Town of Spider Lake
Plan and Review Commission Meeting Minutes
December 7, 2016
The Plan and Review Commission meeting was called to order by Chairman Hucker at approximately 6:00 p.m. with Cerman, Mazik, Ross, Thearin and Hucker present along with Zoning Administrator Boss. Brandt was absent.
Pledge of Allegiance
Motion made by Mazik and seconded by Cerman to approve the 11-2-16 Meeting and Public Hearing minutes. MC 5-0
Zoning Administrator Report
Monthly permits were identified and a list was distributed. Boss noted that the rezone from Beatty had raised a question about what the County’s input would be on the change. Boss believes that the County Board will have to act on it because the County maintains the official map. Boss used to just send the County a notice. He distributed a document which will be submitted. Boss will not need to attend County Zoning Administrator Olson will take care of it. Hucker suggested that Boss notify Jan Beatty so that she could be present if she wanted to attend and that the document should note that the rezone was approved by the Town Board. If one of the PRC members needs to attend, Boss will let us know. This approach appears to contradict what the Town Association Handbook suggests is the procedure.
Boss also reported on a violation at the 11120W Shore Acres: a nonconforming deck had been replaced and covered and walled as well as a violation of a Shoreland Mitigation Plan at Lost Land Lake Condominiums. This is the second time there has been a violation at Lost Land. Much of the vegetation that was planted as part of the plan was cut. He also noted that there likely is a sign violation by Lost Land Lake Lodge on the Condo property.
Review of the Zoning Fee Schedule
Boss proposed some changes. It was reviewed by the members of the Commission and proposed adjustments were made to a number of line items based upon the amount of work required of the zoning administrator. Boss also looked at other jurisdictions in the area and came up with some suggestions. No increase was proposed for basic dwelling permits. Cost of some inspections need to be adjusted to reflect what the town charges for most other inspections because the work load is about the same. Development, etc. of mitigation plans was broken out into a separate category. Consultations (both on-site and in-office) need to be addressed separately because so many of them can take a ½ day and often do not relate to the issuance of a permit, but rather what could or could not be built on the property. Bayfield County zoning provisions was the source of his suggestion.
After lengthy discussion a motion was made by Cerman and seconded by Ross to recommend that the Town Board adopt the revised fee schedule with changes as noted in the notes. MC 5-0. Boss will provide a final draft for Town Board review next week.
Tourist Rooming Houses, Proposed Changes to the Sawyer County Zoning Ordinance and Town Consideration of Short Term Rentals
In the packets distributed to the members of the commission, were the proposed changes to the Sawyer County Ordinance relating to Tourist Rooming Houses. It is a variation on what the county had discussed at an earlier meeting. For reasons Hucker cannot explain, he has been receiving complaints not only from residents in town, but also residents and property owners from the Town of Round Lake and the Town of Hunter. A number of persons have expressed the view that their concerns are being ignored by the County. These concerns are coming from residential landowners and also from persons such as Bob Wick who are in the hospitality business who feel they are being put in an unfair competitive disadvantage by “for rent by owners” who violate state law, zoning provisions, etc., and are not regulated as a business as they should be.
In addition excerpts from Bayfield County, Oneida County and Vilas County zoning ordinances, health department checklists and application forms were provided to give members of the commission a better sense for how short term rentals are prohibited in some zoning districts and regulated in others in those counties. Similar to the Town’s ordinance, these county ordinances do not specifically prohibit short term rentals in so many words but a fair reading of the ordinances indicates that the ordinances do not allow it as a permitted use or conditional use. In some cases, it took a court decision to confirm this.
Bob Wick also provided some information from discussions he had with DHS and he believes that DHS indicates that local zoning is a threshold issue. If the zoning ordinance does not allow short term rentals as a permitted use, it can be prohibited. It does not appear that the town or county ordinances allow for it (other than in RR-2) and perhaps some commercial districts. As noted before the threshold issue is whether the short term rental is a permitted use or not in a particular zone district. If the answer is no, that should end the discussion. If the use is permitted, then how will it be regulated over and above what state law already requires?
Discussion turned to whether short term rental are a “business.” The county appears to be moving in the direction of regulating the short term rental businesses as a special use. Thearin commented on the problems with lack of regulation of the business—especially as compared to the resort business. Work will continue at the next meeting.
Work on possible text amendments to 4.2(D) Driveway and Private Road Regulations & Permit Application for Driveway to Town Road
Boss provided a handout with the revisions to section 4.2(D). If anyone has any further comments, they should be provided to Boss. Otherwise these proposed changes will be put with the other changes that the Commission has reviewed and are ready for public hearing.
Work on Possible Text Amendments to 15.4 Agricultural One District
Boss will get the few limited items needed for finalization next month.
Any Other Business for Discussion
A question was raised about placement of garbage cans at the end of roads. Hucker suggested that Cerman contact the Road Chair. The town previously advised waste haulers that they may not place a collection of cans at the end of roads in the town ROW.
Citation fee schedule was not on the agenda. While it is ultimately a Town Board decision, the schedule will be discussed at a future meeting. We have not updated it since 2013. Most of the first page relates to the zoning ordinance.
Motion to adjourn made by Ross and seconded by Cerman MC 5-0