The Town of
The plan looks twenty years into the future. The recommended direction for the Town Board to follow is in the form of goals and objectives. Since the plan looks at the next twenty years, it is possible that not all of the goals will be implemented right away. Some goals may have prerequisites that require another goal or some other action that may need to be completed first. Also some goals may have a higher priority while others may need additional resources.
In order for the Town to begin the implementation process, one of the following actions by the Town Board is required;
Only the Town Board can implement a policy, ordinance, or other actions deemed necessary. It is strongly suggested that the following tools be used as the mechanisms to evaluate and recommend actions necessary to achieve any goal or objective.
Community cooperation should be utilized as the educational and communication tool available to assist the town in analyzing the need for local ordinances or zoning. Through community cooperation the town can stay informed on local and county concerns and educate its citizens about development issues. Community cooperation could lead to educational and/or informational activities, a local ordinance, a local ordinance change, new zoning districts, or revisions to existing zoning districts. Community cooperation is also the mechanism to encourage intergovernmental cooperation.
Another common implementation tool available to the Town Board is local ordinances. The town currently has some local ordinances in place and would review them against the comprehensive plan, county zoning ordinance, and state statutes for inconsistencies and will make necessary ordinance revisions. For example, the Town Board could request the Plan Commission to draft language amendments to an existing ordinance or to draft language for a new ordinance. If the Town Board were to adopt additional ordinances, such as a subdivision ordinance, the comprehensive plan, county ordinances and state statutes will be used as guides.
Control of land divisions is of particular importance since decisions regarding the subdivision of land are some of the first official activities involving public policy as it relates to new development. Chapter 236 of the Wisconsin Statutes sets forth minimum platting standards.
All townships in
Site Plan Review
Preserving rural character and creating a sense of community are important issues that are connected to the visual characteristics of the town. When the town adopted Village Powers it received the power to create a site plan review process. Site plan review can deal with the general principles of housing placement or it can deal with very specific site planning standards. Site plan review would not alter zoning requirements such as setbacks, lot sizes and use.
Most local units of government rely on the Dunn County Comprehensive Ordinances as the tool to implement their plan. The County’s comprehensive ordinances regulate sanitary permits, subdivisions, storm water and erosion control and zoning. Of those ordinances, zoning is the strongest tool to regulate the use of property in the public interest. Zoning is a means to properly place community land uses in relation to one another while providing adequate space for each type of development. It can be used to control the development density in each area so the property can be adequately served with governmental facilities such as street, school, recreation and utility systems. Zoning directs growth into appropriate areas while protecting existing property by requiring new development to provide adequate light, air and privacy to the citizenry within the community. Zoning ordinances usually contain several different zoning districts such as agricultural, conservancy, residential, commercial and industrial. They also indicate specific permitted uses within each district and establish minimum lot sizes, maximum building heights and setback requirements.
The Town of Spring Brook currently is not participating in Dunn County Comprehensive Zoning and all indications are that this will not change in the foreseeable future. However, the county is amending its zoning ordinance to reflect current development patterns and practices and is working closely with the town to get input for the current revisions and to identify areas to consider for the planned new zoning ordinance. If the town is not ready to become zoned, the Town Board should use the plan as a decision making tool to meet the wishes of the majority of town residents.
In the future, if the town were to move towards becoming zoned, it should review county ordinances against the Town’s plan. If inconsistencies between the Town’s plan and county zoning are discovered, the Town Board will request the County to make ordinance revisions to be consistent with the plan.
Town comprehensive plan recommendations are long range, and it is important to note that some areas of the plan may not be developed for a number of years. Consequently immediate changes to reflect the Town’s comprehensive plan may not be necessary and should be made incrementally.
Goals and Objectives
A goal is a long-term end toward which programs or activities are ultimately directed, but might never be attained. The goal represents a general statement that outlines the most preferable situation that could possibly be achieved if all the objectives and policies were implemented. The goals are the Town’s desired destination.
Through the use of visioning sessions, citizen opinion surveys, inventory data and other community input, the Plan Commission developed Town goals. Goals are not necessarily specific to a particular planning element. Therefore connection and crossover to other goals and planning elements is inevitable.
Goal: Preserve the rural character of the town.
Goal: Balance individual property rights with community desires and goals.
Goal: Develop a road construction ordinance.
Goal: Protect ground water.
Policies and Programs
Policies identify the way
in which programs and activities are conducted to achieve the goals,
objectives and recommendations of the Town’s comprehensive plan. They
are courses of action selected to guide and determine present and future
decisions. These policies were developed by the Plan Commission based
on all of the background information and public input. They represent
an effort to improve the quality of life in the town through statements
which reflect the character and resources of the community. Policies
which direct Town action using the words “will encourage” are intended
to characterize programs or activities the Town will favor, promote
and encourage, but will not require. Policies using the word “will”
or “shall” are recommended to be mandatory aspects of the implementation
process of the Town’s comprehensive plan. Those policies directing action
using the word ”should” are advisory and serve as guides, reflecting
a common vision of the citizens of the Town. The Town of
Based on the information gathered from Town of Spring Brook landowner surveys, visioning sessions and comments received from residents of the Town, a number of avenues of activity could be pursued. These activities include:
Some issues that new residents need to understand are wind erosion, aerial spraying, noise and machinery traffic that runs around the clock during spring planting and fall harvest, line fence maintenance if the neighboring landowner has cattle, nitrate contamination caused by overloading soils with septic systems that do not remove nitrates, and building homes along stream terraces and on perched water table soils.
It would be preferable not build homes in the middle of productive fields.
It would be preferable to encourage non-farm development to be close to roads, on field edges, or on the edges of woodlots.
· Develop a “Right-to-Farm” Ordinance to protect our farmers.
· Develop an Ag Survey.
Poll farmers on topics such as: Do they plan to continue farming? If so, for how long? Do they intend on staying in dairy farming? Are they willing to have any building restrictions on their land?
In order to meet the goals and objectives laid out in the plan, portions of other planning elements may come into play. While some goals are specific to a particular element, achieving the goal may require a much broader overview. The driving force behind this whole process has been a comprehensive analysis of the community. As the town begins to implement its goals, it should comprehensively assess the impact the objectives will have on the rest of the plan.
Plan Monitoring, Evaluation and Update
As time passes, objectives and recommendations in the plan may become obsolete. Plan monitoring and evaluation is an ongoing process and eventually will lead to plan updating. The time that it takes before the plan needs to be updated depends on new conditions and issues that arise and demand a plan update. The Town of Spring Brook will monitor the progress of plan implementation and evaluate it against changing conditions on at least a five year interval or as changes warrant. The Plan Commission will remain flexible with regard to updates. However, it is not expected that updates will be necessary more often than every two years.