PART IV

IMPLEMENTATION

 

Implementation Process

The Town of Spring Brook Comprehensive Plan provides goals and objectives and a process for rural development. This section identifies the mechanisms to implement those recommendations such as community cooperation, local ordinances and county ordinances.

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;

  • Town Board acts independently and implements the goal.
  • The Town Board passes the goal to the Plan Commission for its study and recommendations. The Plan Commission will determine the most efficient method of study.  After a goal and appropriate objectives have been achieved it will return to the Town Board for final action.

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

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.

 

Local Ordinances       

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.

 

Subdivisions

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 Dunn County, zoned and unzoned, fall under Dunn County Subdivision review. Subdivision review deals with the legal requirements to create one or more lots from an existing parcel. Subdivision review does not deal with zoning issues such as setbacks, lot sizes or land use. Towns with village power can, within statutory limitations, write and adopt local ordinances such as a subdivision ordinance. Once adopted a local subdivision ordinance would require applicants to secure both local and county and, in some instances, state approval. Enforcement of the local ordinance would be the responsibility of the Town. Towns are authorized under Section 236.45 to adopt subdivision control ordinances that are at least as restrictive as Chapter 236. Several types of subdivision ordinances are available such as traditional lot and block or conservation (clustering) subdivisions. Information on subdivisions is available through the Dunn County Planning Resources and Development Department, UW-Extension, and private consultants.

 

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.

 

County Ordinances

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.

  • Define Rural character
    • Use the Implementation Process as guide to defining rural character.
  • Develop a good neighbor/right to farm code of rural living document.
  • Preserve productive farmland.
    • Re-evaluate the Productive Farmland boundary.
    • Define/re-define Productive Farmland.
      • If inconsistencies between the original Productive Farmland boundary and or definition are different than the re-evaluated boundary or definition, the Town/Board/Plan Commission or committee shall make revisions to be consistent with the plan.
      •  Follow the Implementation Process to resolve conflicting issues.
  • Encourage economic development that parallels other town goals.

 

Goal: Balance individual property rights with community desires and goals.

 

Goal: Develop a road construction ordinance.

 

Goal: Protect ground water.

  • Work with outside agencies and groups to define groundwater threats.
  • Use the Implementation Process as a guide to resolving groundwater issues.

 

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 Spring Brook Board of supervisors and the Town of Spring Brook Plan Commission are strongly encouraged to pursue these policies toward the goals, objectives and recommendations of the plan. The Town can affect these policies by implementing regulatory tools such as planning, zoning, subdivision controls, storm water management, impact fees, and site plan review, and through non-regulatory approaches such as informational and educational programs.

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:

  • Publish an informational brochure on the community’s beliefs, values, and culture to convey the expectations of being part of this community (Code of Rural Living brochure).

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.

  • Protect agricultural areas by limiting the amount of non-farm development that takes place in these areas.

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?  

  • Continue working with Dunn County to implement a Comprehensive Plan to protect our quality of life and agricultural livelihood.
  • Coordinate with the Dunn County Land Conservation Division to provide training on the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and the importance of residue management and no till in controlling soil erosion.
  • Re-establish grassed waterways as a high priority best management practice.  This practice to be given a high priority for State and Federal cost sharing assistance.
  • Coordinate with the Land Conservation Division to educate landowners on the advantages of participating in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).
  • Coordinate with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Dunn County Land Conservation Division to educate landowners and help them qualify for the Conservation Security Program, so that when the Spring Brook River Basin is selected, landowners may take advantage of the incentive payments.
  • Work with all landowners, living near streams, to voluntarily participate in an “Adopt a Stream Program” to achieve the water quality goals within the Township.  If all of the landowners living near a stream volunteer to participate as a group, they may be given priority for State and Federal cost sharing programs.
  • Encourage woodland owners to work with the DNR Forester to remove those trees that are most likely to be defoliated and killed by a gypsy moth infestation, Dutch Elm Disease, oak wilt, bark beetle, blister rust, and other woodland management problems.
  • Work with the DNR Foresters to educate landowners about the Managed Forest Program.
  • Work with the Department of Natural Resources, USDA-NRCS, and the Land Conservation Division to become aware of what plants are considered invasive and to become educated on their control.
  • Educating landowners on the importance of allowing hunting to control wildlife populations.
  • The Town should work to maintain and improve communication with all governments and agencies with which it has dealings.
  • The Town should meet periodically with adjoining governments to coordinate with and keep abreast of developments in their towns.
  • The Town of Spring Brook Town Board, operating under statutory authority, will meet as needed and discuss cooperative opportunities available to the town and adjacent governments.
  • The Town should participate in the planning activities of neighboring towns and/or municipalities to coordinate with them for better future planning.
  • The town should work cooperatively with Dunn County to achieve NR151 and ATCP50 performance standards.

 

 

Integration

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.