Dane County Towns Seek Trailer Bill on Town Opt-Out
Monday, February 20, 2017

Four state legislators representing the northeastern portion of Dane County are seeking to introduce a "trailer bill" to the the legislation that passed last year allowing towns to opt-out of Dane County zoning. According to a memo from the authors to the Legislature...

"We are proposing this piece of legislation to make necessary changes to a bill that was signed into law last session (2015 Wisconsin Act 178). This bill removes unnecessary complications and uncertainties over the town withdrawal process and streamlines the opting out process of countywide zoning for Town Boards in Dane County. Thus, ensuring the power to make these important decisions remains with the local residents and elected town officials.  Instead of complex notice schedules, numerous resolution adoptions, and countless meetings, this bill simplifies the opting out process to three easy steps:

  1. A town board votes to give notice of its intention to opt out of Dane County zoning no later than September 1 of current year and future subsequent three year intervals (e.g., 2017, 2020, 2023, 2026, etc.)
  2. Town boards opting out of countywide zoning must adopt their own zoning ordinance and re-affirm their comprehensive plan no later than November 1 of the same subsequent year
  3. New ordinances and comprehensive plans take effect on January 1 of the ensuing year (e.g., 2018, 2021, 2024, 2027, etc.)"

In addition to the above outlined changes, however, it appears the bill  would also repeal §60.23(34(b)3, which would eliminate the requirement that an "opt-out ordinance" be approved either at the town's annual meeting or in a referendum (Page 2, Line 17).

The bill will be introduced and be available for public hearing sometime after Wednesday, February 22, 2017.

See attached bill draft.

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