Delafield Town Supervisor Billy Cooley makes a point
during a Town Board debate over how the town should
react to a state law that restricts the town’s ability
to deny conditional use permits for residential and
Kelly Smith/Special to The
TOWN OF DELAFIELD — The Town Board on Tuesday night
voted to suspend for 3 months the issuance of
conditional use permits to give the Plan Commission time
to propose either changing, or repealing, the code that
governs the permits.
vote was unanimous, there was debate among the town supervisors
about how to respond to a recently passed state law, The law
restricts the town’s ability to reject applications for conditional
use permits when the permit application meets local code standards.
conditional use permits are required when there is an unusual land
use that fits within a zoning district but requires special
conditions, according to zoning authorities.
communities, like the town, also use conditional use permits as a
tool to control growth and regulate commercial and residential
Eric Larson has advised town officials that if they want to maintain
some discretion in whether to issue the permits, they need to either
revise, or repeal, the code that authorizes the permits. Supervisor
Edward Kranick proposed a moratorium on issuing the permits to give
the town’s legal and planning staff time to work with the Plan
Commission in developing a new ordinance.
He said the
moratorium would enable the town to “stay one step ahead of the
developers” and preserve the rural residential character of the town
while the new ordinance was being drafted.
Larry Krause said his initial reaction to the new law was to impose
the moratorium, but he said he later decided it might be wiser to
wait for the commission to draft the new ordinance.
expressed concern that a moratorium might result in a court battle
that the town could not win.
Billy Cooley said he too was concerned about the legal
ramifications, but he could support a moratorium provided there was
a time limit on it.
In addition to
the three-month limit, the supervisors also agreed that the
suspension could be waived by the board in the event the suspension
was posing a hardship to an applicant.
Tim Barbeau predicted it would take the Plan Commission three to six
months to either amend or repeal the ordinance.
“It is not an
easy thing to try to get your head around,” he explained.