Governor Signs SB 172, AB 260 & SB 601 into Law
(5/19/10) Three WTA priorities became law with the Governor’s signature yesterday. This would not have been possible without the outstanding effort of WTA members who appeared in Madison at hearings on these bills and also those who called their legislators and the Governor’s office to support these bills. The lead authors of these bills also deserve special praise: Senator Jim Holperin and Representative Andy Jorgenson on SB 172; Senator Pat Kreitlow and Representative Jeff Smith on AB 260; and Senator Pat Kreitlow and Representative Mary Hubler on SB 601.
SB 172 became 2009 Wisconsin Act 366 (click here for the act). This law requires that direct annexations of town land by cities and villages per Wis. Stat. § 66.0217 must be of land that is contiguous to existing city or village land. Previously this was not a statutory requirement and led recently to the creation of new city and village islands within towns.
AB 260 became 2009 Wisconsin Act 399 (click here for the act). This law reverses the Wood v. City of Madison, 2003 WI 24, 260 Wis. 2d 71, 659 N.W.2d 31 case that allowed cities and villages to use extraterritorial plat authority to deny proposed town plats on the basis of land use. Prior to the Wood case, cities and villages could only have used extraterritorial zoning to control land uses in the town. Important to this issue is that the extraterritorial zoning statute requires a cooperative process with the town while the extraterritorial platting statutes do not. § 62.23(7a) & Chapter 236. It is hoped that towns will experience more cooperative engagement from cities and villages due to the passage of this law.
SB 601 became 2009 Wisconsin Act 372 (click here for the act). This law provides important clarifications and a limited delay to the comprehensive planning law, Wis. Stat. § 66.1001:
1. This law specifically defines “comprehensive plan” to mean “a guide to the physical, social and economic development of a local governmental unit.” Previously that phrase or one like it was not in the statute.
2. This law specifically defines “consistent with” as “furthers or does not contradict the objectives, goals, and policies contained in the comprehensive plan.” Previously “consistent with” was not statutorily defined.
3. This law specifically states that “enactment of a comprehensive plan by ordinance does not make the comprehensive plan by itself a regulation.” Previously that phrase or one like it was not in the statute.
4. This law provides for a limited delay in the consistency requirement that otherwise came into effect last January 1, 2010 for either of these two scenarios: (1) the local government applied for but has not received a grant and adopts a resolution stating that the local government will adopt a comprehensive plan by January 1, 2012; this scenario extends the consistency requirement until January 1, 2012; or (2) the local government has received a grant and has been granted an extension of time; this scenario extends the consistency requirement for the duration of the extension.
5. Also under this law, a town may adopt a comprehensive plan whether or not it exercises village powers. Previously village powers would have been required.
Thank you to the lead legislative authors and other legislators who helped pass these bills. Thank you to town officials for all your efforts to get these bills passed!