Village of Balsam Lake, WI
Polk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Balsam Lake 11-5-1990 as Ch. 18 of the 1990 Code; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Commission — See Ch. 9.
Building construction — See Ch. 122.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 126.
Driveways — See Ch. 153.
Mobile homes and mobile home parks — See Ch. 210.
Streets, sidewalks and public places — See Ch. 268.
Water and sewers — See Ch. 293.
Zoning — See Ch. 300.

§ 272-1 Authority, purpose and interpretation.

In accordance with the authority granted by § 236.45, Wis. Stats., and for the purposes listed in §§ 236.01 and 236.45(1), Wis. Stats., the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements adopted to promote the health, safety, morals, comfort, prosperity and general welfare of the Village. However, this chapter shall not repeal, impair or modify private covenants or public ordinances, except that it shall apply whenever it imposes stricter regulations on land use.

§ 272-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALLEY
A public or private right-of-way shown on a subdivision map or plat which provides secondary access to a lot, block or parcel of land.
ARTERIAL STREET
A street designed and used for through traffic.
COLLECTOR STREET
A street designed and used as an intermediate public thoroughfare, collecting traffic from minor street and channeling it to arterial streets.
DEVELOPED AREA
Land within the corporate limits of the Village which is, at the time a division of land is created, served by or physically and legally capable of being served by municipal sewer and water service, electrical service, the mains or lines whereof have been previously extended to or adjacent to the land in question, and is so located adjacent to improved public streets and, where required, sidewalks.
DIVISION
The act of splitting the legal description of a lot, parcel or tract of land into two or more lots, parcels or tracts of land, whether by means of a deed, certified survey map or plat.
LOT
All units of land legally described, whether referred to as a lot, parcel or tract of land, having frontage on a public street, intended to be used as a unit for the purpose, whether immediate or in the future, or transfer of ownership or building development and use.
STREET
A public way or thoroughfare dedicated to the public and set forth on the face of a subdivision mat or plat subject to this chapter.
SUBDIVISION
Includes any division of a lot, parcel or tract of land by the owner or his or her agent for the purpose of sale or building development where:
A. 
The act of division creates two or more parcels or building sites of 10 acres or less each.
B. 
Two or more parcels or building sites of 10 acres or less each are created by successive divisions within a five-year period.

§ 272-3 Exceptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Transfers of interest in land by will or pursuant to court order.
B. 
Leases for a term not to exceed 10 years, mortgages or easements.
C. 
The sale or exchange of parcels of land between owners of adjoining property if additional lots are not thereby created and the lots resulting are not reduced below the minimum sizes required by this chapter or other applicable laws or ordinances.
D. 
A division of a parcel, lot or tract of land in a developed area of the Village where each created and existing , reduced in size parcel, lot or tract is served by municipal sewer and water at the time of division.

§ 272-4 Plat submission and approval required.

No division of land within the Village or within its extraterritorial jurisdiction shall be permitted if it results in a subdivision, unless a plat of the subdivision is submitted and approved in accordance with this chapter and Ch. 236, Wis. Stats.

§ 272-5 Conformance required.

No subdivision shall be approved which does not conform to Chapter 300, Zoning, of the Village Code and the Comprehensive Plan of the Village, either within the Village limits or in its extraterritorial planning area.

§ 272-6 Installation of improvements.

A. 
The subdivider shall be responsible for the installation or construction of all improvements required by the Planning Commission with the exception of sidewalks and streetlighting.
B. 
For all subdivision improvements required to be installed by him/her, the subdivider shall provide satisfactory proof that he/she has contracted to install such improvements or shall file a performance bond insuring installment of such improvements within the time required by the Planning Commission and Board.
C. 
The specifications for all improvements shall be approved by the Planning Commission. Prior to either acceptance of the improvement by the Board or release of the subdivider's bond, all improvements shall be inspected and found to have been installed according to the specifications.

§ 272-7 Concept design.

