that the application be withdrawn. The letter is dated January 14, 2010 and WAC reads the letter into the record from Thomas W. Duffy for the Duffy Family Investments LLC.

BM Motions to accept the withdrawal

KM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries

WAC reads the application into the record for formality purposes and tells those in the audience that wanted to speak on this application, that the application has been withdrawn. Doug Kurtzweil asked if he could speak about the underlying problems that would be cropping up again anyway. BM states not until the time is right. JB concurs and apologizes to Kurtzweil. John Dettloff asks to share documentation with the board regarding some historical items for the file. JB states that he can drop that information off at the Zoning Office.






1) Access driveways to highways from abutting properties shall comply with the following requirements.


Minimum distance                     Minimum distance

of Highway frontage                  access driveways

between access                        be located to the

driveways for                            right of way on the

CLASS OF HWY.                  Separate Land Uses                 Intersecting Hwy.


Class A Highways                                                                    

Federal Aid Primary Hwys                    600 feet                                    300 feet

Federal Aid Sec. Hwys             500 feet                                    250 feet

Class B Highways                                 300 feet                                    150 feet

Class C Highways       


a)      Without public sewer

(All zone districts)     75 feet                                                  75 feet

b)      With public sewer

(R-1, RR-1, RR-2

 and C-1 only)          50 feet                                      50 feet


 Where there is more than one lot abutting on Class A and Class B highways between access driveways, a service road of not less than 50 feet right-of-way shall be provided across the entire frontage of each lot unless a temporary access permit has been granted with the approval of the agency having jurisdiction over the highway. Use of access is limited to the use authorized in the temporary access permit.  This permit would be revocable when a frontage road is provided.


2) The maximum number and width of access driveways to highways and service roads shall be as follows:





Commercial and                                                                                                          

Industrial Land Uses                             2                                              35 feet


Other Land Uses                                  1                                              24 feet


Where cross-overs in median strip have been provided, access driveways shall be directly opposite these cross-overs.


Delete all of the above and change to read:


Driveway access permits shall be obtained from the appropriate permitting authority.


WAC states that basically what this amendment does is deletes Section 4.23 and puts it to the appropriate authority explaining that there has never been a variance denied by the Board of Appeals. He explains that the towns responses have been 14 towns have approved the amendment. One township (Meteor) has denied. At some point, the Town of Meteor will be developing their own driveway ordinance and they wanted something in the County’s ordinance until it got to the point that they do that. WAC states that the permitting authority is the town, county or state and it only makes sense that they issue the permits.

AM Motions to approve the proposed amendment.

BM Seconds Motion.

KM asks that towns be given some additional time to perhaps write their own ordinance.

Linda Zillmer asks the Committee to table this amendment so that the towns have time to write their own.  Phil Nies states he approves the amendment and if needed, the Town of Bass Lake would offer their driveway ordinance as a model for other towns if needed.

AM amends the Motion effective May 1, 2010.

BM Seconds Motion.

Motion Carries




1)         Recommendations by the Sawyer County Citizens Committee on Septic Systems

Members had received a packet of materials prior to the meeting. Phil Nies, Chairman of the Citizens Committee states the committee with the approval by the realtors came up with 7 recommendations to bring before the Zoning Committee for review.   He goes through the recommendations one at a time.  He encourages the Zoning Committee to give the Zoning Administration what they need to keep the Carmody program going as the Carmody program is the key to this whole thing. The second recommendation is the point of sale.  The County would mandate proof of inspection or pumping of the system at the time of recording of all sales and transfers of property which have septic systems. Discussion held on the recording of these documents. The third recommendation is amending the Private Sewage System Ordinance to update the ordinance based on the recommendations of the Citizen Committee and efforts of the Zoning and Sanitation staff. Four is to revise the current lake POWTS survey program to provide protection of both ground and all surface waters and wetlands. Five is to provide information and education materials to the public by updating the website and for Land and Water Conservation Department to provide materials for the website as well as hard copy regarding wells, POWTS maintenance and lakeshore management and to assist in providing public education in coordination with Zoning, UW Extension and DNR. Six is to identify septic system testing methods and seven, to identify resources for previous efforts to establish regional waste treatment facilities.

BM Motions that the Sawyer County Zoning Committee accept the report  from the Citizens Committee with thanks and commendations to the committee members.

KM Seconds Motion

Motion Carried

BM Motions to ask department staff to review the recommendations and bring them back to the Zoning Committee in appropriate form for review and potential consideration for adoption.

JB Seconds Motion

 Discussion is held. WAC states that some of the items need to have committee recommendations. Its determined that each recommendation will be addressed separately.

