Town of Vernon, WI
Waukesha County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This chapter applies to a subdivision, minor land division, condominium plat or replat within the Town of Vernon, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, but does not apply to:
A. 
Transfer 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 therefrom are not reduced below the minimize sizes and meet all specifications required by this chapter and other applicable laws and ordinances, subject to the review procedures described in § 200-26.5.
[Amended 10-15-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-07]
D. 
Cemetery plats made under § 157.07, Wis. Stats.
E. 
Assessor's plats made under § 70.27, Wis. Stats., provided that such Assessor's plats shall comply with §§ 236.15(1)(a) through (g) and 236.20(1) and (2)(a) through (e), Wis. Stats.
No person, firm or corporation shall divide any land located within the jurisdictional limits of these regulations so that such division results in a subdivision, minor land division, condominium plat or replat, as defined herein. No such subdivisions, minor land divisions and replats shall be entitled to recording, and no streets shall be laid or improvements made to land without compliance with all the requirements of this chapter and the following documents and any amendments thereto:
A. 
Provisions of Ch. 236, Wis. Stats.
B. 
Rules of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation relating to safety of access and preservation of public interest and investment in the highway system, if the land owned or controlled by the developer abuts a state trunk highway, federal highway or highway connecting street, including all provisions of Ch. Trans 233, Wis. Adm. Code.
C. 
State Department of Natural Resources rules setting forth water quality standards, preventing and abating pollution and regulating septic systems.
D. 
The Waukesha County Code of Ordinances regarding regulation of private sewage systems, Ordinance No. 151-34, which regulates all land to be divided by the subdivision plat process which is not served by public sewer and where provisions for such service have not been made.
E. 
The duly adopted Master Plan and any components of the Town of Vernon Master Plan.
F. 
The Waukesha County Zoning Code, the Waukesha County Shoreland and Floodland Protection Ordinance, and the Waukesha County Subdivision Control Ordinance and all applicable county and local ordinances.
G. 
The Official Map of the Town of Vernon.
H. 
The rules of the Waukesha County Department of Public Works establishing regulations for access to and work within county rights-of-way, Ordinance No. 156-0-70.
I. 
The Waukesha County Construction Site Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Ordinance.
J. 
The Town of Vernon Land Division Review Checklist adopted by separate resolution by the Town Board which is attached hereto (see Appendix F) and incorporated herein as an exhibit, including any amendments that may be made thereto from time to time by the Town Board by separate resolution.
A. 
Streets, highways and drainageways. Whenever a tract of land to be divided within the jurisdiction of this chapter encompasses all or any part of an arterial or collector street, drainageway or other public way which has been designated on a duly adopted Town or regional comprehensive plan or comprehensive plan component, said public way shall be made a part of the plat or certified survey map and dedicated to the appropriate municipal entity by the developer in the locations and dimensions indicated on said plan or component and as set forth in this chapter.
B. 
Parks and parkways. Whenever a tract of land to be divided within the Town encompasses all or any part of a park or parkway which has been designated on a duly adopted Town or regional comprehensive plan or comprehensive plan component, said park or parkway shall be made a part of that plat or certified survey map by the developer in the locations indicated on said plan and in accordance with the procedures set forth in this chapter.
C. 
Dedication of land and provision of improvements or payment of fee for park purposes.
(1) 
If required by the Town Plan Commission, the developer shall designate on every new preliminary plat or certified survey map an area of land suitable for park or playground purposes and shall dedicate said land to the public. The amount of land to be provided shall be 0.045 acre per dwelling unit to be developed in that plat. The Town reserves the right to select those lands within the plat it considers best suited to meeting the recreational needs of the Town, provided that such selection does not violate other provisions of this section. However, where such official plans call for a larger parcel of land than would be set aside if the above standard were applied, the developer, in lieu of dedicating the land in excess of 0.045 acre for every dwelling unit, shall reserve said excess land for acquisition by the Town for a period not to exceed three years.
(2) 
Proportionate payment in lieu of dedication.
