Town of Pacific, WI
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pacific 9-18-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Plan Commission — See Ch. 81.
Land division and subdivision — See Ch. 440.
Zoning — See Ch. 475.

§ 445-1 Title; Purpose; authority.

[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-5]
The title of this chapter is "Land Use and Zoning Review Procedures Ordinance." The purpose of this chapter is to establish review procedures for Town processes that involve land use and zoning decisions and to provide procedures for reimbursement of Town expenses incurred under such processes. The Town finds that conducting land use and zoning related reviews incurs expense to the Town where individuals request Comprehensive Plan amendments, rezonings (Columbia County), variances (Columbia County), and conditional use permits (Columbia County). Given that Columbia County administers zoning controls in the Town, this chapter acts to protect the interests of the Town's taxpayers from the burden of necessary review costs on specific owner/applicant requests. The Town Board of the Town of Pacific has the general authority under its town and village powers to adopt this chapter pursuant to §§ 60.10 and 61.34, Wis. Stats.

§ 445-2 Applicability.

[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-5]
This chapter applies to the Town's preapplication process and to the following review processes requested by applicants in the Town of Pacific:
A. 
Comprehensive Plan amendment request.
B. 
Columbia County zoning request.
C. 
Columbia County variance request.
D. 
Columbia County conditional use request.

§ 445-3 Preapplication consultation/review.

[Amended 3-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-3; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-5]
Before filing an application for approval for a rezoning, a conditional use permit, a variance or a Comprehensive Plan amendment, the party proposing to file that application is encouraged to consult with the Town Engineer and/or the Town Plan Commission. The party seeking to utilize this preapplication process shall submit to the Town Engineer a completed preapplication packet containing the information outlined on the Town's preapplication checklist as well as a completed predevelopment agreement. This preapplication consultation is neither formal nor mandatory. This preapplication process provides the Plan Commission with initial information regarding the party's contemplated application. It is intended to inform that party of the purpose and objectives of the Town's applicable ordinances, required procedures, general concerns that the Plan Commission may feel should be addressed and otherwise assist the party in planning for his/her application. The Town's time to act on approval does not commence and shall not be deemed to apply during the period covered by this preapplication process. The costs charged to the Town by the Town Engineer, relating to such preapplication consultation/review, shall be reimbursed by the party utilizing this preapplication process, and accordingly, a predevelopment agreement shall be executed at the commencement of the preapplication process. However, to encourage the utilization of this preapplication process, the party utilizing this process will not be charged for the initial hour of the Town Engineer's time and will not be charged for a meeting with the Town Plan Commission during that preapplication process.

§ 445-4 Required documentation.

A. 
The Town of Pacific has established a uniform set of application materials to guide the applicant through various policies and procedures relating to each of the review process listed in § 445-3 of this chapter, (hereafter referred to as "application packet"). Each application packet and the directives included therein are hereby made as exhibits of this chapter and are to be considered a part of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The application packet is on file and available in the Town offices.
B. 
The Town finds that application packets which provide for specific review/approval process benefit the public, the Town of Pacific and the applicant for the following reasons:
(1) 
The Town and the applicant have clear expectations for the process and approvals.
(2) 
Quick reference for Town staff and Town officials.
(3) 
Better efficiency in compiling the required information for submittal and review.
(4) 
Lower submittal and review costs to the applicant.
(5) 
Greater potential for a streamlined approval process.
(6) 
E-mail-ready transmittal and dissemination of Town requirements.

§ 445-5 Town costs incurred.

[Amended 4-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-3; 2-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-5]
A. 
Public meetings. Where applications are forwarded from the county to the Town of Pacific or are submitted directly to the Town of Pacific, costs are incurred in the review process so the Town can allow for public input on various land use and zoning matters. The Town incurs cost in preparing and hosting a public hearing and other special Town meetings. These costs are established in the Town's fee schedule and shall be paid by the applicant as part of the application submittal prior to a public meeting being scheduled.
B. 
Consultants. In the process and review of an application, the Town may seek and retain professional consultation regarding the application and/or submission from an engineering, planning, surveying, legal, technical or environmental consultant (consultants) selected by the Town of Pacific as deemed necessary to facilitate the complete review of the application or submission. The consultants' fees shall be directly connected to the submittal or application and shall be reasonable. To avoid this expense being passed on to taxpayers of the Town, the Town shall remit the exact cost of such fees to the applicant for prompt payment. Every applicant will be required to sign a predevelopment agreement supplied by the Town. The agreement shall state, amount other things, that the applicant understands that unpaid fees will be collected according to § 445-8C of this chapter.

§ 445-6 Review procedures adopted.

The Town of Pacific hereby establishes the review procedures included in each application packet for land use and zoning related matters not already covered by Town ordinance. The application packets for each of the requests identified in § 445-3 are hereby incorporated into this chapter by reference. The Town wishes to minimize the time required in review and meetings for the benefit of all parties involved. A properly completed submittal application will receive an opportunity for Town action in an appropriate and reasonable time frame.

