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LRB-0212/1
MES/RCT/PJK/RNK:cjs
2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
December 4, 2015 - Introduced by Representatives Ripp, Kleefisch, Jagler,
Ballweg, Duchow, Hutton, Jacque, Jarchow, T. Larson, Sanfelippo and
Thiesfeldt, cosponsored by Senators S. Fitzgerald, Olsen and Nass.
Referred to Committee on Housing and Real Estate.
AB563,1,12 1An Act to renumber and amend 236.10 (1) (c); to amend 59.69 (3) (a), 59.69
2(3) (b), 59.69 (3) (e), 59.69 (5) (c), 60.62 (1), 60.62 (3) (a), 236.10 (1) (b) 3. and
3236.34 (1) (dm); and to create 59.69 (5m), 59.692 (1p), 60.23 (34), 60.62 (6),
487.30 (1r), 91.36 (9), 236.10 (1m) and 236.34 (2m) of the statutes; relating to:
5authorizing towns located in populous counties to withdraw from county
6zoning; requiring certain towns to enact a zoning ordinance and a
7comprehensive plan; removing plat and certified survey map approval
8authority from a county if the town in which the subdivision or land is located
9has withdrawn from county zoning; farmland preservation ordinances of towns
10that withdraw from county zoning and eligibility in those towns for the
11farmland preservation tax credit; and prohibiting restrictions on land that is
12not shoreland or that is not within a floodplain.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, if a town board has been granted the authority to exercise
village powers, the town board may enact zoning ordinances using the zoning

statutes that are used by cities and villages, subject to a number of conditions. If the
county in which the town is located has enacted a county zoning ordinance, town
zoning ordinances may not take effect until such ordinances are approved either by
a town meeting or by a referendum vote of the electors of the town and are approved
by the county board. In addition, in counties having a zoning ordinance, no town
zoning ordinance, or amendment of a zoning ordinance, may be adopted by the town
unless approved by the county board; the bill repeals this provision, except as it
applies to Waukesha County.
Also under current law, a county zoning ordinance may not take effect in a town
unless it has been approved by the town board. Once a town board has approved a
county zoning ordinance, the town may not withdraw its approval.
Under this bill, a town board that is located in a county with a population of at
least 485,000 may enact an ordinance withdrawing from coverage of a county zoning
ordinance and a county development plan. A town board may enact the ordinance
during 2017, or during the one-year period every three years after January 1, 2017.
Such an ordinance may not take effect unless the town notifies the county clerk and
one or more officials of the other towns in the county of the proposed ordinance and
the town enacts, and sends copies to the county clerk, a town zoning ordinance, a
comprehensive plan, and an official map. The zoning ordinance that the town must
enact must be either essentially identical to the county zoning ordinance that is in
effect when the town begins its efforts to withdraw from county zoning, or it must be
a model ordinance that is developed and recommended by a group of towns in a
county that have all begun an effort to withdraw from county zoning. In addition,
the ordinance must preserve nonconforming uses. A town that enacts an ordinance
based on the county ordinance may amend it, and the model ordinance may be
amended by a vote of the majority of the towns that have enacted the model
ordinance. With regard to the type of zoning ordinance that applies in a town, the
town may switch back and forth between having the ordinance that is essentially
identical to the county zoning ordinance apply and having the model ordinance
apply. County board approval of a town zoning ordinance is not required if the town
has withdrawn from county zoning.
If a county clerk receives notice from a town before July 1 that the town intends
to withdraw from county zoning, the bill authorizes a county board to enact an
ordinance, before October 1, to repeal all of its zoning ordinances, other than
shoreland and floodplain zoning ordinances. The county must notify all of the towns
that are subject to its zoning ordinances that it intends to enact an ordinance to
repeal those ordinances. The county ordinance to repeal its zoning ordinances must
have a delayed effective date of one year. If a town is so notified, it must enact a
zoning ordinance, comprehensive plan, and official map to take effect on the effective
date of the county's repeal of its zoning ordinance.
Under current law, one of the eligibility requirements for the farmland
preservation tax credit is that the claimant's farmland is either covered by a
farmland preservation agreement or is in a farmland preservation zoning district
under a farmland preservation zoning ordinance certified by the Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). This bill provides that if a

