Sawyer County Zoning Committee Public Hearing
Re: Sawyer County Comprehensive Plan
January 4, 2010
Zoning Committee Members
BM = Bruce Miller, Vice Chairman
FZ = Fred Zietlow
KM = Kathy McCoy
AM = Arlene Mizerka
WJ = Warren Johnson
WAC = William A. Christman, Zoning Administrator
CY = Cindy Yackley, Deputy Zoning Administrator
Sheldon Johnson, Northwest Regional Planning
1) Call to Order and Roll Call
BM calls the Public Hearing before the Sawyer County Zoning Committee to order at 6:00 PM. in the Sawyer County Courthouse, 10610 Main St., Hayward, Wisconsin. Roll is called finding present: BM, FZ, KM, AM, WJ. JB is absent. WAC and CY as well as Sheldon Johnson, Northwest Regional Planning are also present.
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 1 Notice in accordance with Chapter 985 of the Wisconsin Statutes in the Sawyer County Record and the Sawyer County Gazette on December 2, 2009.
BM states the purpose of this meeting is to solicit comments from the public on the Sawyer County Comprehensive Plan. He asks Sheldon Johnson to come forward and walk the Committee through the normal proceedings of this meeting. Sheldon gives a brief overview of where they are in the overall development of the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Committee is a committee that the county appointed two years ago and represents the jurisdictions of Sawyer County that were seated at the plan development committee level. There are a number of those members present and he has each member of the Plan and Development Committee state their name and unit of government that they represent starting with Waldo Asp, Town of Edgewater; Leonard Eckerly, Town of Hunter; Jason Sjostrom, Town of Lenroot; Pete Sanders, Town of Bass Lake; John McCue, City of Hayward; Brian Hucker and one other person (couldn’t hear the name), Town of Spider Lake; Elaine Nyberg, Town of Sand Lake; Kay Wilson, Town of Round Lake; Dale Olson, Town of Meteor; Curt Scherer, Town of Hayward; Steve Schultz, Town of Winter; and Ed Peters, Town of Draper. BM commends Dale Olson for helping chair and facilitate. Sheldon also thanks the members for their overall participation in the planning process. He states the process started about two years ago. On November 9th, the committee met and recommended the draft plan…(the plan in front of the Committee members) to the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors. On November 10th, the County Board received a copy of the draft plan and a resolution recommending the acceptance of the draft plan. The resolution was accepted by the County Board on November 10th which put in place the necessary steps to get to this point at tonight’s public hearing portion of it. Thirty days prior to today there was a public hearing that was advertised both in the Sawyer County Record and the Gazette, officially meeting the 30 day requirement of the overall comprehensive plan legislation and the requirements of the county. Many of the towns have gone through the overall comprehensive plan process. In the end, thirteen towns will have adopted their comprehensive plan by April. Currently, there are twelve that have been adopted. By statute, it is required to have a public hearing as part of the development of the comprehensive plan development process. The public hearing process is being held today as an open forum. It’s an opportunity for the public to provide comments to the Zoning Committee who is officially holding the public hearing in conjunction with the members of the Planning Committee. Opportunity will be afforded for conversation to respond to questions that may come up. If Sheldon doesn’t have an answer for something today, he’ll do his best to get a response as soon as possible. After the conclusion of this hearing the next step will be to have another public hearing of the members of the jurisdictions in the county. That will be to look at the testimony and comments that were suggested for changes to the comprehensive plan. A couple written comments regarding changes have been received. Some of those are grammatical in form and others are in content in form. Sheldon will be going through those comments and the comments that are made at this hearing to bring back to the development committee the suggested changes to the overall plan. The conversation that happens at the committee level perhaps as early as next week, will then make that recommendation to the Zoning Committee for their consideration and motion to recommend to the County Board for final adoption. BM asks if the development committee is asking for action at this meeting and Sheldon states no, it’s for public input only. The rationale is not asking for action today because there are some technical changes that still have not been incorporated into the draft plan yet, and he would like to take those to the plan committee and bring it to the Zoning Committee at their next meeting for recommendation to the County Board. They would include errors and omissions to the plan. BM asks when Sheldon would anticipate asking for the Zoning Committee to have this on the Zoning Committee agenda and Sheldon states it would be at this next Zoning Committee Public Hearing. That would be the proposed schedule. BM states that he also wants to recognize that Supervisors Jim Bassett, Kathy McCoy and Fred Zietlow are also members of the Planning Committee and that Bill Christman, the Zoning Administrator is a non-voting member. FZ states he attended approximately two meetings, but hadn’t received notices of other meetings. Sheldon states that the notices were either e-mailed or mailed to the information that Fred provided to the committee. He reiterates that this hearing is an opportunity for conversation as it relates to the public hearing as it relates to the process. BM asks Sheldon if there is anything in the plan that he’d like to highlight. Sheldon states that five informational