(a) 
If the Town Plan Commission has determined that such parkland dedication is not feasible or compatible with development of the community, the developer shall in lieu thereof pay to the Town a fee, as from time to time established by resolution or ordinance of Town Board, to defray the impact that the additional residences will place on the park system.
(b) 
Such fees shall be placed in a nonlapsing fund and shall be used exclusively for immediate or future site acquisitions or for capital improvements of parks and recreational areas. Such fees shall apply to each new housing unit created by subdivision, certified survey map or planned unit development.
(c) 
Where the development results in the creation of not more than one additional unit or parcel of land, payment shall be required only for the additional unit.
(d) 
Payment shall be in a lump sum paid at the time of final approval of the plat or certified survey map.
(e) 
Where a lot or parcel for which payment has once been made is further divided, payment shall be required for the additional lots or parcels created.
(f) 
The required payment shall be made before the signing of the final plat or certified survey map by the Town Clerk.
(3) 
This section shall apply to subdivisions as well as minor land divisions as defined herein. This section shall not apply to land divisions where the land being divided is intended for exclusive agricultural use or other open space uses where there will be no construction of a principal building. When building construction does occur on any exempted lands, as defined herein, the fee shall apply.
(4) 
The Town Plan Commission may require the developer of any residential, commercial or industrial subdivision or minor land division to provide and dedicate the following facilities and improvements which must be installed or provided for within the time required by the Town: a well, cistern, tank or other device suitable to the needs of the Fire Department, as determined by the Town Board, sufficient to provide a supply of water for fire protection purposes for the development planned for that site and the immediate area.
Before installation of any improvements, the developer shall enter into a contract, which shall be known as the "developer's agreement," with the Town, in a form that is subject to the approval of the Town Attorney, agreeing to install the required improvements and shall file with said contract a letter of credit, cash or certified check meeting the approval of the Town Attorney in an amount equal to 115% of the estimated cost of the improvements, plus the estimated professional fees incurred by the Town (including engineering, legal, planning, construction review and other consulting fees) for the review of the subdivision documents or improvements or attendance at meetings or other related professional services. Said estimate shall be made by the Town Board upon the recommendation of the Town Engineer as a guarantee that such improvements will be completed by the developer or his subcontractors not later than one year from the date of recording of the plat or certified survey map except as stipulated in the developer's agreement or modified by agreement with the Town and as a further guarantee that all obligations to subcontractors for work on the development are satisfied. In addition:
A. 
Contracts and contract specifications for the construction of street and utility improvements on dedicated street rights-of-way, as well as the contractors and subcontractors who are to be engaged in the construction of street and utility improvements on dedicated street rights-of-way, shall be subject to the review and recommendation of approval of the Town Engineer and approval of the Town Board.
B. 
Governmental units to which these financial guarantees and contract provisions apply may file, in lieu of said contract and financial guarantees, a letter from officers authorized to act on their behalf agreeing to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Survey monuments. Before final approval of any plat or certified survey map within the limits of the Town, the developer shall install survey monuments placed in accordance with the requirements of § 236.15, Wis. Stats., and as may be required by the Town.
D. 
The developer shall pay and reimburse the Town, in advance of signing the developer's agreement, all fees, expenses and disbursements which are incurred by the Town and shall pay and reimburse the Town, without limitation by reason of enumeration, for design, engineering, preparing, checking and review of designs, plans and specifications; supervision and inspection to ensure that construction is in compliance with the applicable plans, specifications, regulations and ordinances; and legal, administrative and fiscal work undertaken to assure and implement such compliance.
A. 
Waiver or modification of provisions. A petitioner may request that the Town waive or modify enforcement of one or more provision(s) of this chapter, except as to matters further described in Subsections B, C, D and E below, as follows:
(1) 
Written request. The petitioner shall submit a written request for a waiver or modification to the Town Clerk. In the written request for the waiver or modification, the petitioner shall specify the specific provision that the petitioner requests the Town to waive or modify and the petitioner's reasons for requesting the same.
(2) 
Referral to Town Plan Commission. Upon receipt of a written request for a waiver or modification, the Town Clerk shall, within a reasonable time, place the matter on a Town Plan Commission agenda for review and action.