town that withdraws from county zoning adopts a farmland preservation zoning
ordinance before it withdraws, the town's farmland preservation zoning ordinance
is considered to be certified by DATCP until DATCP certifies, or denies certification
of, the ordinance, but not for more than 18 months.
Current law specifies whether a city, village, town, or county has the right to
approve or object to a plat (the map of a subdivision) or certified survey map.
Generally, the location of the subdivision or land determines which local
governmental unit or units have the right to approve the plat or certified survey map.
The bill provides that if a subdivision or land is located in a town that has enacted
an ordinance withdrawing from coverage of a county zoning ordinance, the county
in which the subdivision or land is located has no authority to approve or object to
a plat relating to the subdivision or to a certified survey map relating to the land, but
may object to any portion of the subdivision or land that is shoreland, or that is in
a 100-year floodplain, in the county.
Under current law, a county must enact a shoreland zoning ordinance for all
shorelands in its unincorporated area. Current law defines a shoreland to be an area
within a specified distance from the edge of a navigable water. Current law also
requires a county, city, or village to adopt floodplain zoning ordinances within one
year after certain hydraulic and engineering data becomes available. If no ordinance
is adopted, the Department of Natural Resources, upon its own petition or upon the
petition of an interested state agency or municipality, must adopt a floodplain zoning
ordinance applicable to the county, city, or village.
This bill specifies that the law that requires a county to enact a shoreland
zoning ordinance does not authorize the county to impose a requirement, condition,
or restriction on land that is not shoreland within the county. The bill also provides
that the law requiring a county to adopt a floodplain zoning ordinance does not
authorize a county to impose a requirement, condition, or restriction on land that is
not within any floodplain in the county.
For further information see the local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB563,1 1Section 1. 59.69 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,4,92 59.69 (3) (a) The Subject to s. 60.23 (34), the county zoning agency may direct
3the preparation of a county development plan or parts of the plan for the physical
4development of the unincorporated territory within the county and areas within
5incorporated jurisdictions whose governing bodies by resolution agree to having
6their areas included in the county's development plan. The plan may be adopted in

1whole or in part and may be amended by the board and endorsed by the governing
2bodies of incorporated jurisdictions included in the plan. The county development
3plan, in whole or in part, in its original form or as amended, is hereafter referred to
4as the development plan. To the extent that the development plan applies to
5unincorporated areas of the county, it applies only to those unincorporated areas that
6are subject to county zoning.
Beginning on January 1, 2010, or, if the county is
7exempt under s. 66.1001 (3m), the date under s. 66.1001 (3m) (b), if the county
8engages in any program or action described in s. 66.1001 (3), the development plan
9shall contain at least all of the elements specified in s. 66.1001 (2).
AB563,2 10Section 2. 59.69 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,4,1611 59.69 (3) (b) The development plan shall include the master plan, if any, of any
12city or village, that was adopted under s. 62.23 (2) or (3) and the official map, if any,
13of such city or village, that was adopted under s. 62.23 (6) in the county, without
14change. In counties with a population of at least 485,000, the development plan shall
15also include, and integrate, the master plan and the official map of a town that was
16adopted under s. 60.62 (6) (a) or (b), without change.
AB563,3 17Section 3. 59.69 (3) (e) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,4,2218 59.69 (3) (e) A Except for a town that has adopted a master plan and official
19map as described in par. (b), a
master plan adopted under s. 62.23 (2) and (3) and an
20official map that is established under s. 62.23 (6) shall control in unincorporated
21territory in a county affected thereby, whether or not such action occurs before the
22adoption of a development plan.
AB563,4 23Section 4. 59.69 (5) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,5,924 59.69 (5) (c) A county ordinance enacted under this section shall not be effective
25in any town until it has been approved by the town board. If the town board approves

