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Special Board Meeting & Public Hearing
Sep 28, 2015



Monday, September 28, 2015; River Falls Town Hall


Elected officials and staff present:  Diana G. Smith, Chair; Siri Smith, Joe Mahoney, Brad Mogen, Supervisors; Ruth Stern, Clerk; Jerome Rodewald, Zoning Administrator

Others present:  Roy Lund (Ad Hoc Committee Chair/ Plan Commission Member); Patrick Singel (Plan Commission Member); Peter Stern


The meeting was called to order at 6:40 P.M. by Chair, Diana Smith.  The board moved into a public hearing to take comments on Proposed Ordinance #2015-4; Revisions to Section 17.06 of Town Code, Farmland Preservation Ordinance, and revisions to Town Zoning Map.   Jerome explained the LESA (Land Evaluation Site Assessment) model that was used in classifying properties into agricultural zoning designations.  

Brad Mogen questioned what process would be used for those property owners that may be losing buildable sites as a result of the revised zoning.  Jerome and Diana explained that the process would follow the normal town appeals process that has been established.   He also questioned what would happen to the overall town zoning if parcels were rezoned out in the future.  This question has been asked of DATCP (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection) and they have responded that once Section 17.06 and the revised zoning map have been approved by the county and DATCP, future rezones would not have an impact on overall town zoning. 

Peter Stern questioned how landowners would be made aware of mapping changes that have occurred since the August 31st public hearing as a result of implementing the LESA model.  The board discussed utilizing the town newsletter and/or sending out a mailing of the new approved zoning map.  Peter also asked how many landowners are currently applying for farmland preservation credits.  The board responded that the nature of this information is private and as a result, not available to the town board.  He asked what the cost would be for rezoning and it was explained that the rezone hearing fee is $600.00 and that rezones would have to meet applicable criteria. 

The board moved out of public hearing and back into general session.  Joe moved to approve Ordinance #2015-4, Revisions to Section 17.06 of Town Code, Farmland Preservation Ordinance, and revisions to the Town Zoning Map. Siri seconded.  Motion carried.

Jerome stated that two parcels on the map would need to be corrected as they do not meet the minimum 35 acre criteria.  He has also consulted with Andy Pichotta at Pierce County Land Management regarding the possibility of changing the zoning on parcel #022-01161-0600 (River Falls Automotive Recyclers) from commercial to A-2.  This would eliminate spot zoning in the middle of an agricultural area.  The salvage yard could continue to operate under present ownership as a grandfathered, nonconforming use. 

Jerome stated that the next steps in the Farmland Preservation Ordinance/Zoning Map process are Pierce County Land Management Committee, County Board and DATCP approval. 

Joe moved to adjourn the meeting.  Brad seconded.  Motion carried. 


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,


                                                                        Ruth Stern, Clerk

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