(3) 
Considerations. The Town Plan Commission shall make a determination which shall include consideration, but not necessarily an affirmative finding, of the following factors:
(a) 
Whether the request for a waiver or modification, if granted, would be consistent with the general intent of this chapter.
(b) 
Whether the request for a waiver or modification, if granted, would adversely affect property owners in the surrounding area.
(c) 
Whether the request for a waiver or modification, if granted, would benefit the petitioner's project in a way that is not inconsistent with the Town's interests.
(d) 
Whether the petitioner is in full compliance with applicable ordinances and agreements with the Town.
(e) 
Whether, instead of granting the request for a waiver or modification, the chapter itself should be changed to accommodate the kind of situation present by the petitioner.
(4) 
Grant or denial of request for a waiver or modification. After considering the above-listed factors and any other factors that may be relevant to the matter, the Town Plan Commission shall determine whether it is objectively reasonable to grant the request for a waiver or modification by a two-thirds vote of the members present. A waiver or modification may be granted without making an affirmative finding concerning any one or more of the above-listed factors if, on the whole, it is objectively reasonable to do so.
(5) 
Past noncompliance not waived. A waiver or modification that is granted pursuant to a written request as described in this section shall not waive any fines, forfeitures or other penalties that may have accrued due to violations of this chapter that took place prior to the date of the request being granted, unless specifically stated otherwise in the decision of the Town Plan Commission.
B. 
Monument deferral. The Town Board may defer the placing of monuments, required under § 236.15(1)(b), (c) and (d), Wis. Stats., for a reasonable time on condition that the owner provide the Town Clerk with cash escrow or a letter of credit, in an amount specified by the Town Board, to ensure the placing of such monuments within the required time limits established by the Town Board.
C. 
Remnant parcels. Remnant parcels that are larger than 40 acres in size and are not intended for development may be excluded from a plat or certified survey map by the Town Board, upon recommendation of the Plan Commission.
D. 
Flag lots. The Town Board may allow flag lots upon the recommendation of the Plan Commission if the applicant submits documentation that said flag lot does not impact the orderly and reasonable development of the adjacent parcels or public streets. The applicant must also show the physical features of the site and adjacent properties, such as wetlands, steep topography, drainage, or watercourses, which prohibit development with public streets and that the flag lot does not conflict with the Town of Vernon's Official Map.
E. 
Floodplain limits and delineation of wetlands and shoreland/wetlands. A request for a waiver or modification to the requirements that a preliminary plat, final plat, or certified survey map show floodplain limit contour lines, or that wetlands and shoreland/wetlands be staked in the field, shall be subject to the procedures described in Subsection A above, but such waiver or modification shall not be granted unless the following additional findings of fact are made:
(1) 
The land division documents must clearly show that, due to topography or the size of the lots or related reasons, precise description of the floodplain limits and/or precise delineation and field staking of the wetlands and shoreland/wetlands is clearly unnecessary because there is clearly sufficient nonwetland and nonshoreland area within each of the lots that is created for the property to be used for a permitted use in the zoning district in which it is located.
(2) 
A note must be shown on the preliminary plat, final plat and/or certified survey map, whichever is applicable, in a form that is subject to the approval of the Plan Commission stating that the floodplain limits are not shown and stating that the wetlands and shoreland/wetlands have not been delineated or staked in the field pursuant to a waiver or modification granted by the Plan Commission.
(3) 
The developer shall assume all risks associated with the grant of a waiver or modification to the requirements of this chapter related to floodplain limits and/or delineation and field staking of wetlands and shoreland/wetlands, including but not limited to the risk that as a result of the waiver or modification a lot may be created that is later found to be unusable for any permitted purpose in the zoning district in which it is located. By requesting the waiver or modification, the developer agrees to accept those risks, on behalf of the developer and on behalf of all future owners of the property. In addition, a note shall be shown on the face of the preliminary plat, final plat, or certified survey map, whichever is applicable, in a form that is subject to the approval of the Town Board, noting the property owner's acceptance of said risks.