BM withdraws his motion. JB withdraws his second.

BM states In reference to recommendation #1, Motion that the Zoning staff and Finance Committee take it into consideration in terms of the development of the next budget.

KM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries

KM Motions that starting this year the department provide the Zoning Committee with a quarterly report as to how the department is progressing with meeting the objectives of getting Carmody up and running again.

BM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries.

BM Motions that the Zoning Committee adopt and support recommendation #2 Point of Sale proof of POWTS inspection or pumping and asks the department to  bring back to Zoning Committee in the form of an ordinance for  the Zoning Committee to consider.

KM Seconds Motion. Discussion held.

BM Amends the motion that either a separate ordinance or an amendment to the existing ordinance be brought back to Committee and that the motion is a recommendation for items #2 and #3 (point of sale proof of POWTS inspection or pumping and Sawyer County Sewage System Ordinance amendments).

KM Seconds

Al Arnold, Realtors Association, speaks on the sale of property and the number of inspections needed. Realtors believe proof of pumping is a realistic compromise and they support it entirely but if it goes back to proof of inspection at time of sale, they will oppose.

Ed Packee, Certified Soil Scientist, states he has concerns.

BM amends his previous motion to add that council work with the department for when the language comes back to the Zoning Committee in what ever form it is, that it include both the options of recording through the Register of Deeds or reporting to the Zoning Office.

KM Seconds the amended motion

Motion Carries

Discussion held on item #4 Lake Survey Program. BM feels that this item should be looked at when it comes to budget time and doesn’t feel the Zoning Committee can act on it because it’s a money and staffing issue. KM states that unless the burden would be placed on the tax payers,  the county doesn’t have the resources at this point to undertake testing septic systems throughout the county.

BM Motions to postpone the Lake Survey Program for the Zoning Committee to consider at budget time.

KM Seconds Motion.

Motion Carries

Item #5 Waste Disposal Challenges, BM thought it was an excellent item but feels each should be taken up by the appropriate committee of jurisdiction and be discussed in the future by the zoning office and to be forward to Land and Water for consideration by them. FZ states he will volunteer to do some investigative work regarding this and what DNR regulations are as far as municipalities accepting effluent. Dan Dums speaks on # 5.7 of the recommendations and gives a situation that came up in the Town of Lenroot regarding land spreading.

BM Motions to accept item #5 and asks that the Zoning Department bring back any recommendations regarding the implementation of item 5 and that it also be forward to the Land and Water Committee for their consideration.

KM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries

BM Motions to accept and support item #6 of identifying specific septic system testing methods and levels and to update and have in place the septic system form by June 1st, 2010.

KM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries

BM referencing item #7 of identifying resources to establish regional waste treatment facilities, motions to support the recommendation that the County pursue efforts to provide an appropriate treatment facility for Sawyer County.  This item to be brought back to the Committee next month.

KM Seconds Motion

Waldo Asp states he would like to see in the future  solutions to addressing water issues underground, wetlands, rivers and lakes. He recommends the appointment of a group of people to look into this and recommend solutions.

Motion Carries.


5 minute break

JB calls the meeting back to order.

BM Motions to approve the monthly vouchers

JB Seconds Motion

Motion Carries


New Business Item #2 Continuing review of the proposed Sawyer County Comprehensive Plan (Jan 4th            meeting)

Sheldon Johnson gives a brief review of the suggested changes and gives an update from the January 4th meeting. The Sawyer County Comprehensive Planning Committee had a meeting on Tuesday to review the suggested changes based on public comment. That information was finalized by Sheldon and forward to the Zoning Department with a request that it get forward to the Zoning Committee members. Discussion is held.

BM Motions to approve the changes and incorporate them into the County Comprehensive Plan including the Town of Ojibwa map and move it onto the County Board for adoption.

KM Seconds Motion for discussion.

She suggests that dates be placed on the tables for referencing later on.

Dick Dewhurst states that his township will be making a change to their plan shortly and asks if that change would be accepted into the County Plan or whether there would be another 3-4 months of hearings before it’s accepted. Discussion is held on Chapter 9.2 and how changes would be incorporated into the County’s Comprehensive Plan. The intent is to keep townships in control of their own future. Linda Zillmer states that Washburn County has failed 3 times in adopting their comprehensive plan and has concerns with the overall process and feels the document isn’t ready to adopt. She also speaks on Act 208 regarding land owner notification. Phil Nies states that the plan is a living document and that the plan should be reviewed and updated every few years. He encourages the Zoning Committee to support the plan. Discussion is held on what appropriate committee or avenue would changes to the plan be given to.

BM amends his motion to delete County Board and insert Sawyer County Zoning Committee in its place.