meetings were held throughout the county last month. They were held in the Town of Winter, Meteor, Hunter, Bass Lake and the Town of Spider Lake, so there was ample opportunity for public information. A power point presentation was provided and individuals had as much time to ask questions as needed or provide comments. BM asks what kind of a turn out for participation. Sheldon states with any informational meeting, it’s tough to gauge what the overall participation level would be. A total number of 15 people in Winter, about 11-12 in Meteor, 4 in Bass Lake, 6 in Hunter and about a dozen in Spider Lake. WAC asks Sheldon about amending the plan in the future. Does the amendment have to go through the same process? Sheldon states yes. The Comprehensive Plan for the County, like the town plans and LCO plan and Village plans have a mechanism in which to amend the plan at any point in time. There isn’t a five year window that has to be met before the plan can be amended. It can be amended at anytime in the future. The requirements of an amendment would incorporate the appropriated committee to discuss the proposed amendments to the comprehensive plan and then there would be a public hearing on the amendment that is being put forth and then the County Board would have to adopt the amended Comprehensive Plan. BM asks who is the committee of jurisdiction, the Zoning Committee or the citizen committee. Sheldon states that he can’t speak to that because he has not had conversation with the County Board Supervisors or County Clerk about what the process would be once the plan is adopted. Basically who’s the jurisdiction in charge? Is it the Zoning Committee or does this plan development committee meet to review? It is referenced, but not by committee. It’s not technically referenced as to who’s the responsible entity. BM asks if this is something that should be in the plan prior to County Board consideration. Sheldon states not necessarily. It wouldn’t have to be but if the County Board wanted to designate the Zoning Committee as the amendment process. KM states that when they were at Spider Lake, Gene had an excellent idea in terms of having the committee remain in place or a contingency of all the representatives from each town to meet to make sure that the communication between the county and the towns continue and also to look at ongoing process if things did come up in terms of amending the plan. BM states that as a Zoning Committee, they can create that kind of recommendation for the full County Board if the Board wants to adopt this plan. That would be a procedural motion at that point. FZ questions an interpretation of the comprehensive planning law in 1999. One of the last sentences in there states “this law applies if a local government will engage in these activities it must have a comprehensive plan.” Through interpolation, he suggests that that power to change belongs to the lowest common denominator…the township, not the county. Sheldon states it applies to both. FZ states that if he’s not mistaken, an individual township can opt out of it. Sheldon states that what FZ is talking about has to do with actions and procedures that must be consistent with comprehensive plans. He reads a paragraph of Chapter 66.1001(3) titled Actions and Procedures that must be consistent with Comprehensive Plans. These are the consistency requirements that must be done by the units of government that fall within any of the six categories he just read. As it relates to Sawyer County, we fall within the county zoning ordinance, shoreland ordinance that relates to Sawyer County’s comprehensive plan and the amendment process that would follow at that point. At the town level, anything that would be applicable under their comprehensive plan would be an amendment process to themselves in addition. If there is a suggested change to the Sawyer County Comprehensive Plan that someone puts forth in the future, it may be practical or necessary to have that suggestion be incorporated or looked at, at the town level as well. It would be a very appropriate process. FZ thinks it may be mandatory because it comes out of the annotated statutes and says that everything Sheldon just read is consistent with what is in the statutes except the interpretation at the end. Sheldon states that at the local level there will be sometime in future an amendment process that’s necessary for the towns to incorporate that may also be required at the County level. WAC gives an example of a situation that has come up in the Town of Hayward where someone applied for a change in zone district. There was no problem with the Zoning Ordinance. It met all the requirements of the ordinance. The Town of Hayward’s plan had some unique requirements as far as parcel size that were written into their town plan. He asks if the town amendment is done first and then again with the rezone. Sheldon states that the procedure for amending the plan has not been established. It’s anticipated that once the County Board adopts the Comprehensive Plan, that’s when the engagement between the representatives of the town with the comprehensive plan and the County to talk about what the process will be. It could start with the town. FZ states the legislative intent of this back in 1999 though was to keep it at the lowest common denominator. Aren’t we putting in an extra layer of bureaucracy by getting the County involved? Sheldon says no because all the towns in Sawyer County except for Spider Lake are under county zoning so by virtue of the county having comprehensive zoning and the towns adopting that, they’re your partner in this process. As is relates to zoning, this process that we’re talking about strengthens that relationship that they’ve had with Sawyer County since adoption of comprehensive zoning. FZ states that it’s being indicated that the town could recommend something and then the county could overrule