[Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pittsfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-9-1997 (Ch. 11 of the 1997 Code)]
This article is adopted under the authority granted by § 92.17, Wis. Stats.
The Pittsfield Town Board finds that agricultural activities conducted in close proximity to surface water can pollute the Town of Pittsfield's water resources and may result in actual or potential harm to the health of residents and transients; to livestock, aquatic life and other animals and plants; and to the property tax base of the Town of Pittsfield.
The purpose of this article is to complement Chapter 36, Building Construction, and Chapter 275, Zoning, to regulate landowner activities within the approximately 86.4 miles of agricultural shoreland management area within the Town to prevent surface water pollution and thereby protect the health of Town of Pittsfield residents and transients, prevent the spread of disease, and promote the prosperity and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Pittsfield.
This article applies to all lands and surface water in the Town of Pittsfield that are in the agricultural shoreland management area, as defined in this article. The Town of Pittsfield shall use United States Geological Survey quadrangle maps, with a scale of 1:24,000, to identify rivers, perennial streams, intermittent streams, lakes and ponds included under the jurisdiction of this article. This article does not apply to lands and surface waters within the boundaries of a drainage district operated under Ch. 88, Wis. Stats.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this article shall be held to be minimum requirements and shall be liberally construed in favor of the Town of Pittsfield and shall not be deemed a limitation or repeal of any other power granted by the Wisconsin Statutes.
Any conflict or inconsistency between this article and Brown County's Shoreland Zoning Ordinance will be governed by the more restrictive provision.
This article shall become effective upon adoption and publication by the Town of Pittsfield and upon approval by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL LANDS
- Lands in agricultural use.
- AGRICULTURAL USE
- Has the meaning provided under § 91.01(2), Wis. Stats. Uses under this definition include beekeeping, commercial feedlots, dairying, egg and/or poultry production, floriculture, fish or fur farming, forest and game management, grazing, livestock raising, orchards, greenhouses and nurseries, grain, grass, mint and seed crops, raising fruits, nuts and berries, sod farming, land idled under federal payment-in-kind programs or the Conservation Reserve Program, participation in the dairy-herd buyout program and vegetable raising.
- AGRICULTURAL SHORELAND CORRIDOR
- Land extending 20 feet from the top of the bank on each side of a perennial stream or river, the center line of an intermittent stream, or the ordinary high-water mark of any lake or pond shown on a United States Geological Survey quadrangle map with a scale of 1:24,000.
- AGRICULTURAL SHORELAND MANAGEMENT AREA
- All land that is within 300 feet of the following features as designated on United States Geological Survey quadrangle maps with a 1:24,000 scale:
- A feedlot, dry lot or any area, other than a pasture, where animals have been or will be fed, confined, maintained or stabled for a total of 45 days or more in any twelve-month period.
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICE
- A practice included in the Technical Guide or an alternative best management practice that the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection determines to be the most effective, practicable means of preventing or reducing soil erosion or pollution from agricultural nonpoint sources to a level compatible with soil and water resource objectives.
- INTERMITTENT STREAM
- A channel in which water does not flow continuously and that is identified as an intermittent stream on the United States Geological Survey quadrangle map with a scale of 1:24,000.
- NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
- A first-class letter, return receipt requested, mailed by the Town of Pittsfield to the owner of the lands not meeting ordinance standards, informing the owner of the availability of cost-share funds under § 92.14, Wis. Stats.
- NOTICE OF PROBLEM
- A first-class letter, return receipt requested, mailed by the Town of Pittsfield to the owner of the lands not meeting the ordinance standards, informing the owner of the nature of the problem and the necessary process to correct it.
- ORDINARY HIGH-WATER MARK
- The point on the bank or shore up to which the presence and action of surface water is so continuous as to leave a distinctive mark. This may be erosion, absence of land plants, predominance of aquatic plants, or other easily recognized characteristics.
- Land with a permanent, uniform cover of grasses or legumes used as forage for livestock. Pastures do not include areas where supplemental forage feeding is provided on a regular basis.
- PERENNIAL STREAM
- A channel where water flows continuously and that is identified as a perennial or permanent stream on the United States Geological Survey quadrangle map with a scale of 1:24,000.
- TECHNICAL GUIDE
- The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Field Office Technical Guide that is currently in effect.
- VEGETATIVE BUFFER
- An area within the agricultural shoreland corridor that is maintained at a minimum level of 70% ground cover.
General requirement. Any person who conducts agricultural activities within the agricultural shoreland management area or who employs another person to do the same, on land subject to this article, shall be subject to the provisions of this article. All activities on land within agricultural shoreland management areas must be conducted in ways that prevent soil erosion and minimize the movement of suspended solids into surface water.
