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Public Hearing March 19 On Town Of Stephenson Zoning

Issue Date: January 30, 2020

At its meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 22 the joint Village of Crivitz/Town of Stephenson Extra Territorial Zoning (ETZ) Committee put the finishing touches on the proposed Village of Crivitz Wellhead Protection Ordinance that is intended to protect the wells from which water is drawn for the village's municipal water system. It does that by regulating land uses in the portion of the town that lies within a mile and a half of the village limits.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 at the Crivitz Village Hall, with adoption expected immediately afterward.

The ETZ Committee, comprised of equal membership from the town and village, had previously agreed that the groundwater protection provisions should be the same for the entire ETZ District to protect water for private wells as well as the village water supply.

Once adopted, the ordinance will regulate land uses on all properties in the Town of Stephenson that lie within a mile and a half radius around the village. Prior to the December ETZ Committee meeting the Stephenson Town Board had agreed they wanted regulations in the entire ETZ District to equal those in the Wellhead Protection Overlay District which regulates the immediate area from which the village wells draw their water.

Also at its December meeting the Committee, in response to a Town of Stephenson request, had instructed Village Attorney Dick Boren to draw up ordinance provisions creating a committee consisting of an equal number of town and village representatives to hear and decide conditional use requests.

A public hearing on the proposed Wellhead Protection Ordinance is scheduled for Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m., followed by a vote of the ETZ Committee to recommend approval, and then a special meeting of the Crivitz Village Board for its formal adoption vote.

If adopted, the portions of the Town of Stephenson that lie within the ETZ district will be the only properties in the town that are regulated by zoning other than those that fall within the jurisdiction of Marinette County's shoreland/wetland zoning regulations.

Permitted uses in the ETZ District that do not require conditional use permits or variances are Parks, Playground and Wildlife areas provided there is no on"site waste disposal or fuel storage tank facilities associated with this use; non"motorized trails, such as bike, skiing, nature and fitness trails; residential, commercial and industrial establishments whose Aggregate of Hazardous Chemicals in use, storage, handling and/or production may not exceed 20 gallons or 160 pounds at any time, with the exception for those uses listed as "conditional" or "prohibited" routine tillage, planting, and field management operations in support of agricultural crop production with various restrictions, and private on"site wastewater treatment systems (septic tanks), or holding tanks receiving less than 12,000 gallons per day.

Among other things, the long list of prohibited uses includes cemeteries, landfills and transfer stations, any sort of mining (including sand and gravel pits), most manufacturing facilities, animal waste storage facilities, concentrated animal feeding operations, and road salt or de-icing material storage areas, and "any other use determined by the Village Board to be similar in nature to the above listed uses."

Conditional uses could include vehicle services such as filling stations, repair shops and body work. Geothermal wells also are listed as conditional uses, as are residential and commercial establishments that are municipally sewered and whose aggregate of hazardous chemicals in use, storage, handling and/or production exceeds 20 gallons or 160 pounds at any one time.

Not specifically mentioned in the ordinance as either permitted, conditional or permitted are smaller scale livestock raising operations, chicken farms, game farms, dairy farms, etc. Existing uses are "grandfathered," subject to certain regulations.

At the Jan. 22 meeting the only major change in the ordinance from the version tentatively approved at the last ETZ meeting was adding a provision requested by Town of Stephenson Chair Mike Kudick to ensure that the town and village will have an equal number of votes on the village committee that makes the decisions on requests that may come in for conditional use permits.

Current members of the ETZ Committee are, for the town, Kudick and supervisors Jim Stradl and Andrew Rogers, and for the village Trustee Jeff Dorschner, who serves as Plan Commission chair, and trustees Stewart Swanson and Amy Grandaw, with Village President Kurt Kostuch, who also serves as Development Committee chair, as a non-voting member. Rogers was absent and all other members were on hand.

XTZ members received copies of the revised ordinance, and Boren explained the wording he proposed. He said variances will not be an issue because there is no underlying zoning to get a variance from. He said the Village Board's Development Committee would rule on conditional use requests. It consists of three trustees and the village president as a non-voting member, but the wording states it could have "three or more" members. The proposed ordinance change provided for the town to also have three voting members when the Development Committee considers conditional use applications for properties in the town.

Kudick asked if the Development Committee is allowed to have more than three members, and was told it could. "If you have three voting members, we want three," Kudick declared, adding if the village has more, the town should have more, "...we want equal representation."

Boren and all members of the ETZ Committee then agreed to a wording change to state that the town would be entitled to "a number of appointees equal to the number of village members on the Development Committee."

Also at Kudick's request the wording was changed to state that the town will appoint its representatives "at an organizational board meeting each year," and not at the Annual Town Meeting.

Village Clerk Marilyn Padgett had no problem with that, but reminded everyone that the the town will need to notify the village of their appointees before April 30 of each year.

Plans were then made for the public hearing, which requires publication of formal legal notice not more than 30 days and not less than 10 before the hearing.

Boren said he would complete the wording changes the following morning and send copies to committee members prior to publication of the notice.

Kudick said he wanted to give his entire town board time to comment before going to public hearing, so the March 19 date was selected.

It was noted that the town had asked that the same regulations apply to the entire ETZ District as the Wellhead Protection overlay area.

In response to a question from one of the eight members of the public who were on hand, Boren said an ordinance amendment would be needed before any of the currently prohibited uses could be considered, which would mean going through the whole ETZ process again.

Another resident asked why the ETZ boundary is such a zig-zag, and was told that by state law it must be the mile and a half from the village limits, which were often established by property lines. One resident remarked that her property is split between the village and the town. The ETZ boundary cannot extend more than a mile and a half beyond the village limits regardless where the municipal wells are located.

The ETZ Committee has been deliberating the proposed ordinance for nearly a year. Its first meeting was on on April 18, 2019, and by law the committee has two years to complete its work.

On Nov. 28, 2018 the Village of Crivitz adopted extra-territorial zoning for the stated purpose of wellhead protection to prevent contamination of the wells that supply water for the village. By state law, cities and villages can impose extra territorial zoning regulations in an area within a mile and a half of municipal limits.


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