A. 
Before submitting a preliminary plat to the approval process under § 272-8, each subdivider is encouraged to prepare, for review by the Village administrative staff, a concept design of the proposed subdivision. Said design shall contain such information as: site location, showing adjacent streets and subdivisions; boundaries of proposed subdivision; proposed street layout; approximate topographic features; proposed lot layout; easements, existing and proposed; and proposed surfaced water drainage.
B. 
No fee shall be charged for the concept design review. The purpose shall be to provide a general overview of the compliance of the proposed subdivision with existing rules and regulations.

§ 272-8 Preliminary plat.

A. 
The subdivider shall submit to the Planning Commission, and to those agencies having the authority to object to plats under the provisions of Ch. 236, Wis. Stats., a preliminary plat based upon an accurate exterior boundary survey by a registered land surveyor which shall show clearly the proposed subdivision at a scale of not more that one inch per 100 feet, having two-foot contour intervals, identify proposed improvements (grading, tree planting, paving, installation of facilities and dedications of land) and easements which the subdivider proposes to establish. The subdivider shall also indicate by accompanying letter a time or times when the improvements will be constructed or provided. Any proposed restrictive covenants for the land involved shall be submitted for review as pertaining to their compliance with Village regulations.
B. 
After review of the preliminary plat and negotiations with the subdivider on changes advisable and the kind and extent of public improvements which will be required, the Planning Commission shall, unless the time is extended upon agreement with the subdivider, reject or approve conditionally the preliminary plat within 90 days, as provided by statute.
C. 
Upon the establishment of specific types and locations and size and extent of improvements which subdivider shall be required to construct, the Planning Commission, on behalf of the Village, and subdivider shall enter into a development contract under the terms of which the subdivider shall agree to his/her responsibilities as to subdivision improvements. In said contract the subdivider shall bind himself/herself to provide either a sum certain in cash, certificates of deposit or a bond to guarantee faithful performance in accord with the contract. The failure of the subdivider to act consistent with the contract prior to final plat approval shall constitute cause for refusal to issue building or occupancy permits for lots created by the subdivision.
D. 
Approval of the preliminary plat and execution of a development contract shall entitle the subdivider to final approval of the layout shown by such plat, provided that the final plat conforms substantially to such layout and conditions of approval have been met.
E. 
No preliminary plat shall be approved which does not conform in all respects with applicable ordinances of the Village, including but not limited to zoning, building construction, streets, sidewalks and utilities.

§ 272-9 Final plat.

A. 
Final plats shall be submitted to the Planning Commission within 24 months of preliminary plat acceptance unless this requirement is waived, in writing, by the Planning Commission.
B. 
The final plat shall conform to the preliminary plat as approved and to the requirements of all applicable ordinances and state laws and shall be submitted for certification by those agencies having the authority to object to the plat as provided by § 236.12(2), Wis. Stats.
C. 
The final plat shall be accompanied by detailed construction plans of all improvements, together with an executed copy of the development contract required under § 272-8C.
D. 
The final plat shall be presented to the Planning Commission at its regular meeting prior to the meeting at which it is to be considered and shall be accepted or rejected by the Planning Commission and the Board within 60 days of its submission, unless the time is extended by an agreement with the subdivider. Reasons for rejection shall be stated in the minutes of the Board meeting, and a copy of such reasons shall be given to the subdivider.
E. 
Approved final plats shall be recorded in accordance with the statutory requirements prior to the time that lots are offered for sale, reference is made to the map for sale purposes or use is made of lot and block numbers shown on the plat.
F. 
If the original of the final plat has been filed with another approving authority, the subdivider shall file a true copy of such plat with the Village in lieu of the original. Before the approval of the Planning Commission and Board will be inscribed on the original of the final plat, the surveyor or subdivider shall certify the respects in which the original of the final plat differs from the true copy, and all modifications shall first be approved.

§ 272-10 Streets and lots.

