Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 16:32
Town chairman feels Plan Commission reviews not typically necessary
Don Hamm was chairman of his first Town of Saukville Plan Commission meeting last month, but he quickly saw something he would like to change.
At the conclusion of the commission meeting, Hamm said he would like to see one of the more mundane tasks of the planning body — approval of site plans for garages — be shifted to the building inspector.
“I am a big believer in empowering people, and I would like to empower the building inspector to be able to approve simple site plans for things like outbuildings,” he said.
“I had a brief conversation with Walt Grotelueschen, who does building inspections for a number of communities, and he said the Town of Saukville is the only one that requires the Plan Commission to approve site plans for garages.”
Hamm said the commission could still get involved in more complicated site plans involving larger outbuildings or which may face some resistance from neighbors.
Commission member Tom Ravn praised the suggestion.
“We should always be looking for ways to simplify government. It is a complete waste of time and money to ask the commission to review garage plans,” Ravn said.
“This is a good 30% of the business we deal with.”
There have been occasions when routine approval of outbuilding plans have been the only reason the commission needed to meet.
Hamm joked that the money saved from not having to hold such one-issue meetings “could be used to patch a few potholes.”
Commission veteran Ginny Pierson lauded the idea of simplifying the planning procedures.
“I think this is great. We visited this issue before but it didn’t go anywhere,” Pierson said.
As part of the process of hiring a new town clerk, Hamm said he would also like to implement evening office hours at least one day a week.
“With 80% of our residents working first-shift jobs, people need to take vacation days or personal time off to come to Town Hall to do something like take out a building permit,” he said.