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ETZ Zoning Restrictions Aired Again By Stephenson, Crivitz

Issue Date: October 3, 2019

At the Crivitz/Town of Stephenson Extraterritorial Zoning Committee (ETZ) meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24, members discussed the proposed Wellhead Protection Overlay District Ordinance and then agreed, due to the absence of Town of Stephenson Chair Mike Kudick, to hold off voting until the next meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24. Town Supervisor Jim Stradl had advised that the town board had reviewed and approved the overlay district ordinance with no changes.

Agenda for the Oct. 24 meeting is to include voting on the regulations for the Wellhead Overlay District Ordinance, and discussion and possible vote on regulations for properties within the ETZ boundary but not in the Wellhead Overlay District from which the Crivitz Municipal Water Utility draws its water supply. Those issues, plus a draft of the balance of the ordinance regarding administration and legal issues, are to be addressed by Crivitz Village Attorney Dick Boren.

ETZ Committee members were introduced to recently appointed Town of Stephenson Supervisor Andrew Rogers who had been named to the committee to replace Kevin Solway. Solway resigned from the Town Board in August due to moving to Stephenson, Mich.

Others present for the Sept. 24 meeting were, representing the village - Trustees Jeff Dorschner, Amy Grandaw and Stew Swanson, who are committee members; plus Village President Kurt Kostuch, Boren, Village Clerk/Treasurer Marilyn Padgett, and for the town, Stradl, who is a committee member, and Town Clerk Elaine Olson, plus members of the public concerned about provisions of the ordinances

The ETZ Zoning District includes all properties in the Town of Stephenson that lie within a mile and a half of the Village of Crivitz municipal boundaries. The Wellhead protection Overlay District includes properties that lie within the area from which water for the village water supply is drawn.

During discussion on proposed groundwater protection regulations for the remainder of properties within the ETZ Boundary it was suggested that the Town Board had preliminarily agreed to extend regulations of the overlay district into the remainder of the ETZ boundary. However, on review of the overlay district regulations, it was determined the regulations may be too restrictive with regard to existing and future uses of land in those areas, as well as in conflict with the expectations of the town residents. It was agreed that the Town Board would further review possible less restrictive regulations, using some examples obtained by the committee, and bring a recommendation to the next meeting.

During time for public input and questions from the floor, a member of the public present asked if there would be

an actual zoning ordinance or just an overlay district. The answer was that there will be both - a zoning ordinance containing only groundwater regulations that will be applied to the entire ETZ boundary (1 1/2- mile area surrounding the Village), as well as the more restrictive overlay district, which will be applied to the small areas in the immediate vicinity of the municipal wells.

Possible provisions of zoning within the general ETZ District but outside the wellhead district were discussed at a meeting of the Town of Stephenson ETZ Committee at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, with Supervisors Stradl and Anderson, Town Chair Kudick, and Clerk Olson present, along with five members of the public.

Anderson felt the restrictions within the general ETZ boundaries should be made less restrictive. He said he had not found time yet to review the entire 20-page proposed ordinance that had been sent to them by Padgett, and would like to do that before making recommendations. He felt if they leave the regulations as proposed it might lead to more requests for variances. This could cause problems in the future, for example if they grant a variance to one request and deny it for another it could cause some community anger.

Anderson, Stradl and Kudick all agreed the ordinance should have as few restrictions as possible. Kudick wondered if they should re-write the entire ordinance, but Anderson felt they might resolve the issues by adding to the list of permitted uses. As it stands, if adopted, uses not specifically on the permitted list will be prohibited within the district unless a variance is granted.There are fees for variance requests.

Anderson asked if it would be acceptable to come to the Oct. 24 meeting with suggestions and was told it would.

The committee also was concerned that as written, once the ordinance is adopted only the Crivitz Village Board would have jurisdiction. Anderson in particular felt the town should retain some authority. Kudick said that had been suggested at previous meetings, "and there was some push back."

A St. Paul Road resident present noted that once the ordinance is approved by the 6-member ETZ Committee, it becomes a village ordinance, which is why the village has sole authority to enforce it. Only changes in the ordinance itself would come back to the committee.

Olson was concerned about time that may be required to get a building permit. The Town Building inspector will continue to issue permits for the town properties, but the property owner also would be required to get a Village of Crivitz Building permit. This isn't a problem now because both municipalities have the same building inspector, but that might not always be the case, in which case there could be some unreasonable delays.

Committee members in general agreed they want the building permit issue clarified, and want the town - or the ETZ Committee - involved in granting variances. They may ask to have several zoning districts within the ETZ boundaries but outside the Wellhead Protection District to allow more uses where they would not cause problems.

In response to a question about the future of the Veterinary Clinic that lies within the Wellhead Protection Overlay District the board was told that the business is grandfathered in, but could be affected if it wanted to expand

A member of the audience cautioned against silencing objections with assurances that they were protected because their existing use was grandfathered. She said they may continue to use the property as is, but their re-sale value could be destroyed, since the grandfathered provisions only apply to the owners and uses at the time the ordinance is adopted. She noted her parents had been unable to sell their property in the City of Marinette as they had planned because it was on a non-conforming lot and the land their home sat on had almost no resale value.

Another person in the audience asked if changes in the Wellhead Overlay provisions had been made as suggested at the August ETZ Committee meeting and a bit of research showed they had.

A provision that had originally stated an existing non-conforming business within the district "must" replace equipment with the most environmentally friendly versions was changed to state "if" they replaced equipment or expanded it had to be done with the most environmentally friendly versions available.

Kudick, Stradl and Anderson all agreed to study the proposed rules for properties not in the wellhead protection district and come to the Oct 24 ETZ meeting prepared to talk about them. Based on conversations at the town committee meeting, that discussion could include asking for provisions for Town Board input into variance request decisions. By choice the Town of Stephenson has no zoning restrictions.


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