then. Sheldon says no, he doesn’t believe so. Dick Dewhurst states that the Town of Hayward is in the process of amending their comprehensive plan right now. They have set up a public hearing so if it goes through and the town board approves the change to the plan he asks Sheldon if the town would have to go through the same with the county because they have incorporated the towns plan. As long as the town can’t be trumpeted by the county why would it have to be amended? Sheldon states that that would be some of the details that would be worked out once the county adopts the comprehensive plan. The inclusion of the town’s adoption of the plan is within a paragraph of this comprehensive plan. It might be conversation that comes out of this public hearing or other testimony that is provided by the public in the next two weeks that might state that it’s not necessary for the county to amend their comprehensive plan every time a town amends their comprehensive plan if a, b, c, d, is met by the town to make sure they get their amended comprehensive plan to the zoning department or appropriate committee or department of the county to make sure they have the most valid or most up to date information that’s available. BM states what they want to avoid is a town making a change to their plan and the county not knowing it. It’s more for the receipt and acceptance of it than it is for the county to have a power over it. So if they were to change land use in their town, they would send it to us. Is there a reason why we would have to do anything other than accept it and incorporate it he asks by addendum or amendment or what ever? Sheldon states that he doesn’t believe there is a requirement that the County would have to amend their plan to incorporate the amendment at the town level. He defers on this to the county staff. BM says the county would certainly need to know about it. Sheldon states that in the past, he’s had some conversation with the public about the adopting of the towns plans into the County’s comprehensive plan. To date, to the best of his knowledge, the County hasn’t formally accepted any of the town’s comprehensive plans. The group that will look at procedures and the process will formally make that recommendation to the County in short time. WAC asks Sheldon if that process will be written into the plan so that we can go to what ever section in the plan and the process is spelt out. Sheldon states he doesn’t anticipate that language and that process unless we’re able to get to it in the next two to six weeks incorporated into this process. If it’s the desire of the Zoning Committee to have that process hammered out in the next six weeks so that the County Board could take action in February rather than January, then yes it could be incorporated by that reference. It will take a lot of due diligence by the appropriate committee to get that formula put together. The alternative is to adopt the Comprehensive Plan and then bring the committee together and set that process so that you know very early on what the process should be. Brian Hucker from Spider Lake states when Spider Lake went through their process of completing their plan, part of their process was to pass on to the County their amended comprehensive land use plan and that he thought that after it had been presented to the County, it had to be sent to the state also. So whether it is incorporated into the plan or it’s incorporated in some other process it probably would be a good idea to indicate that as the towns amend their plans that they provide that information to the County so there isn’t a gap risk. FZ states he agrees, but would like the power left at the township level, controlling their own destiny. Hucker states Spider Lake is different but thinks the same concept would apply because you would be communicating a plan and by definition of plan your going to consider if you’re going to adopt it and it would incorporate all the other plans. The burden should be on the towns to communicate changes so that there isn’t any confusion. FZ states that’s true but the intent back in 1999 was to keep it at the lowest common denominator. Hucker states that the simple reality is that this has to be a cooperative operation. FZ states that would put the burden of responsibility on the County to be checking with the townships. Hucker states he doesn’t think so and when it was time for the Town of Spider Lake to review their plan, the plan and review committee was the one that went out and organized a committee which they were fortunate to get some of the same people who were originally on the planning committee and by having a representative from each town so that if there are changes that need to be made at the county level or there are other issues that come up, that you have a base line to start from so the process would be a little more streamlined. Linda Zillmer spoke on the County’s failure to recognize the plans that have been adopted already and she thinks it’s a step that should be done. She feels that all these questions should have been worked on two years ago. She advocates for not adopting the plan until a processes is in place. She states that she expected to see some maps, some information so with the public coming for the final public hearing, they would have something to work from and states she’s disappointed that she doesn’t see that. She wonders what changes people would like to see made. What is the process? Is there a form to fill out where a person feels there should be a change made? She asks that the Town of Edgewater’s future land use map be amended and it speaks to the point of these are fluid documents and that they are easily changed but yet you have to go through a process of public hearing. She states that in the summer of 2006 she submitted a request to the Town of Edgewater to amend their plan and states there is nothing in the statutes