Ad hoc panel has been creating master list of acceptable town businesses
Recommended changes to the Town of Saukville’s land-use ordinance and map appear to be on the fast track.
The Plan Commission was told Tuesday that an ad hoc committee has crafted a draft ordinance that would govern the issuing of conditional-use permits in the town’s limited business districts. Less than 1% of the township has B-1 or M-1 business zoning.
The primary focus of the ad hoc committee has been to consider what specific uses would be compatible with town land-use plans, and allow officials to set specific conditions for operations. Currently, most land uses other than those directly related to agriculture, are not permitted according to the zoning code.
“The vast majority of businesses are not allowed by our code. This is not about opening the floodgates to manufacturing in the town,” said Supr. Mike Denzien, chairman of the study committee, at an earlier meeting.
Because of the restrictive nature of the current code, Denzien said an innocuous business, such as a massage therapist, has been unable to operate in the town.
Likewise, he noted that the committee has discovered many existing businesses do not comply with the current town code.
“I don’t think we want to shut anybody down,” Denzien said. Instead, he suggested current uses be exempt if a new zoning code is adopted.
“Ultimately, there could be 100 or 200 more conditional uses, but in each case the town would still be able to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay,’” Denzien said.
The draft ordinance incorporates business uses listed in the North American Industry Classification System, identifying which might be considered in the town.
Town resident Chris Ford, who served on the ad hoc committee, said crafting the ordinance gave officials an opportunity to take a close look at zoning restrictions in the community.
“It does a pretty good job of creating a rural template,” Ford said.
The commission is expected to take action on the ordinance next month, passing it on to the Town Board for a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for June 16.
Commission member Jeff Bell, who works for the Ozaukee County Land and Water Management Department, said the town should also take action on a land-use map which was prepared but never formally adopted by the Town Board.
The ad hoc committee has been meeting on a weekly basis in anticipation of presenting their recommendations to the commission and town supervisors.