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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town Of Peshtigo Hear Zoning Request

Issue Date: October 25, 2018

The Town of Peshtigo Plan Commission met on Monday, Oct. 22 to take action on the zoning of the Bayer property that was discussed at a prior Town of Peshtigo Board meeting of July 17.

That section of land consists of seven properties including half of the road for property located on the south side of Hwy. 41 where the former Bayer Garage was located.

Prior to the new highway being built, these properties were part of the City of Peshtigo. The City of Peshtigo approved the detachment of the properties at a previous Council meeting. The Peshtigo Town Board then approved the properties to be part of the Town.

The issue was brought to the Plan Commission to determine if it should be zoned as Ag 1 or Ag 2.

John Bayer, owner of the property was present at the meeting and stated he will comply with the zoning requirements and if any of the property has to be divided to meet the requirements he will have that taken care of.

A concern was raised by Eugene Frank who has property near Bayer in regards to what he will be doing with the manure from the cows on the property. Bayer said, "The manure gets hauled out to Porterfield".

After further discussion, it was determined to recommend to the Town Board to zone the total 64.35 acres including the road as Ag 2 due to the owners using the land for farm animals. The zoning ordinance requires a minimum of five acres to have farm animals.

Several other zoning issues were reviewed for possible changes or deletion including a reward of $100 to anyone finding persons littering the roadways that leads to a conviction.

After discussion, it was decided to remove this ordinance since it has never been used and due to the vagueness of the ruling and difficulty to enforce.

The next ordinance reviewed was the question, if something catastrophic such as a fire, destroys a single wide mobile home on a property, can it be replaced with another single wide mobile home.

The ordinance states the minimum width for a mobile home to be placed on property is at least 22 feet wide and 1,000 square feet.

This will remain the same other than adding "no matter what" to make the ordinance clear and concise. Should there be a hardship, the resident can always bring it to the Board of Appeals for review.

It was recently discussed that the former Erdmans Auto Salvage/ Choice Auto Parts was opened as Ralph's Auto Parts and the Town wasn't aware of the business re-opening.

The question therefore was raised if there is any ordinance that states if a business closes and sits vacant and in the future another business opens in the same location if the Town has to be notified? And do inspections have to be done, is there a permit that has to be applied for and is there an ordinance for this?

Fortunately, Fire Chief Mike Folgert was present at the Town Hall and was able to advise the committee of the rules pertaining to the Fire Department requirements.

Folgert said if there is a new business and/or change in occupancy of a business, he needs to know so he can do an inspection to make sure everything is up to code and fire extinguishers are in working order and not expired. Any change of occupancy should require a new permit.

Folgert also added, if someone would be doing remodeling, we have to make sure the remodel meets the requirements with proper fire exits, fire pressure alarm systems and fire extinguishers in place along with proper lighting installed. The ultimate would be for any business ownership change or new business, the business applies for a permit so he can verify the plans meet Wisconsin State codes, the right plans are in place, the building is designed for the use and everything is in compliance.

Folgert stated if a building sits vacant for any length of time, fire extinguishers go out of date and the Fire Department needs to go in and do an inspection to make sure everything is up to safety codes and compliant. Rightfully, businesses that open or re-open require an occupancy permit within six months of opening. He also stated, if a residential business turns into a commercial business, they also need to follow the same guidelines. Different occupancies require different rules.

Since there is no clear ordinance in place, Ralph's did nothing wrong in re-opening, they were just not made aware of the proper protocol.

The committee will put on their next agenda along with the Town Attorney present, to discuss the legalities to set the proper ordinance in place in reference to new/re-opened business, including home based businesses.

In the meantime, the committee will research and collaborate with other towns to see what rules and regulations they have in their ordinances.

The committee will forward their suggested changes, recommendations and deletions of the discussed ordinances to the next Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The next meeting of the Plan Commission will be held on Monday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.




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