that provides the guideline as to when that should be done. She was told that the Town of Edgewater would only consider amendments during the annual meeting. There was no plan amendment process at the annual meeting so amending the plan, discussion and public hearing dragged on until the following summer. She again submitted a petition to amend the Town of Edgewater Comprehensive Plan and that has been put off until April of next year. Statutes are deficient. There isn’t a process defined that would make this work consistently with these rezoning situations. Plans are not that easily amended. There is no deadline subject to the politics of the town and it’s not set up to necessarily work well with the zoning changes. Ernest Martinson quotes Ronald Regan saying the most terrifying words in the English language were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” He states that he’s had a terrifying experience. In 1990 the Town of Hayward began to enforce the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code and he had bought some land that had been part of a family farm for several generations. The land he bought was still being cropped for hay and he was going to do some alternative building and some alternative farming, but the Sawyer County Zoning Department rezoned his land from agricultural to residential without his knowing. The uniform dwelling code which the comprehensive plan supports is in it’s implementation element. He states it’s practically impossible to build affordable and alternative housing under the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code. The code was for subsidized conventional housing. He was going to try and do some passive annual heat storage building that incorporates thermal mass and it wasn’t recognized by the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code. The housing industry is the most backwards industries we have and the reason being is that it’s subsidized and regulated to death. Another is the electrical industry. Talking about affordable housing and renewable energy, all the policies are directed against it. The comprehensive planning has been mandated from above. It came from Madison and Dane County and one of the reasons was to stop suburban sprawl but there are other ways to do it. The only narrow guidelines the County has with the comprehensive planning is the use of calling and begging for federal and state funding and for using land regulations, and zoning is one of the regulations and you’re now calling for even more in the implementation element. He suggests a comprehensive critique directed from the grass roots to the State and Federal government asking to change the policies which make it impossible for us to do anything. It makes it impossible to have a sustainable economy within a sustainable environment with equity. All the Federal and State policies are bankrupt. They are doing opposite of what should be done. You’re taxing an environmental effort your regulating. This was a very good plan and interesting to read about, but the guidelines are so narrow. You can’t compensate for bad State and Federal policies under a comprehensive mandate. It won’t work. If we had proper State and Federal policies, most of the regulations would be unnecessary. Curt Scherer states he’s representing the Town of Hayward on the Comprehensive Planning Committee. He says one of the things he liked about the committee was it seemed like it was geographically represented well. There were business people, there were resort owners, Town Chairman, a lot of people’s interests were included in this. Is it perfect, absolutely not. One thing he was concerned about with both the Town of Hayward comprehensive plan and Sawyer County comprehensive plan was that it can be changed. It can be amended. If they’re things wrong with it, there is a process that it can be changed. He recommends that the plan be adopted and knowing that the plan isn’t perfect and probably needs changes, it’s a dynamic document and there is ways it can be changed. Kay Wilson from the Town of Round Lake states she was on the committee for the Sawyer County Comprehensive Plan. As a member they worked really hard to amalgamate all the towns in to a comprehensive plan for the county. It’s a true reflection of the majority of the plans from the towns. All the town plans were laid out and brought the major issues that were concerning a town and made them part of the County plan and she believes it is a true reflection of people within our county and she strongly supports the plan and encourages the Zoning Committee to adopt it. Waldo Asp, Town of Edgewater states he worked on the planning committee for two years now and over the last number of months they have met every week from 9-12 to work through the draft of materials they had in front of them. It was amalgamation of the various plans of the various towns that have already worked through and developed a comprehensive plan. Much of the editing was in terms of dramatics and punctuation and data details but also a good deal of it had to do with content and what was missing. So this document was quiet a fluid document through all these months with numerous additions, changes and revisions. In the next several weeks, he imagines that they will have additional input and materials and revisions that can be considered as it should be in the future. He thinks what ever plan is put forward in terms of how this is going to be either amended, improved, revised or changed needs to have a time that it can be addressed by the County as well as by the individual towns. Each town right now has the opportunity to address how it is to be amended and changed. The Town Boards look at what seems to be most feasible in terms of recommendations by their plan commissions and the town then makes a decision in terms of when should there be an open hearing and a consideration of a possible