Three of the bills that we discussed during the Legislative Update presentation at the conference were approved by the Legislature this past week and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. The following bills have been approved:
- Prohibit cities, villages, towns, and counties from prohibiting development on nonconforming lots;
- Prohibit cities, villages, towns, counties and state agencies from using merger provisions for nonconforming lots;
- Require issuance of a Conditional Use Permit if the applicant meets or agrees to meet all conditions imposed;
- Require CUP decisions to be based on substantial evidence, not public testimony;
- Codify standards and reaffirm property owner’s burden in variance requests;
- Prohibit cities, villages, towns, and counties from requiring a variance to replace nonconforming structures; and
- Exempt small privately owned ponds from DNR permitting.
- Require DSPS review of state electrical code every 6 years;
- Add sewers to list of easements that need not be legally described to be recorded;
- Authorize workforce housing TID’s;
- Re-word vested rights statute;
- Allow homeowners to refuse assessor visits and still challenge assessed values;
- Require Housing Impact Analysis for proposed bills or rules affecting housing; and
- Give illegal structures in shoreland setbacks legal nonconforming status after 10 years.
- Repeal prohibition on new sulfide ore mining permits in place since bi-partisan 1998 law;
- Change groundwater monitoring standards;
- Repeal admin. code specific to wetland impact;
- Treat “bulk sampling” differently than “prospecting” for permitting/review purposes; and
- Significantly change the application, review, and permitting process.
Posted on behalf of Drew Pennington, VP-Chapter Affairs
There is a public hearing today on Senate Bill 425, which is another pre-emption bill that will limit municipal authority over small cell wireless facilities in the public right-of-way. Sorry for the last minute notice, but if you’re in the Madison area and engaged on this issue, the hearing begins at 9 AM today in Room 411 South of the Capitol before the Senate Committee on Elections & Utilities. SB425 is one of the last bills of a packed meeting agenda.
The APA-WI Legislative Committee has voted to remain neutral on this bill. While most of the bill relates to right-of-way, there is a provision in the bill that would restore the ability of municipalities to impose setbacks on towers outside of the right-of-way in single-family zoning districts, but would limit the setback to the height of the tower and would allow neighboring property owners to waive the setback.
More info is available at: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/proposals/reg/sen/bill/sb425
9/18/2017 Update: Both the state Assembly and Senate approved the state budget last week that included the ill-advised provision to remove all local control over quarries. Fortunately, according to the League of WI Municipalities, Governor Walker has agreed to veto this provision in its entirety. Thanks to those of you who have been active on this issue, but our work is not over.
There are two other significant policy items that were tucked into the budget by the Joint Finance Committee:
- A provision that would prohibit municipalities from banning home rentals for 7 days or more.
- A provision that would prohibit use of eminent domain to acquire land for bike paths and recreational trails.
These provisions are both unnecessary attacks on local control, and may have many unintended consequences on housing affordability and multi-modal transportation networks. Please consider contacting Gov. Walker’s Office today to thank him for preserving local control over quarries and to ask him to preserve local control over home rentals and bike/pedestrian paths.
Finally, the Foxconn legislation has been approved and is expected to be signed today.
Planners are encouraged to contact Drew Pennington, VP of Chapter Affairs, with information, questions or concerns about proposed legislation.
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