The Town of Verona took the first step toward opting out of Dane County zoning last week, but there are plenty of steps left before it could become official – including a public vote.
The Town Board unanimously voted Oct. 4 to send a letter of intent to other towns and county officials about the opt-out, which comes after a change in state law earlier this year allowed for the consideration. County zoning currently restricts much development, including most land divisions with fewer than 35 acres.
Town administrator/planner Amanda Arnold told the Press board members wanted to “be able to give the citizens a chance to be involved in this decision.”
“To not issue the letter of intent would be to … not have a public process about it,” she said. “A town can issue a letter of intent and then decide not to opt out.”
In February, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that allowed Dane County townships to set their own zoning standards, rather than have to work through the county’s as they do now.
The Dane County Towns Association pushed hard for the bill, complaining that county officials had kept many towns from growing as they needed to maintain a solid tax base.
County officials, though, opposed the change, stressing that county oversight provides consistent standards around the area.
Currently, the system has joint review of approval for rezoning between the towns and the county’s Zoning and Land Regulation board, which some towns see as overzealous in its decisions to preserve farmland.
Many towns around the county had said they were happy with their relationship with the county on zoning. Even Town of Verona officials did not have many specific complaints at the time.
But Town Chair Mark Geller said during the legislative discussions, it was a good idea to give towns the opportunity.
Arnold stressed there are many more steps town officials must take to actually opt out, including an “existing conditions” map and adopting a comprehensive plan – a process the town is currently undergoing, but with a timeline that may be too late, leading the town to readopt its 2006 plan.
“There are a lot of balls in the air,” she said.
Town residents will have the final say on the decision, Arnold said, with a vote at the annual town meeting next spring. She added that she hopes both the DCTA and the county can communicate their positions on the matter, and the reasons behind them, with residents before that vote is taken.
Submitted by Scott Girard/Unified Newspaper Group
10.13.16 Verona Press Publication
The Town will focus on “Area 4” – to include the land south of the City/Town boundary, east of State Highway 69, west of County Highway PB , and north of the Town line with the Town of Montrose. (see the attached map) Property owners in this area are specifically invited to come discuss potential future land uses for this area. Others who are interested are welcome to attend as well.
The information discussed will be used to update of the future land use map that will be part of the Town of Verona Comprehensive Plan. Meetings on the whole comprehensive plan will follow in several months.
Please note that a possible quorum of the Town of Verona Board of Supervisors, Plan Commission and/or Public Works, Ordinance, Natural and Recreational Areas, and Financial Sustainability Committees could occur at this meeting. The meeting will be for information gathering only and no formal action will be taken.
If you have questions, please feel free to call 845-7187 or email Amanda Arnold at email@example.com.
has been rescheduled for Thursday morning – October 13th at 9am at the
Heartland Farm Sanctuary – 11713 Mid Town Rd.
Wisconsin residents can visit My Vote Wisconsin at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ to check or start your registration process, view your ballot, find your polling place, request an absentee ballot, etc. In addition, the Town office is open for ‘In Person’ Absentee or Early Voting thru Nov 3rd (Mo-Fri) 8am-2pm and (Friday – Nov 4th) 8am-5pm at 335 N. Nine Mound Rd. We thank you for your patience during this busy election season.
Hello Everyone ~
Anyone in the Town with a prairie on your property that would be interested in collecting seeds to donate for planting of a prairie at the new town hall site. OR if you don’t have a prairie, but are still interested in helping out, we have a neat opportunity for all.
On Wednesday, October 12th and 9:00 a.m. a seed gathering event will be held at the Heartland Farm Sanctuary at 11713 Mid Town Road. Doug Maxwell, a Town Board member and David Lonsdorf, a member of the Town’s Natural and Recreational Areas Committee will be on hand to train and supervise volunteers as they collect seeds. Collected seeds will then be used to plant a new prairie at the new town hall site.
If you are interested in being involved in creating a sustainable landscape for the new town hall, you can just show up at the Heartland Farm Sanctuary on October 12 at 9:00 a.m. Supplies will be provided.