amendment and change. He feels this is appropriate for the town to have that opportunity to decide for itself how and when changes can be made. He thinks on the county level, it would be entirely appropriate for a time schedule in terms of how then would the county look at the County plan if in deed it’s going to accept the continual even flow of the individual town’s comprehensive plans. He encourages that the County have that kind of stipulation in terms of what would be the process and timeline for making county changes to the County’s plan. FZ states Waldo brings up a similar point which he made earlier and asks Waldo if he’s advocating keeping the control at the lowest common denominator with the township? Waldo states yes and thinks the town’s themselves have worked through the process of surveying their people both residents and part time land owners. FZ ask if most townships have addressed this issue. Waldo states yes, they have had their open meetings and have had the opportunity for input from their residents and from land owners in terms of having surveys that went out and those surveys then gave each town the information that they put into their comprehensive plans. The Town of Edgewater has posted for the last 4-5 years all of the results of the surveys that were taken in the town. Those results are still hanging on the boards in the town hall. He thinks it should be seen as a document that comes from the grass roots. It’s not a document in content imposed by some higher authority, by the State or anyone else. This is a document that has been worked out by individuals who live in their towns and the opportunity to change it, ought also be in the hands of the people who live in those towns. BM asks when you do the survey of what people think, are you surveying the electors, residents or are we surveying none residents. Who’s being surveyed? Waldo states the survey in the Town of Edgewater went out to all land owners not just residents, not just part time people, but all the land owners. BM asks should the County be looking at a process that really encourages towns to have that open transparent process. Looking at resurveys, looking at new data so that this doesn’t become another one of those things that sits on a shelf or that it doesn’t become Performa that the Zoning Committee needs to look at this and the town has to look at this. How do we wrestle with that kind of a thing and it should be more specific in our plan as it talks about plan updates? Waldo states the legislature recommended every 10 years. Then the comprehensive plan should be reviewed. That was a suggestion to counties and towns that at least, that frequently there needs to be the opportunity for revision and updating. BM wonders whether it should be every 3 years. Waldo states the towns individually have probably addressed this at least every 5 years. The town wanted the opportunity to reassess on where they were at with their comprehensive plan so this year coming up will be that 5 year time when the Town of Edgewater will be reviewing again. BM states that just looking at the change in demographics in what he knows has happened or seems to be happening. Part of this plan deals with our public resources. Land as well as other things and we have had a dramatic shift over the course of the last 2-3 years. Waldo states he hopes the County would put in a time schedule that would be less than 10 year reexamination and hopes the County would say every 5 years and have a formal look at the comprehensive plan in terms of need there be not just additional data put in, in terms of bring us up to date in terms of the charts and graphs but an opportunity to look at significant ways in which the document might be improved or might be changed because business opportunities change and the economy of our state certainly is fluid so we need to be proactive instead of just reacting once a decade, so he encourages to at least consider the idea of at least every 5 years having the opportunity to do a major look at possibly improving the comprehensive plan in the county. BM asks how to balance those two things of wanting the change come from the towns. How would the towns feel about a mandate coming from the County that we look at the plans more frequently? Waldo states each town has the opportunity and responsibility to say for itself how frequently it would like to look at its comprehensive plan but the County is a structure that then probably would like to take a look at least every 5 years at what has happened in each of the towns over the course of that time and does that then suggest that the county needs to make some major overhaul or revisions. There are many thing that are happening that don’t emanate from the towns. They come from the larger economy and foot work that the County would want to be considering at that point. Edward Peters, from the Town of Draper speaks in favor of adoption of the plan. He was part of the committee that was part of this development of the plan. A plan is not a fixed document. It’s something that changes. He states they were charged with providing a starting point for comprehensive planning in Sawyer County. Several of the townships including his and the Town of Winter were concurrent in terms of the starting point. A lot of the information in the plan is background information that was drawn together so that they had a basis from which to start. From that, they developed goals and objectives and actions. Some of the actions are going to take years to accomplish, some have already been accomplished. In some cases, in some actions their plan in the Town of Draper is already out of date. It already needs adjustment because they have accomplished those things. The same things occur with the County plan. The plan is a fluid document and continually needs to be updated. He thinks the process by which the update occurs is something for a