Compliance with article requirements. Persons are in compliance with this article if they install or follow best management practices on their land affected by this article and meet the intent of the standards in this article.
Agricultural activities in the agricultural shoreland corridor.
Vegetative buffer. Landowners or operators shall establish and maintain an adequate vegetative buffer or equally effective erosion control practice in the agricultural shoreland corridor. When a vegetative buffer is established, the plant variety or seed mixture shall be one of those listed in Technical Guide Standard 342, Critical Area Planting. If any activity disturbs a vegetative buffer in the agricultural shoreland corridor, the landowner must replant or restore the disturbed area to an effective vegetative buffer as soon as practicable. Row cropping and tillage practices are prohibited in the agricultural shoreland corridor, except that tillage practices are allowed to establish or reestablish a seedbed.
Barnyards. Livestock holding areas, other than pastures as defined in this article, are prohibited within the agricultural shoreland corridor unless a barnyard runoff control system is installed that meets Technical Guide Standard 312.
Agricultural activities in the agricultural shoreland management area.
Cropland area with annually tilled crops. Erosion on cropland within the agricultural shoreland management area must not exceed the tolerable rate (T) for the predominant soil in the field.
Pastures. Pastures within the agricultural shoreland management area must comply with Technical Guide Standard 510 for pasture and hay land management. Rotation grazing must comply with the UW-Extension publication "Pastures for Profit" (February 1993 edition).
Agricultural lands receiving manure and other nutrients. Agricultural lands within the agricultural shoreland management area must meet Technical Guide Standard 590 if they receive manure and other nutrients through the application of sludge, commercial fertilizer, and other added nutrients.
Delegation of authority. The Town of Pittsfield hereby designates the Town Planning Commission or its designee to administer and enforce the provisions of this article.
Administrative duties. In the administration and enforcement of the article, the Town Planning Commission shall:
Inform all landowners or operators subject to this article of the potential agencies which may be available to provide technical or financial assistance.
Establish a procedure for landowners or operators to contact the Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission about conditions on their land that are not in compliance with this article and establish a procedure for landowners or operators to apply for funding.
Send notices of problem to landowners or operators that are not in compliance with this article.
Send notices of availability of funds to landowners or operators that are not in compliance with this article.
Provide accomplishment reports to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on the activities related to this article and its effectiveness.
Investigate complaints relating to compliance with this article.
Perform other duties as specified in this article.
Inspection authority. The Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission, or its designee, is authorized to enter upon any lands affected by this article to inspect the land to determine compliance with this article. If permission cannot be received from the landowner or operator, entry by the Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission or its designee shall be according to § 66.0119, Wis. Stats.
A notice of problem must be mailed to the landowner or operator stating that the standards of this article have not been met. The Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission, or its designee, shall prepare a conservation plan with the landowner or operator including a schedule of implementation. The Town Planning Commission, or its designee, must provide a notice of availability of funds to the landowner or operator when funds are available to implement or install the necessary practices. A minimum of one year must elapse after the landowner's plan and schedule have been developed before beginning any enforcement action. The one-year deadline for enforcement action may be extended upon agreement between the landowner or operator and the Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission.
The Town Planning Commission, or its designee, must provide along with the notice of problem a list of pertinent best management practices and associated average costs per unit as provided by the Town Planning Commission, or its designee, a written statement informing the landowner of the right to appeal the decision, and the appeals procedure.
Penalties. Any person who violates, neglects, or refuses to comply with or resists the enforcement of any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense. A violation includes failure to comply with any standard of this article or with any condition or qualification attached to the conservation plan.
Enforcement by injunction. As a substitute for or in addition to forfeiture actions, the Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission may seek to enforce any part of this article by seeking injunctions or restraining orders.
Variances from the requirements of this article may be granted by the Town of Pittsfield Planning Commission based on any of the following findings:
Staff are not available due to excessive workload to develop conservation plans or schedules of implementation.
Cost-share funds have not been made available to the landowner or operator as required under § 92.17(2m), Wis. Stats.
Severe weather or other catastrophic events beyond the control of the landowner or operator make implementation impractical.
The installation or implementation of all component of the conservation plan will not or does not result in complete compliance with this article. A variance under this provision can only be granted if all the components of the plan are installed or implemented.
Authority. Pursuant to Ch. 68, Wis. Stats., the Town Board is hereby authorized to hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination that has been made by the Town Planning Commission in administering this article.
Who may appeal. Appeals may be made by any person having a substantial interest which is adversely affected by the order, decision, or determination made by the Town Planning Commission.