Land is a limited resource, and as population density increases, greater care should be taken in how it is used. The land use element is defined as a compilation of objectives, policies, goals, maps and programs to guide the future development and redevelopment of public and private property.
Selected Survey Results
The following questions from the first landowner survey that were pertinent to Land Use are:
Relevant questions from the second landowner survey are:
5. Our township is unique in that it has a large area of flat/open land ideal for raising agricultural crops. The land use map that has been developed by the agriculture subcommittee indicates 70% or more of the land in our township is currently used for agriculture. Would you like to see ordinances enacted to limit residential development of agricultural land in the Town of Spring Brook? Yes/No
Yes – 141 (64%) No – 66 (30%) No Response – 13 (6%)
7. Do you feel that:
A. As a landowner, you should have the freedom to use your property in any way and for any purpose you deem fit.
B. As a landowner, you should consider the rights of your neighbors when making decisions about use of your property.
Please circle A or B
A – 75 (34%) B – 134 (61%) No Response – 11 (5%)
8. In the first survey, the majority of respondents indicated a desire for minimum lot size limits of 5 acres or less. Please circle as many of the following choices that describe your interest in a lot size limit:
A. Concern for potential groundwater contamination (Some feel dense residential development utilizing septic systems can have a negative effect on groundwater) 110 Responses out of 220
B. Minimize land consumption/Sprawl 119 Responses out of 220
C. I prefer no limit 41 Responses out of 220
D. Maintain the rural character of the township 147 Responses out of 220
E. Privacy through larger lots 96 Responses out of 220
F. Other __(see comments page)
Land Use Summary,
* Town net density per parcel represents the average amount of land for a use compared to the total land available. Example; Under the Residential category the Town net density per parcel is 1:24.14, this means that on the average for every 24.14 acres of land in the town a residential use exists.
Total acres in the Town is 35,676
Currently, the two major uses demanding land in the Town are maintaining or expansion of agriculture and residential development.
According to an informal poll of local realtors in the autumn of 2004, the lowest price farm land was selling for around $1800 per acre, irrigated farmland up to $4000 per acre. Residential property or property being bought for residential development was selling for about $18,000 to $40,000 for a one acre lot. Five to six acre residential lots were selling for about $15,000 to $30,000 per acre.
The town is basically agricultural in nature. It is a rural environment with no incorporated areas, no blighted neighborhoods, and no abandoned commercial/industrial sites. There are no traditional redevelopment opportunities. Redevelopment in rural areas happens as farmland is converted to non-farm uses.
Land use conflicts occur as
different land uses are placed or are planned to be placed next to each
other. The nature of the conflict depends on the circumstances and the
views of those affected by the land uses. Regardless of the type or
degree of conflict, they can have significant impacts on a community’s
quality of life and land values. Conflicts can also affect future land
use development patterns. From discussions with elected officials and
the general population, no land use conflicts have been identified.
This land is necessary for the continuation of the production of food or fiber and was defined strictly by soil productivity. It did not reflect whether the land is currently being cropped or has a history of cropping. For planning purposes, soils are considered to be of high or medium production if they meet the following 3 criteria:
For the purpose of this plan the flooded soils have been mapped, and, as is the case with the FEMA maps, errors have been found. Therefore, it is important to note that this information is generalized for planning purposes and that these materials do not replace the need for site-specific evaluation.
For the purpose of this plan hydric soils have been mapped. It is important to note that this information is generalized for planning purposes and that these materials do not replace the need for site-specific evaluation.
Steep slopes are any area where the slope of the land is greater than 12%. Areas having steep slopes can be categorized into three categories 0-12%, slight, 13%-19%, moderate and 20% and greater, severe limitations. Development on slopes 0-12% should consider the effect of direct runoff to receiving waters or wetlands and may need to follow state approved construction site erosion controls. Land with slopes 13%-19% should also consider the effect of direct runoff to receiving waters or wetlands, follow state approved construction site erosion controls, and institute best management practices to control on site runoff and pollution. Land with slopes of 20% or greater represents a significant threat of severe erosion, which results in negative impacts to surface and ground waters as well as higher construction costs. Development on slopes 20% or greater should be highly discouraged or strongly regulated.
Woodlands, for the purpose of this plan, are woodlots 10 acres or greater in size which is the minimum acreage required to be enrolled in the State’s Managed Forest Program.
Water Quality Management
Every county in the State of
Existing Land Use
The primary purpose of the Existing Land Use map is to accurately inventory the Town’s present land use situation. This process utilized photo interpretation, field surveys, and local review. The end result of this inventory process was the existing land use map. The inventory results confirm that the Town is a rural community with a large agricultural base and a healthy variety of natural areas and, according to the goals and objectives, hopes to be maintained as such.
To more accurately represent current land use patterns, eleven categories were developed. These categories are not assessment or taxation classifications nor are they zoning districts. For the purpose of this plan the following definitions were used;
Parcel of land zoned industrial or its primary use is industrial in nature.
Parcel of land zoned commercial or its primary use is commercial in nature.
Parcel of land 10 acres or smaller with a primary use as residential, includes vacant lots.
Parcel of land greater than 10 acres, is predominantly wooded and contains a private residence.
Parcel of farmland greater than 10 acres and contains a private residence.
Parcel of land containing a combination of cropland, CRP land, pastures, woodlands, wetlands and open water and is predominantly agricultural in nature.
Parcel of farmland with a minimum of 10 acres as woods.
Parcel of farmland containing a farm residence and/or Ag-related residential unit(s).
Parcel of land greater than 10 acres, is not residential, cropland, commercial or industrial in nature and contains woods, woodland programs, open water and wetlands (or some combination).
Parcel of land owned by the county, state or federal government and open to the public for recreational use.
Parcel of land owned by local, county, state or federal government or by other tax-exempt organization.
Preferred Land Use
The Preferred Land Use map is intended to be a graphic and pictorial depiction of the desired pattern of land use showing general location, character and intensity of land uses for the foreseeable future. The map itself is not intended to be a rigid end-product document, but a necessary planning tool to help the community to evaluate its position on development issues and thereby formulating policies which will best achieve local objectives in an effective and flexible manner. The following were used as general guidelines in delineating preferred development areas:
· Proximity to existing development and roads.
· Terrain which is suitable for development, considering slope, wetlands, and other physical limitations.
Boundaries of Public Service Areas
For the purpose of this plan public utilities refer to public sewer and water service area plans. The City of Menomonie has such a plan but it affects only the Towns of Menomonie, Red Cedar and Tainter, subsequently that plan is not incorporated with this comprehensive plan.