A. 
General.
(1) 
The subdivider shall dedicate land for and improve streets, which shall conform to the Comprehensive Plan and be located with consideration for topographical conditions, natural features, existing and proposed streets, utilities and land uses and public convenience and safety.
(2) 
All lots shall have sufficient frontage on a public street to allow vehicular access.
(3) 
After installation of all utilities, the owner, the subdivider or both shall surface all streets that are proposed to be dedicated to the Village to widths and standards as prescribed by this chapter. The surfacing shall include subbase material, gravel base, bituminous or portland concrete, as per Wisconsin Department of Transportation standards for the proposed and or anticipated use. Curb and gutter shall be installed as per § 272-12A(4). All costs incurred for plans and specification approval and construction costs associated therewith shall be the responsibility of the subdivider until such time that the streets have been approved and accepted by the Village Board.
(4) 
Before approval by the Planning Commission, the subdivider shall submit plans and specifications to the Village Engineer for approval. This submittal shall include design criteria for both base course material and pavement.
(5) 
At time of construction, the subdivider shall construct streets in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and shall notify the Village Engineer of the construction schedule so that he/she may inspect the construction to ensure conformation with plans and specifications, or the subdivider shall have the Village design and install streets in conformance with this chapter and assess costs of street construction to the subdivider in accordance with Village assessment policy and the Wisconsin Statutes.
(6) 
Before Village acceptance of streets, the Village Engineer shall inspect the streets to ensure that construction has conformed to plans and specifications, and the Village Engineer shall submit a written report and recommendation to the Village Board for its acceptance of the project.
B. 
Urban section. The minimum right-of-way and roadway width of all proposed streets and alleys in urban sections shall be as follows:
Type of Street
Right-of-Way Width
To Be Reserved
(feet)
Right-of-Way Width
To Be Dedicated
(feet)
Pavement Width
(Face of Curb
to Face of Curb)
(feet)
Arterial
120
80
36 dual
24 median
Collector
80
80
48
Minor, 1,000 feet or more in length
66
66
36
Minor, less than 1,000 feet in length, cul-de-sac and frontage
66
66
36
Alleys
25
25
20
Pedestrianways
10
10
5
C. 
Grades.
(1) 
Unless necessitated by exceptional topography, subject to the approval of the Planning Commission, the maximum center-line grade of any street or public way shall not exceed the following:
(a) 
Arterial streets: 6%.
(b) 
Collector streets: 8%.
(c) 
Minor streets, alleys and frontage streets: 10%.
(d) 
Pedestrianways: 12%, unless steps of acceptable design are provided.
(2) 
The grade of any street shall not exceed 12% or be less than 0.5%. Street grades shall be established wherever practicable so as to avoid excessive grading, removal of ground cover and tree growth and general leveling of the topography.
D. 
Curves. When a continuous street center line deflects at any one point by more than 10%, a circular curve shall be introduced having a radius of curvature on such center line of not less that the following:
(1) 
Arterial streets and highways: 500 feet.
(2) 
Collector streets: 300 feet.
(3) 
Minor streets: 100 feet.
E. 
Continuation. Streets shall be laid out to provide for continuation wherever topographic and other physical conditions permit.
F. 
Through traffic on minor streets discouraged. Minor streets shall be laid out so as to discourage their use by through traffic.
G. 
Number of intersections. The number of intersections of minor streets with major streets shall be reduced to the practical minimum consistent with circulation needs and safety requirements.
H. 
Where a subdivision abuts or contains an existing or proposed arterial highway, the Planning Commission shall require a frontage road, nonaccess reservation along the rear of the property contiguous to such highway or such other treatment as may be necessary to ensure safe, efficient traffic flow and adequate protection of residential properties.
I. 
Reserve strips controlling access to streets shall be prohibited.
J. 
A tangent at least 100 feet long shall be required between reverse curves on arterial and collector streets.
K. 
Streets shall afford maximum visibility and safety and shall intersect at right angles where practicable.
L. 
Dedication of half-width streets shall be prohibited.
M. 
Permanent dead-end streets or culs-de-sac shall not be longer than 1,000 feet, shall have a minimum width of 50 feet and terminate with a turnaround having an outside roadway diameter of at least 80 feet and a street property line of 100 feet.
N. 
Where possible, lot lines shall be perpendicular to the street line and to the tangent at the lot corner or curved streets.
O. 
Lots shall follow, rather than cross, municipal boundary lines whenever practicable.
P. 
No street names shall be used which duplicate or may be confused with the names of existing streets. Street names shall be subject to the approval of the Planning Commission.