§ 445-7 Escrow for fees.

[Amended 4-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-3]
A. 
At such time as the applicant submits an application for review by the Plan Commission and Town Board, it shall deposit with the Town Treasurer, in escrow, the sum(s) provided for below to be applied toward the fees owed to the Town under the reimbursable services agreement.
(1) 
Conditional use permit application: $1,000.
(2) 
Rezoning application: $1,000.
(3) 
Comprehensive Plan amendment application: $1,000.
B. 
However, if the applicant submits more than one of these applications covering the same project, then the Town Engineer may reduce the total amount of the initial escrow amounts based upon the scope and complexity of the project. In the event the amount deposited with the Town Treasurer falls below 25% of the amount required to be deposited, the Treasurer shall report to the Town Engineer that the escrow has fallen below that minimum balance. The Town Engineer shall then, after examining the status of applicant's project, prepare an estimate of the amount necessary to cover payment of all remaining fees relating to applicant's project. The amount then required to replenish the escrow account shall then be 125% of that estimate, but shall not exceed the original escrow amount. Based on that formula, the Town Engineer shall notify the Treasurer of the amount to invoice the applicant to replenish the escrow. The Treasurer shall then forward an invoice to the applicant covering the amount due, which shall specifically note that payment is due within seven days after the date that the invoice is mailed. The Town Engineer and Clerk shall be promptly notified if payment is not timely received. The Town Board shall monthly be advised of the amount remaining in each escrow account relating to any project pending before the Town and of any escrow account that have not been timely replenished. In the event applicant withdraws its application(s) or same is approved, and money remains in escrow over and above the Town's fees, the excess shall be refunded to the applicant. The escrow account shall not draw interest for the benefit of the applicant. The Town Treasurer, with the approval of the Town Board, shall have the right to draw upon the escrow to reimburse the Town for fees it has incurred in reviewing the application(s) on a periodic basis. An accounting of all fees incurred by the Town and the status of the escrow shall also be provided to the applicant periodically. In the event the applicant defaults in establishing or replenishing the escrow, the Town shall not be required to act further upon the applicant's request while the applicant is in default, and all timelines hereunder shall be tolled.
[Amended 6-21-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-3]

§ 445-8 Payment provisions.

A. 
Invoices. The Town will provide the applicant copies of all fee invoices and charges incurred by the Town in direct connection to the application review. Where consultants are involved in an application, the consultants' time and material charges shall be clearly shown in an itemized format. Invoices sent by the Town shall be paid within 30 days, or the application may be suspended or denied.
B. 
Thirty-day-aged invoices. The Town reserves the right to suspend or deny any application for which an invoice is greater than 30 days outstanding. No final action by the Town shall occur until all fees billed by the Town are paid in full, either directly or through an escrow account.
C. 
Sixty-day-aged invoices. The Town will place a property for which an application has been submitted in arrears where there is a sixty-day outstanding invoice. All Town activity will be ceased on the subject property. No final action by the Town shall occur until all fees billed by the Town are paid in full, either directly or through an escrow account. Failure to pay such fee within 60 days shall be grounds for revocation of the permit and issuance of a stop-work order. The Town may collect the unpaid fees by imposing a special charge upon the next tax roll of the parcel or parcels of real estate proposed to be or actually disturbed pursuant to § 66.0627, Wis. Stats., or through any other means provided by law.
D. 
Escrow replenishment. When the Town-designated escrow account is reduced to 1/4 of its initial amount, the applicant shall deposit additional funds into the account to bring its balance up to the amount of the required initial deposit. If the account is not replenished within 30 days after the applicant is notified in writing of the requirement for such additional deposit, the Town may suspend its review of the application or submission until such time as funds are remitted to the Town. The Town, in its sole discretion, may not require the replenishing of this escrow account where it is clear the funds remaining cover the remaining balances and expenses of the Town in direct connection to the application or submission.
[Amended 2-18-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-1]
E. 
Refund of unused amounts. Once all consultants' fees and Town costs related to a particular submission or application have been paid by the applicant, either directly or through an escrow account, the Town shall refund to the applicant any funds remaining on deposit.

§ 445-9 Disclaimer on approvals.

A. 
The purpose of requiring conformance to the process and procedures under this chapter is to ensure the health, safety, morale, comfort, prosperity and general welfare of the Town of Pacific. This chapter shall not be interpreted as placing any responsibility or liability on any Town official, Town employee, or the Town as a municipal corporation for the granting of approval or the denial of any approval. All approvals rendered as part of this chapter shall be considered as being approved conditionally based on the information and circumstances apparent at that time.
B. 
Approvals issued by the Town shall not be construed as an assumption or expression of any responsibility, warranty or guarantee for the implementation from any approvals given under this chapter.