continuing committee of comprehensive planning for the Sawyer County to address. They were not charged with being in session for perpetuity. They were charged with getting this plan developed by this time so they could meet the statutes that had been laid down before and he feels they have accomplished that. We came from diverse backgrounds and from diverse interests and those diverse interests are reflected very well in this plan. He doesn’t agree with all the goals and objections. His philosophy is a somewhat different than some other people on the committee, but he thinks they achieved a balance of many different points of view that reflect the spectrum of various ideas and that’s what was stimulating about the committee. The spectrum of ideas that were put forth, discussed, cussed and re-discussed in terms of getting this plan put together. In terms of having individual towns do surveys he thought it was a bad idea. There’s an economy of scale. No one town or very few towns do not have the resources to be able to conduct a town wide survey of the depth and breath that was done for this particular development. Because of that he thinks it’s incumbent that the County and the towns work together as an integrated unit in order to develop the process by which this plan is modified and continues to grow as the County continues to grow. Dick Dewhurst from the Town of Hayward states as far as modifying the plan, the Town of Hayward’s plan has all the procedures outlined in it as to how it should be done. The majority of these plans are data based and basically you come up with 2 or 3 sections that are land use and how you’re going to follow this and the maps and anything else. He stated that when his town put the maps together, there was no way they were going to determine what land use was going to be 10 years from now, because the plan is suppose to be for 10 years. They didn’t know what it was going to be for 5 years, so they took certain areas and designate them commercial or rural or agricultural but they put enough flexibility in it that if something has to be changed that they could change it. They would have to go through a public hearing. Right now they have a property that they are looking at. It’s outside what they would call a rural area. They have rural transitional areas that are along the main corridors and they can change the zoning in those places without any modification to the plan but once you get outside of that area, if it’s in a rural preservation then their plan says that anything new going in there has to be 5 acres only. The idea was if anyone wanted to take a 40 acre or a 160 acres and put in something residential then the lots needed 5 acres or else it would need to go into some kind of a conservation plan where you designate so much land as open space and then smaller lots would be allowed. It’s flexible. He thinks the Town of Hayward has a living plan. As far as updating, it will get updated when it needs to get updated. If the County were to charge the town to update their plan in 5 years, he thinks they would be spinning their wheels. All the documentation would need to be gone through again and all the tables and history and all that stuff when actually it’s how this plan works. How is the land used? We have to have the ability to change it, which they have. His only concern is if it does get changed what’s the County going to do and he thinks that they should have that flexibility. He says he’s looked at the County plan and thinks it’s a very vanilla plan and didn’t see anything in it that trumps the towns. Nothing that he saw in the plan would trumps anything that would be in a town plan and he’d like to keep it that way but have a procedure to modify the plan but he doesn’t want to go through 3 more months of hearings to get it approved. WAC states that he thinks it’s important that on page 9-2 at the top of the page that the responsible committee be identified by committee name as to who is responsible for doing what. It says that it is important that the responsible committee and maybe that should read Sawyer County Zoning Committee, evaluate proposed amendments across the entire document for consistency purposes. That can’t be left open ended like it is or there is going to be a lot of confusion as to who does what. We have a plan and then we have an ordinance to enforce the plan and one of the omissions from our ordinance, and we’ve known this for the last couple years but we’ve been waiting until the plan came through, is we’re going to have to probably revise our zoning ordinance and possibly subdivision ordinance to incorporate requirements for cluster development, conservation development, etc. which that will be an extensive amendment. We should probably do that even if this plan is not adopted by the County Board. We should still do that because some towns still have that as an objective within their towns as to support and he thinks like Dick mentioned, cluster development and he thinks we should have a process in the zoning ordinance on how to do that. BM agrees and asks if there would be any objection if the Zoning Committee becomes that responsible committee. WJ states that if they are going to keep the Planning Committee going he thinks it should go there first and then come to the Zoning Committee. BM states he agrees with Warren, but Bill’s point was it shouldn’t say the responsible committee it should say Sawyer County Zoning. WJ agrees with that but says but if you think about everything they do in Zoning now. Everything before it comes to the public hearing, has gone to the towns first. The towns are going to look at their comprehensive plans and if there’s a problem the Zoning Committee should know about it by the time it comes back to Zoning. Once we see that there is a problem between that plan and our County plan then it will be up to the Zoning Committee to recommend it changes