§ 272-11 Block design.

A. 
General. The lengths, widths and shapes of blocks shall be appropriate for the topography and the type of development contemplated.
B. 
Sidewalks. To provide access and circulation to community facilities, sidewalks shall be designed by the subdivider along both sides of streets and, where a block exceeds 1,000 feet in length, through the center of blocks. Center crosswalks shall not be less than 10 feet wide. The subdivider shall install the center crosswalks where required. The Planning Commission, in consultation with the subdivider and taking into consideration public welfare and safety concerns, together with aesthetics, both in the subdivision itself and throughout the Village, may modify these requirements on a case-by-case basis.
C. 
Subdivision lots shall be in conformance with the area and width requirements of Chapter 300, Zoning. Area and width shall conform to Chapter 300, Zoning, and Ch. COMM 83, Wisconsin Administrative Code.
D. 
The Planning Commission shall exercise, on behalf of the Village, approval authority as to the location and species of trees which may be planted by the subdivider or successors in interest in boulevards or streets created by the act of subdividing.

§ 272-12 Required improvements.

A. 
In accordance with specifications approved by the Planning Commission, the subdivider shall provide for each lot the following:
(1) 
Adequate sewer and water facilities.
(2) 
Streets, of urban design with base and subbase preparation done to meet Wisconsin Department of Transportation standards for the proposed and/or anticipated use.
(3) 
Paving, done in asphaltic or portland concrete.
(4) 
Curb and gutter, done in a 6-24 design of portland concrete.
(5) 
Surface water drainage and/or storage structures, meeting all state and local regulations.
(6) 
Streetlighting facilities.
B. 
The installation of curb and gutter shall be waived where rural road sections have been approved by the Planning Commission.
C. 
It shall be the responsibility of the subdivider to design adequate street lighting for the entire subdivision so as to fulfill Subsection A(6) above. Insofar as the Village shall be responsible for its installation, the Planning Commission shall, on its behalf, approve all streetlighting plans.
D. 
Each subdivision approved of under this chapter shall be designed so as to require that all utilities' service lines shall be placed underground.

§ 272-13 Easements.

A. 
The Planning Commission shall require easements for poles, wires, conduits, storm and sanitary sewers, gas, water and head mains or other utility lines. Easements for utility services such as those enumerated shall be at least 10 feet wide and may run across lots or alongside of rear lot lines, subject to the preference that easements be located along the rear lot lines. No buildings or other structures shall be erected upon or over these easements. In addition, a one foot wide easement shall be dedicated at and immediately behind the front lot line for installation by the Village Water Utility of a waterline cutoff valve.
B. 
The Planning Commission shall require that easements or drainageways be provided where a subdivision includes a segment or segments of watercourses, drainageways, channels or streams.

§ 272-14 Public recreation and open spaces.

A. 
During the preliminary plat review process, the Planning Commission shall take into consideration the location of the proposed subdivision as it relates to existing parks, open spaces and public grounds, the site of the proposed subdivision and the potential population on the projected lots in determining whether and to what extent a dedication shall be required for public recreational and open space needs. In making this determination, the Planning Commission may require that up to, but not exceeding, 10% of the total land area of the proposed plat or a sum of money equivalent to the average land value of the subdivision when platted, as agreed upon and between the subdivider and the Village or as determined by a real estate appraiser retained by the Village, be dedicated to the Village.
B. 
In the specific case of a subdivision in which multifamily housing units will or may be constructed, the subdivider shall establish an area of land of sufficient size to be used as a tot lot or playground for children. The Planning Commission shall determine its size as based upon the projected population of the multifamily housing units which could or may be built in the subdivision, using the maximum number of potential units as would be permitted under Chapter 300, Zoning. In the sole description of the Village, it may or may not decide to accept a dedication of a tot lot. In the event that it does not decide to accept such dedication, the subdivider shall take adequate legal steps to make it available for use by residents of the subdivision.