KM Seconds Motion.

KM also states that she has some problems regarding economic development and the multiple references made to Sawyer County Development Corporation and states that it reads like an advertisement. She suggests deleting some of those and references page 2 in the draft.  Curt Scherer, member of the County Comprehensive Planning Committee, states that there is two sides to every issue and explains the reasoning behind using the word “shall” is that when a change is made it becomes part of that document. It doesn’t have to go through a process. He also explains why it was written “County Board” instead of Zoning Committee was that the County Board charged them to do this. They were the ones who instructed them to prepare the document. Dale Olson, Chairman of the Comprehensive Planning Committee comments on some of the issues that are being raised and states that he thinks that they came up with a good document and they did the best they could. Dave Berard, Sawyer County Extension states that the plan just starts the work and moving forward and approving the plan will get the County where it needs to be. KM asks BM if he would be open to going back to “the responsible committee” instead of “Zoning Committee.”  BM states that he’s willing but if the County Board were to adopt this his motion would be to have the Zoning Committee be the responsible committee. BM withdraws his motion about the Zoning Committee being the responsible committee and to just adopt the document. KM withdraws her second. JB ask what the motion is and BM states to accept the language and incorporate all of the proposed changes into the draft plan.

Motion Carries.

BM Motions to forward the plan to the County Board for their January meeting.

AM Seconds Motion.

More discussion is held on the changes.

 JB states he hasn’t read the document because of all the changes being made and that he wanted to wait until all the changes were made to it and its complete. KM states that she would like to have the motion withdrawn until Sheldon has a chance to explain some points. Motion and Second is withdrawn. Sheldon rebuttals some of the previous testimony and concerns regarding Act 208, the meeting quorum and the adoption process and the time frame for adopting the plan. Discussion is held on whether the list of changes will be incorporated into the final draft by the time the County Board meets. Sheldon states that if the Zoning Committee feels that the County Board is going to delay the adoption of the plan to February it’s in the best interest of his time and the Committees interest to make the suggestion now so that Sheldon can come back when he knows something is going to happen.  KM states that she wouldn’t like to see the plan delayed and hopes that the County Board will come to their meeting prepared at the January meeting and will have constructive comments relative to the plan. She feels the County Board needs a chance to discuss the plan and it’s in the County’s best interest to discuss it in January. WJ states it’s disturbing to him that the County Board accepted a draft plan in November and that someone on the Committee hasn’t taken the time to read it. You can’t make changes unless you go through it. He states he’s read the draft and all the changes and feels if someone hasn’t read it, they should abstain from the vote and let someone who has read it vote. FZ states that he’s read it enough to determine that it’s like all the other counties and it’s a cook book.

BM Motions again to move forward with the plan to County Board for the January meeting.

AM again seconds motion

BM states that this is a start and hopes that what ever committee the County Board appoints to oversee this would do it’s diligence to get it updated as frequently as necessary. JB states again that he didn’t read it because it was obvious that there were a lot of changes to it and he thinks that having an unfinished document before them at this time is premature and feels that Northwest Regional Planning Commission has fallen down on what they were hired to do.

JB calls for the vote: 3 yes, 2 no (Jim & Fred)

Motion Carries

Sheldon comments on Northwest Regional Planning Commission failing in their efforts stating they have not failed in completing any components of requirements as its set forth in the development of the comprehensive plan. They created a draft based on statutes that require Sawyer County to develop a draft plan, circulated for information and comment and get that information back. He states that if the Zoning Committee feels that they fell on their face because they didn’t have a final document in front of the committee today then the committee can have that opinion, but for the remainder of committee members and the public and the press, they did not fall on their face and not complete a final draft. Its part of any departmental process that Sawyer County has and states that he disagrees with Chairman Bassetts comments regarding the Northwest Regional Planning Commission process.


5 Minute Break

JB calls the meeting back to order.


3)         Discussion on cell towers

WAC previously sent the committee information on back ground info as to where the committee was at 8 years ago.  He states that we did have a draft ordinance that he thought was pretty well complete and would probably require some minor changes to it now along with some proposed amendments to the citation ordinance to match the draft ordinance and even had a resolution to go to County Board and then it died. The question before the committee now is should the county have a cell tower ordinance.  He states that we have one more cell tower application pending which would make 5 new towers. FZ isn’t in favor saying it’s over regulation. KM feels we need an ordinance and mentions things like no one knowing that the county needed a bond for decommissioning, no one knew that there was a fall area, no one knew about lighting and based on the lack of knowledge the need exists for an ordinance just to be consistent. Phil Nies states he’d like to see a plan for the whole county not just populated areas. Linda Zillmer states that Wisconsin Towns Association provided an educational handout on cell towers and if the Committee would like a copy she had one available.  WAC states that the ordinances from other counties are pretty much a generic ordinance. JB states that the Committee should have a checklist to go by when deciding on a cell tower application.  BM states he is in favor.

