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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Proposed changes to Dunn County ordinances would provide more time for livestock siting applications and would change telecommunication towers from a special exception to a permitted use.
The Dunn County Board reviewed both proposed ordinance amendments for a first reading at the February 19 meeting.
In the livestock siting ordinance, the proposed amendment would provide clarification of the process for applying, the materials needed and the timeframe, said Tom Quinn, county board supervisor from Downing and chair of the Planning, Resources and Development Committee.
In the section pertaining to proposed livestock facilities, instead of “three duplicate copies” of the application, the applicant must provide three duplicate paper copies and one electronic copy, including worksheets, maps and documents (other than engineering design specifications).
Regarding timeframes, in addition to the Dunn County Land Use Control/Planning Division notifying the applicant within 45 days of receiving the application whether it is complete and the applicant having 14 days to provide additional information, the zoning administrator and the applicant may also agree in writing to an extension of up to 90 days.
Within the timeframe, the zoning administrator “shall complete all of the following or the applicant may consider the application approved.”
Under the zoning administrator’s responsibilities, “review the application to determine whether it complies with all applicable aspects of the county zoning ordinance and subject to the limitations of ATCP 51. An applicant may resubmit as often as necessary until is is complete.”
In addition, “within 14 days after the applicant has provided all of the required information, the zoning administrator shall notify the applicant in writing that the application is complete. Such notices does not constitute an approval of the proposed livestock facility.”
The proposed changes to the ordinance also sets a timeframe for scheduling a public hearing on the application.
Instead of merely stating the public hearing for livestock facilities proposed in the IA district will be scheduled after the application is complete, the proposed change would read, “Within 90 days of the determination that the application is complete and all required fees and charges have been paid, a public hearing before the Board of Adjustment will be held for those proposed livestock facilities within the Intensive Agriculture District. Any denial of an application shall be supported by substantial evidence in a written record.”
Quinn noted at the Dunn County Board meeting that within the past 10 days, a livestock siting bill had been introduced in the state Legislature that may over-ride the Dunn County ordinance.
The telecommunications facilities section of the Dunn County ordinances repeals and replaces Section 13.3.12.
The proposed ordinance has advanced through several committees, and the PR&D committee held a public hearing on the location and co-location of telecommunications towers on January 14, Quinn said.
The ordinance changes the siting of telecommunications towers from a special exception to a permitted use, he said.
The ordinance also meets the stands for “Broadband Forward” certification from the state of Wisconsin, Quinn said.
Dunn County has been working for the past several years to identify areas of the county where there is no broadband Internet service and then to do what the county can, such as amending the ordinance for the siting of telecommunications facilities, to make it easier for companies to provide service to Dunn County residents.