§ 272-15 Variances and exceptions.

Where the Planning Commission finds strict compliance with these regulations shall not accomplish the purposes of the Village subdivision chapter or shall result in expenses or physical layout requirements inordinate to the scope of the proposed subdivision, it shall recommend to the Board such exceptions to the chapter so that substantial justice shall be done and the public interest secured, provided that such exceptions shall not have the effect of nullifying the intent and purpose of this chapter, and provided that the Planning Commission shall not recommend exceptions to the regulations of this chapter unless it makes findings based upon the evidence presented to it in each specific case that:
A. 
The granting of the exception shall not be detrimental to the public safety, health or welfare or injurious to other property or improvements in the neighborhood in which the subdivision is located.
B. 
The conditions upon which the request for an exception is based are unique to the subdivision or the individual lot therein for which the exception is sought and are not applicable, generally, to other property in the Village.
C. 
Because of the particular physical surroundings, shape or topographical conditions of the specific subdivision or the individual lot therein involved, a hardship to the owner would result if the strict letter of the regulations were enforced. For purposes of this section, hardship shall not include economic factors personal to the subdivider or his/her successors in interest. It shall be limited to physical inability to use the property in question to purposes permissible in the zoning district in which the subdivision is situated.

§ 272-16 Bond or letter of credit required.

A. 
Pursuant to § 61.34(1), Wis. Stats., in the interest of the government and good order of and for the prudent management of the Village finances and for the convenience of the public it is deemed to be in the public's best interest to require all persons who apply for and receive subdivision approvals where as a condition to the granting of such approval it is required that an improvement for public use and benefit shall be installed, built or constructed or other specified performance is required, the subdivider shall, in accord with Subsection B, below, file a bond or irrevocable letter of credit with the Village Clerk-Treasurer guaranteeing his/her performance. This section is for the expressed purposes of ensuring that subdividers complete agreed upon obligations to the Village and to prevent the Village, should it be required to complete performance of conditions, from having to use taxpayers monies to do so.
B. 
Each subdivider of lands who obtains approval of a land division from the Village which is conditioned upon his/her/its faithful performance in favor of the public, including but not limited to the installation of improvements or performance of other specified obligations, shall be required to post a bond or irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the Village to guarantee his/her/its performance in accord with the required specifications. Each such bond or letter of credit shall be in such amount as will fully indemnify the Village against the cost of securing the completion of such performance or in such lesser amount as the Village deems to be adequate. As progress toward accomplishing the performance is made, in the sole discretion of the Village, the amount of the bond or letter of credit may be reduced.

§ 272-17 Development agreement required.

If, pursuant to the terms of this chapter, a development agreement is required to be executed by the subdivider, or if in order to comply with terms and conditions of a conditional use permit or to meet requirements resulting from a rezoning certain obligations are imposed upon the subdivider, the subdivider shall be required to execute a development agreement which shall be drafted in such a form as to fulfill the objectives or standards of the Village. Such an agreement may include, but shall not be limited to, terms and conditions such as the timing of performance or installation of improvements, the posting of adequate performance bonds, penalties for nonperformance and the quality or quantity of materials or supplies to be incorporated in required improvements. The failure or refusal of a subdivider to execute such an agreement shall constitute grounds for denial of or cessation of processing of a subdivision application under this chapter.

§ 272-18 Enforcement; land use permit.

The Building Inspector or his or her designated representative shall see that the provisions of this chapter are enforced. No land use permit shall be issued for construction on any lot until the final plat for the subdivision has been duly recorded or a certified survey map is recorded.

§ 272-19 Compliance with state and federal standards.

In designing a subdivision, the subdivider shall comply with all applicable state and federal rules and regulations. Failure to do so shall constitute grounds for refusal to grant final approval of plat.

§ 272-20 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any order, rule or regulation made hereunder shall be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1, § 1-4 of this Code.