to the County’s plan. Whether that needs to be done once every 5 years or maybe it will never have to be done, but as needed they are going to have to recommend changes and he feels that the Zoning Committee should be the one who makes those kind of changes but as far as some of the other ones they need to decide what structure of comprehensive planning is going to be in the future. WAC states that he was looking in an extract of Chippewa County’s plan and they have a planning and zoning committee and he reads “the planning and zoning committee being the general steward of the plan, will retain general over site of the plan as a whole. It will be their responsibility to insure proper actions are being taken to fully implement the plan. It is purposed that an annual report will be given by each respected committee chair to the full County Board detailing the progress and actions taken in relation to the stated goals, objectives and actions for the previous year. Statute requires an update every 10 years but this reporting process will ensure an annual review of the plan as a whole to keep it current with changing conditions.” BM states he thinks that language is the direction he was trying to figure out on how they would go. It’s good but it’s no mandate either. KM states she feels that you need to have a committee that involves all the municipalities somehow. Not just for amending the plan but the big concern is how are these goals and objectives and the implementation of them, and who is going to be the person who implements this goal, Sawyer County Zoning or is it going to be the town or whatever. By having that communication, it won’t sit on a shelf and fall by the wayside. It’s going to force everyone to communicate more and as far as the goals and objectives within the plan, if everyone doesn’t work together nothing is going to happen. BM states that it was his understanding that the purpose tonight was to hear anything that was said, to record it, to make additional notes. The Zoning Committee won’t take any action tonight in terms of this and they will adjourn and they will place this topic on the Zoning Committee agenda for action. Sheldon states yes and that he will bring to that meeting the list of changes to the County plan. He states that there was a lot of discussion held and there were few key points for suggested changes or recommendations that were made as far as the conversation that he heard but did note. It’s determined that the Zoning Committee will be the designee and that the County plan is going to be tied to the existing town plan of record. The redundancy won’t be there where the town amends their plan and the County has to keep amending their plan to keep up. Put simply, the existing town plan of record would cover it. KM states she would hope that the municipalities would furnish the county with those updated plans. Sheldon states that as part of the requirements of all the towns that have adopted comprehensive plans their plans by statute are required to be sent to the County Clerk, not the Zoning Department. He intends to send the County Clerk the letter but the plan to the Zoning Department because that is where it will be more used. BM ask Sheldon about page 9.2 and he reads “based on public input, recommendations and other facts, the County Board will then formally act on the recommended amendments.” He asks if the County will need to hold a class #1 notice meeting. Sheldon states that the paragraph is more specific to the Sawyer County plan. BM asks if the Zoning Committee see’s something afterwards that is part of the County plan that is not a part of the town plan the Zoning Committee would need to go through this process. Sheldon states yes. BM refers to a possible omission to the plan and he asks if a plan amendment would need to be done. Sheldon states not necessarily. Due to the fact that there was an error or omission in the plan itself, based on a statistical number or data, doesn’t necessarily require the Committee to amend the plan at the finding of the fact that something was omitted from the document. BM asks if the County were to decide at some point to start providing county recycling services, currently the plan says they don’t do that, but if the County were to get some stimulus funds and decide to put in a recycling plant would the plan need to be redone. Sheldon states no. If there are minor technical amendments like demographics or other fact information a cheat sheet could be created and then when there is a warranted time for an amendment to the comprehensive plan, that amendment and all the other technical changes that were identified over the last 6 months of time could be incorporated in to that. WAC asks that since the Town of Hayward future land use map isn’t in the plan or any change to that map, is it like our zoning ordinance, that any change to our map is an amendment to the ordinance, a change to this map, is it an amendment to the plan that has to go to the County Board. Sheldon states no. The way that Kathy put forth the suggested change for comprehensive plan amendments at the town level, again as members of the public have identified, the County plan is a representation of the town plans. If language is put embedded in the document that identifies that an amendment at the town occurs, it’s not necessary for the County to amend it’s plan but at the town that adopted it. That becomes the plan of enforcement. BM asks if a town does not have a plan, which there are 4 currently, doesn’t have a map and if they want to change something would that have to go before the County Board. Sheldon states yes, any amendment that is not controlled by a town without a comprehensive plan. KM asks what if the maps change, would that still be sufficient not to have to amend the County plan, because the maps are part of the plan. BM suggests to get rid of confusion, the committee may want