1an ordinance enacted by the county board, under this section, a certified copy of the
2approving resolution attached to one of the copies of such ordinance submitted to the
3town board shall promptly be filed with the county clerk by the town clerk. The
4ordinance shall become effective in the town as of the date of the filing, which filing
5shall be recorded by the county clerk in the clerk's office, reported to the town board
6and the county board, and printed in the proceedings of the county board. The
7ordinance shall supersede any prior town ordinance in conflict therewith or which
8is concerned with zoning, except as provided by s. 60.62. A town board may withdraw
9from coverage of a county zoning ordinance as provided under s. 60.23 (34).
AB563,5 10Section 5. 59.69 (5m) of the statutes is created to read:
AB563,5,1711 59.69 (5m) Termination of county zoning. (a) Subject to par. (b), if a county
12clerk receives a notice from a town under s. 60.23 (34) (b) 1. before July 1 of the year
13before a year in which a town may withdraw from county zoning under s. 60.23 (34),
14a county board may enact an ordinance, before October 1 of the year in which the
15county clerk receives the notice, to repeal all of its zoning ordinances enacted under
16this section if it so notifies, in writing, all of the towns that are subject to its zoning
17ordinances.
AB563,5,2018 (b) An ordinance enacted under par. (a) shall have a delayed effective date of
19one year. No county board may repeal under this subsection a county shoreland
20zoning or floodplain zoning ordinance.
AB563,6 21Section 6. 59.692 (1p) of the statutes is created to read:
AB563,5,2322 59.692 (1p) This section does not authorize a county to impose a requirement,
23condition, or restriction on land that is not shoreland within the county.
AB563,7 24Section 7. 60.23 (34) of the statutes is created to read:
AB563,6,7
160.23 (34) Town withdrawal from county zoning. (a) Subject to pars. (b) and
2(c), after December 31, 2016, and before January 1, 2018, and during the one-year
3period every 3 years after January 1, 2017, enact an ordinance withdrawing the town
4from coverage of a county zoning ordinance that had previously been approved under
5s. 59.69 (5) (c) and from coverage by a county development plan that has been enacted
6under s. 59.69 (3) (a), except that a town board may act under this paragraph only
7if the town is located in a county with a population of at least 485,000.
AB563,6,98 (b) Subject to pars. (c) and (d), an ordinance enacted under par. (a) may not take
9effect until all of the following occur:
AB563,6,1210 1. Not later than 180 days before enacting an ordinance under par. (a), the town
11notifies the county clerk and one or more officials of every other town in the county,
12in writing, of the town's intent to enact an ordinance under par. (a).
AB563,6,1513 2. The town enacts a zoning ordinance under s. 60.62, a comprehensive plan
14under s. 66.1001, and an official map under s. 62.23 (6), and the town sends certified
15copies of such documents to the county clerk.
AB563,6,2116 (c) 1. The zoning ordinance that the town enacts under s. 60.62 must be
17essentially identical to either the county zoning ordinance that is in effect when the
18town issues the written notification described in par. (b) 1., or to the model ordinance
19described in subd. 2. A town that enacts an ordinance that is essentially identical
20to the county ordinance may amend the ordinance following the procedures specified
21in s. 60.62.
AB563,7,322 2. All towns in a county that issue a written notification described in par. (b)
231. shall work together to develop a model zoning ordinance. The model ordinance
24may be recommended for enactment by a majority vote of the towns that participate
25in drafting the model ordinance in that county. Once the model ordinance is

1recommended, a town may enact the ordinance under s. 60.62. The model ordinance
2may be amended by a majority vote of the towns that have enacted the model
3ordinance in that county.
AB563,7,74 3. A town which enacts either an ordinance that is essentially identical to a
5county ordinance, as described in subd. 1., or a model ordinance, as described in subd.
62., may switch at any time from having one type of ordinance apply in the town to
7having the other type of ordinance apply in the town.
AB563,7,148 4. The zoning ordinance that the town enacts under s. 60.62 may not prohibit
9the continued use of any building, premises, structure, or land that is lawful under
10the county zoning ordinance that is in effect when the town issues the written
11notification described in par. (b) 1. With regard to the continued nonconforming use
12of any building, premises, structure, or land that is lawful under that county zoning
13ordinance, the town ordinance may not prohibit the nonconforming use even if the
14building, premises, structure, or land is not in continuous use.
AB563,7,1915 (d) A zoning ordinance enacted under s. 60.62, a comprehensive plan enacted
16under s. 66.1001, and an official map established under s. 62.23 (6), that are enacted
17in conjunction with an ordinance enacted under par. (a), shall all take effect on the
18first day of the 3rd month beginning after certified copies of the documents are sent
19to the county clerk under par. (b) 2.
AB563,8 20Section 8. 60.62 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,7,2321 60.62 (1) Except as provided in s. 60.23 (33) and subject to subs. (2), (3) and (4),
22if a town board has been granted authority to exercise village powers under s. 60.10
23(2) (c), the board may adopt zoning ordinances under s. 61.35.
AB563,9 24Section 9. 60.62 (3) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB563,8,5
160.62 (3) (a) In counties having a county zoning ordinance, no zoning ordinance
2or amendment of a zoning ordinance may be adopted under this section unless
3approved by the county board. This paragraph applies only in counties with a
4population of less than 485,000, and does not apply to a town that has withdrawn
5from county zoning.
AB563,10 6Section 10. 60.62 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
AB563,8,107 60.62 (6) (a) Not later than 60 days before a town board that wishes to withdraw
8from county zoning and the county development plan may enact an ordinance under
9s. 60.23 (34), the town board shall enact a zoning ordinance under this section, an
10official map under s. 62.23 (6), and a comprehensive plan under s. 66.1001.
AB563,8,1511 (b) If a town receives notification under s. 59.69 (5m) that the county board has
12repealed its zoning ordinances, the town board shall enact a zoning ordinance under
13this section, an official map under s. 62.23 (6), and a comprehensive plan under s.
1466.1001, all of which take effect on the effective date of the county's repeal of its
15zoning ordinance.
AB563,11 16Section 11. 87.30 (1r) of the statutes is created to read:
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