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Belgium
Town OKs rezoning and land split PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Mitch Maersch   
Friday, 06 January 2017 14:07

Second case under new Farmland Preservation program meets ordinance requirements, officials say

A Town of Belgium man will be allowed to divide a small parcel of his property including his home from the rest of his agricultural land after receiving approval Monday night.

Nobody objected to John Jacoby’s request to split off three acres of land from his 110.7-acre property at 1582 Jay Rd. at Monday’s public hearing.

The Town Board at its monthly meeting then unanimously approved the rezoning with little discussion.

“We need to have political will to remain rural and rustic,” Chairman Tom Winker said.

Jacoby had received a recommendation from the Plan Commission last week on a 5-2 vote.

Three acres of his property will be split off and rezoned from A-1 to A-2.

Buildings may not be constructed on land zoned A-1 in an effort to protect farmland under the state’s Farmland Preservation program. Land zoned A-2 allows separation of buildings provided they were constructed before July 17, 1985.

Under the old ordinance, a landowner could separate a property. Farmland Preservation adds a rezoning requirement with the impetus to maintain land in tillable acreage.

“There are strict guidelines we need to abide by,” Zoning Administrator and commission member Charles Parks said last week.

In order for A-1 land to be rezoned to A-2, three conditions must be met:

ν The land is better suited for a use not allowed in A-1.

ν The rezoning is consistent with the town comprehensive plan and Ozaukee County certified farmland preservation plan.

ν The rezoning will not substantially impair or limit agricultural use of surrounding parcels or land zoned for agricultural use.

The remaining acreage would be allowed to have one residence per 35-acre plot, according to the ordinance.

Commission member John Paulus voiced concern over the possibility to split up the remaining land. 

“How are we going to stop that?” he asked.

Paulus and Thomas Bichler voted against the recommendation.

Parks said the ordinance would address future land splits.

“Those standards are so high unless it’s a special circumstance like John Jacoby is bringing, it stays A-1,” he said.

Jacoby said he needs to split off his house to satisfy his mortgage company so he can finance some home repairs.

Commission member Dennis Dimmer last week said most banks are willing to refinance a house and a couple of buildings but not an entire farm.

The parcel to split off increased from two acres to three acres in order to cover the outlay of all the buildings and septic system.

This is the town’s second land division under the Farmland Preservation program. Last November, the Town Board approved allowing Jeremy Spriggs to rezone and separate 1.9 acres of his 57.39-acre land at 7246 Hwy. LL.

 
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