to say plan and maps. KM says then it would necessitate that the we do by virtue change our maps to reflect what’s happening in the municipalities on a continual basis. The County is going to have to update their maps once a year. Sheldon states or at the amendment process that the town initiates themselves. A whole year might go by with no town having any amendment to their plan. The only necessity is going to be taking the maps out of the County plan and inserting the amended plan maps from the appropriated town that amended their plan. At the informational meeting, they talked about this in detail and that the goals, objectives and actions that are part of the plan are a broad representation of all of the town plans. If you go to one of the towns and look at their plan, the plan is very specific to that jurisdiction. They are not very specific in the County plan and that was by design. So when the committee has a recommendation coming from the town, it’s meeting their vision, their objectives as it relates to them and by virtue incorporated into the County plan. Linda Zillmer states that when they talk about amending these plans, there is the goals and objectives which are general and vague and may not change that often. In terms of the Zoning Committee, if it’s a rezone, that is specific and its map related. She says Sheldon defined what consistency is at the beginning of his presentation. If we have county zoning, which most of our towns are under, the County plan needs to be consistent with the zoning map. Town plans in the case of zoning are merely advisory to the County. So when talk is made about amending these plans and the process, you need to go through at the County level, she asks that special attention be made because she thinks there are more answers that the Zoning Committee needs beyond what can be provided at this meeting. BM asks the audience if there is anyone who would like to make any additional comments. Dick Dewhurst states the only reason his town would make an amendment to the plan is if they felt they wanted to have that zoning changed. The Zoning Committee still has the opportunity to deny it. If the town modifies their plan, someone else could say that they don’t want it and if they have good reasons, then the town gets overruled. All the town is going to do is make modifications so they could change it. BM states his understanding regarding the time, is that this issue will come before the next Zoning Committee which will be the 3rd Friday in January. The Committee at that point will take action on it and ultimately send it on to the County Board with some form of recommendation. He presumes that would go the County Board in February unless for some reason the Zoning Committee postpones it until March. KM asks that if there are going to be a number of changes that those changed be submitted to the Zoning Committee prior to the next zoning meeting so that the committee members have a chance to review the changes. AM states that there are some details that need to be checked and fixed. One is that the maps aren’t all numbered. Also there is a page that is completely blank and Kathy and her have different numbers for that. Sheldon asks for clarification regarding the date the recommendation for adoption may be. BM states that this will be on the Zoning Committee agenda in January. The County Board will meet the following week. WAC wonders if it would be appropriate to put this before the County Board in January and that maybe February would be better. Sheldon states that the only changes that have been incorporated to date in the text are the two tables, the one with industrial and commercial for future projections. Those are the only two tables that were not complete when he presented the draft earlier in November. He updated those to get it to Madison because of the grant requirement. Madison had to see a draft and those are two of the elements that had to be completed to get approval of the draft so that is why the change. Hearing the comments about County Board action in January that was made by the Zoning Committee, unfortunately there were few County Board Supervisors that attended any of the informational meetings. County Board Supervisors on the Zoning Committee are the members present of the Zoning Committee at this meeting. Over the next week and a half, Sheldon will be making contact with all of the County Board members. BM asks when the adoption of the plan has to be done. Sheldon states statutorily its January 1st, 2010. Sheldon states that he plans on attending the January 21, 2010 County Board meeting to have conversation with the County Board. KM states that hopefully all the supervisors will come to that meeting with a list of suggestions at that meeting. BM states that the plan can be amended at that meeting. Sheldon agrees and says that the plan hasn’t been adopted yet and that the Zoning Committee members and other County Supervisors will have a list of suggested changes to the draft. BM asks then if it’s the intent to put it before the January Board meeting. KM thinks it should go before the January meeting because that’s the place for the County Board members to have an opportunity to express opinions. She encourages Sheldon to contact every County Board member and ask for their suggestions as to typos or of anything in the plan prior to the January meeting. Sheldon states that at the County Board meeting on January 21st or at a later date when they take action on the plan, can strike anything in the plan that they choose. As elected officials of Sawyer County it is their prerogative. BM states that on behalf of the Zoning Committee, he thanks all of those in attendance and the Sawyer County Comprehensive Planning Committee and he asks for a motion to adjourn.
WJ Motions to adjourn
AM Seconds Motion.
Motion Carries. (7:30 PM
Minutes provided by Cindy Yackley, Deputy Zoning Administrator