Chairman says cumbersome process of gaining conditional-use permits must be simplified
Town of Saukville officials finally gave the go-ahead last week to Kathryn and Jacob Pfeifer to raise up to five horses on their five-acre property on Blue Goose Road.
Gaining that conditional-use permit was no simple task. It required a public hearing, a recommendation from the Plan Commission and a $300 fee for the conditional-use permit.
The process took more than a month and that got Town Chairman Don Hamm thinking that there must be a better way.
“The Plan Commission spent a lot of time talking about this at our last meeting,” Hamm said.
“If you have 40 acres and A-1 zoning, you can have 50 or even 100 horses and we don’t put any restrictions in place. But for three horses on a five-acre parcel, we do. ”
Hamm said that divided approach seems to be treating town residents unfairly.
“I would like to see that changed. Either we should allow horses or we should not,” he said in taking issue with the laborious conditional-use approval process.
Hamm said if the town wants to issue permits for horses, it should be as simple as filling out a permit application.
“Like getting an electrical permit,” Hamm said.
Town supervisors did not take issue with Hamm’s suggestion but were not ready to make any formal recommendation on the matter.
The Pfeifers noted the inequity of the permitting process when they made their initial application, noting that many of their neighbors have horses and none have received conditional-use permits from the town.
“I don’t want to be pointing fingers at my neighbors, but I feel because we are the new kids on the block we are being picked on a little bit,” Jacob Pfeifer told the Plan Commission at a recent meeting.
Even though the couple faced a $300 charge for the permit, they were lauded by commission members for “doing the right thing” and following the town’s permitting procedures.