KM Motions to put together a draft cell tower ordinance and to bring back to the Committee for review next month.

WAC asks if the previous cell tower draft ordinance is something they would like to see or something different. He also mentions that zone districts would need to be addressed. Financial guarantees need to be looked at also.

KM Motions that the Zoning Committee review the proposed draft ordinance at next months meeting.

BM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries


4)         Discussion on vacation home rentals

WAC states that he was asked to look at the procedure that Bayfield County uses and he previously sent the committee members the summary of that and how Bayfield County would process an application and says that basically Bayfield County’s procedure was like our conditional use process and if this is implemented in Sawyer County, then the Zoning Ordinance would need to be amended to incorporate the changes. FZ states that he’s not opposed to an ordinance, but economically, this isn’t the time to be enforcing. BM feels that the towns should deal with the issue of nuisance ordinances and it’s something for the sheriff to deal with. AM states that the County could be loosing money in sales tax. JB states there needs to be some control and feels an ordinance needs to be created. Pete Sanders opposes the permitting of rental space because of the economic times. He has people who are renting rooms to basically support their homes. He’s got people who rent to their own family members so they have adequate shelter. This is an underground economy that’s going on and has been going on since we became a tourist community. FZ asks how many complaints have been received. WAC says within the last 5 years, Zoning has had two. Sanders states that the county doesn’t have the capacity to monitor all the short term rentals throughout the county. Phil Nies states that most towns have a nuisance ordinance and should be handled at the town level and doesn’t feel the county ordinance would be enforceable and he’s not in favor of having a rental ordinance. Linda Zillmer states she is in favor of an ordinance by conditional use process. FZ states the only way he would support an ordinance is if all those existing were grandfathered in. Pete Sanders reminds the committee that by information from the Census Bureau, 52% of the properties are owned by people who don’t live there. Potentially 52% of all properties in Sawyer County would need to be regulated by the Committee. KM states that a CUP doesn’t necessarily have to be the process and that maybe a simple permit that someone would apply through zoning that would indicate the number of person renting, parking spaces, making sure the septic system is matched with the number of occupants, local contact information, etc.  Kind of like a registration but doesn’t require a public hearing. Zoning could revoke the permit if problems arise. Also the county could collect more sales tax. Joe Farone, owner of Property Management in town states he’s been in business for approximately 15 years and has rented private vacation homes for those 15 years.  He represents 40-50 homes per year and sees the problems that are coming in and he gets calls and has a full time person who takes care of this. Not everyone is a problem. People are renting out their homes because of economic times. He states that he is in favor of a permitting process, but not in favor of a public hearing process. Al Arnold states that Barron County has a very good ordinance regulating these types of homes and suggests the Committee look at it and he thinks that it’s everything that Sawyer County is looking for. Gene Mittlestadt speaks about a complaint he has regarding a neighbor trespassing onto his property, using his dock and driveway, driving over his septic system and trailers being stored. WAC states Zoning received an e-mail from Mike Chase and family, regarding their issues they have with a rental next door and he reads the e-mail into the record. He states that the Chase’s are the owners of the lot next to the Chicago Club.

KM Motions that WAC get a copy of  Barron County’s permitting system and he draft something similar for Sawyer County based on that and bring it back to the  Committee next month for discussion.

JB Seconds Motion.

Motion Carries ( vote 4 yes 1 no (Bruce)


6)         Review of Zoning Administrators job description

WAC passes out his job description which is a proposed revised description and states that Carol Larson has received a copy. He states that based on the Committee meeting that was held on January 4th the Committee’s recommendation was to proceed with the hiring of an Administrator and still look at department consolidation. At that time he was told to bring a job description. He explains that this job description is not the one that is in effect right now it’s a proposed job description and states that he actually worked on this one over two months ago before it became an issue and says that the old job description is severely outdated and that the revised description reflects what he does now. KM suggests changing a sentence in the job description for clarification adding the word “zoning” and a coma into the sentence behind the words “comprehensive plan”, located in the first paragraph.

BM Motions to approve the position description as amended.

JB Seconds Motion

Motion Carries


KM Motions to convene into closed session pursuant to Section 19.85(1)(c) and (e)

BM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries.


BM Motions to reconvene into open session

AM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries


JB Motions to adjourn

BM Seconds Motion

Motion Carries


Minutes prepared by Cindy Yackley, Deputy Zoning Administrator