Deliberations on proposed shoreland zoning revisions set for July 19
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The nine general standards for approving a conditional use permit in Oneida County won’t be renumbered after the county’s Planning and Development Committee voted 4-1 Wednesday against doing so with committee chairman Scott Holewinski, who proposed the change, casting the only contrary vote.
Holewinski said he favored renumbering the standards because he wanted to get the easier standards to meet dealt with first when the committee deliberates on a conditional use permit application.
“I would rather go through and just do the gimmies right off the bat, and then get into the real meat and potatoes on the bottom,” he said.
Committee member Billy Fried said there was no need to renumber the standards, which the committee has to go through all nine to determine whether to grant a conditional use permit.
“When we deliberate in the future, it’s always going to be, I guess, a discretionary item that we could go here to there,” said Fried, who noted the first standard related to public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare was the one used by the committee as the basis to deny the Marshfield Clinic a permit to build a hospital addition to its current clinic in Minocqua. “Obviously we had the big one first, which I think was probably appropriate. It got defeated, and the rest in people’s eyes became meaningless, because the big one couldn’t be met.”
County Board chairman Dave Hintz said he also favored handling the most important issues first when considering the standards for approval, while committee member Jack Sorensen, who made the motion to keep the status quo for numbering the standards, said he favored doing “the weightlifting upfront.”
SHORELAND ZONING DELIBERATIONS
The committee is scheduled to deliberate at its July 19 meeting on proposed changes to the county’s shoreland protection ordinance. The changes in the county ordinance are being made in response to revisions in state law done in the biennial budget from two years ago. Counties that currently have shoreland zoning ordinance standards more restrictive than established in the applicable state law and regulations can no longer enforce the stricter standards.
The committee, which has been going through the planned changes with the county’s planning and zoning department, first held public hearings Feb. 27 at the Woodruff Town Hall, March 1 in the Three Lakes Town Board Room and March 2 in the County Board Room of the Courthouse in Rhinelander.
In response to comments at the first three public hearings, committee members made changes to the proposed ordinance and, acting upon the advice of county corporation counsel Brian Desmond, scheduled a fourth public hearing at the Courthouse on June 21 when many of the comments expressed had been in support of keeping single-family residential zoning around Indian and Sugar Camp lakes, even though the town of Sugar Camp itself is unzoned.
The committee’s public hearing process has been questioned by William C. Liebert of Liebert Architectural Design.
“All my experiences in the past with public hearings is that after a public hearing you take the public’s comments into consideration, amend your document, and then decide whether you’re going to move it forward to the County Board or not,” Liebert said. “The idea that any little tweak that you do after the public hearing has to go back to another public hearing, the entity that stands up against your desire to go in a certain direction would have you just go in a circle the entire time until you stopped tweaking the document.”
Liebert urged the committee to have the June 21 public hearing “wiped clean and you start fresh.”
“In (February and) March you had three public hearings,” he said. “You had a proposal presentation by staff at the beginning of that public hearing in all three locations. It was very organized and very precise with what you were doing. I don’t know what happened since March – why you had to do another public hearing written the way you wrote it as an agenda item as a complete repeal and replacement. That’s not what you’re doing. You’re merely just tweaking that original public hearing.
“But yet in the proposal from June, the June 21 proposal, you have underlines and strikeouts that don’t compare with the March document, but yet that’s the document you’re using in this public hearing as of June. And you’ve got underlines and strikeouts that don’t relate.”
Liebert, who was provided an opportunity after the June 21 public hearing to submit written comments to the committee about the proposed shoreland protection ordinance revisions, advocated holding three more public hearings like what was done in late February and early March.
“The public didn’t show up for that (June 21) public hearing, but yet that public hearing was exactly what you did in March with a few tweaks,” he said.
In the event the committee would approve the proposed shoreland protection ordinance revisions on July 19, they could be forwarded to the full County Board for final approval at its August meeting.