Town Opt-Out of Dane County Zoning Bill to Be Introduced; DCCVA Members Asked to Contact Their Legislators
Monday, November 30, 2015
Legislation that would allow towns in Dane County to withdraw from county zoning is circulating for co-sponsorship among state lawmakers and is expected to be introduced in the Legislature in early December. Members of the Dane County Cities and Villages Association should contact their state legislators and ask that they NOT SUPPORT the legislation, LRB 0212, which is authored by State Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) at the request of the Dane County Towns Association.
 
It should be noted that in addition to Rep. Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) the Republican legislators representing the northeast portions of Dane County are also co-sponsoring the bill: Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) and Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown).
 
This bill if passed will create problems and have repercussions for cities/villages in the areas of regional planning for land use, transportation and the efficient provision of municipal services. Further, we believe this legislation will lead to disputes between cities, villages and towns that will be costly and lengthy, including unnecessary intergovernmental boundary disputes for our taxpayers. Such a fundamental alteration in the landscape of municipal growth needs to be made in the context of all the communities affected.
 
Rep. Ripp originally sought to have this state law change included in the 2015-17 state budget this past summer, but it was not included in the final passed budget. It is now being circulated as standalone legislation and will be introduced in the coming days.
 
The bill is likely to receive a public hearing as early as next week, possibly the morning of December 15th, depending on to what committee it is referred.

Based on a reference in the co-sponsorship memo "this is another factor that makes the situation in Dane County uniquely undemocratic" it would appear the authors may disagree with the Dane County Board's implementation of redistricting from the 2010 census. To be clear, the proposal does nothing to reform Wisconsin's redistricting laws and while it may remove power from Dane County - it will also have negative repercussions for cities and villages.
 
Please have your elected officials contact your state legislators and explain the impact to your city \ village if this is passed into law.
 
Further, we are asking cities and villages to have a representative from your community available to attend and testify at the public hearing. Please plan for an Assembly committee hearing on the morning of December 15, however it could be earlier - possibly next week.

 
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