No land shall be subdivided for residential use which is deemed by the Town or the county unsuitable for such use for reason of flooding, inadequate drainage, and where adverse soil or rock formations could cause a negative impact upon the health, safety or welfare of the future residents of the proposed subdivision or the community. In applying the provisions of this section, the Town or the county shall, in writing, recite the particular facts upon which it bases its conclusions that the land is not suitable for residential use and afford the developer an opportunity to present evidence regarding such unsuitability if the developer so desires. Thereafter, the Town or county may affirm, modify or withdraw its determination of unsuitability. In addition:
A. 
No lot one acre or less in size served by an on-site soil absorption sewage disposal system shall include floodlands. All lots more than one acre in size served by an on-site soil absorption sewage disposal system shall contain no less than 40,000 square feet of land at least two feet above the elevation of the one-hundred-year recurrence interval flood, or as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. Where such flood stage data is not available, the regulatory flood elevation shall be determined by a registered professional engineer and the sealed report of the engineer setting forth the regulatory flood stage and the method of its determination shall be subject to the approval of the Town Board upon recommendation of the Town Engineer.
B. 
Lands made, altered, or filled with nonearth materials within the preceding 20 years shall not be divided into building sites which are to be served by on-site soil absorption sewage disposal systems except where soil tests prepared by a professional soil scientist, or certified soil tester, clearly show that the soils are suited for such use. Soil reports shall include, but need not be limited to, an evaluation of soil permeability, depth to groundwater, depth to bedrock, soil bearing capacity, and soil compaction. To accomplish this purpose, a minimum of one test per acre shall be made initially. The Town does not guarantee, warrant, or represent that the required samples represent conditions on an entire property and thereby asserts that there is no liability on the part of the Town Board, its agencies, or employees for sanitary problems or structural damages that may occur as a result of reliance upon such tests.
C. 
Lands made, altered, or filled with earth within the preceding seven years shall not be divided into building sites which are to be served by on-site soil absorption sewage disposal systems except where soil tests prepared by a professional soil scientist, or certified soil tester, clearly show that the soils are suited to code-complying conventional on-site soil absorption sewage disposal systems. Soil reports shall include, but need not be limited to, an evaluation of soil permeability, depth to groundwater, depth to bedrock, soil bearing capacity, and soil compaction. To accomplish this purpose, a minimum of one test per acre shall be made initially. The Town does not guarantee, warrant, or represent that the required samples represent conditions on an entire property and thereby asserts that there is no liability on the part of the Town Board, its agencies, or employees for sanitary problems or structural damages that may occur as a result of reliance upon such tests.
D. 
Each lot proposed to be served by an on-site soil absorption sewage disposal system shall have 50% of its minimum required lot area or 20,000 square feet, whichever is less, in slopes of less than 12%.
E. 
The Town Plan Commission, in applying the provisions of this section, shall, in writing, recite the particular facts upon which it bases its conclusion that the land is unsuitable for residential use and afford the developer an opportunity to present evidence in rebuttal to such finding of unsuitability. The Town Plan Commission may thereafter affirm, modify, or withdraw its determination of unsuitability.
It shall be unlawful to build upon, divide, convey, record or place monuments on any land in violation of this chapter or the Wisconsin Statutes, and no person, firm or corporation shall be issued a building permit by the Town authorizing the building on, or improvement of, any subdivision, minor land division, or replat within the jurisdiction of this chapter not of record as of the effective date of this chapter until the provisions and requirements of this chapter have been fully met. The Town may institute appropriate action or proceedings to enjoin violations of this chapter or the applicable Wisconsin Statutes.
[Amended 11-21-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-1]
A. 
Any person, firm, or corporation who violates or fails to comply with the provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution for each offense. The penalty for default of payment of such forfeiture and costs shall be imprisonment in the county jail until payment thereof, but not exceeding six months. Each day a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense. Violations and accompanying penalties shall include the following:
(1) 
Recordation improperly made carries penalties as provided in § 236.30, Wis. Stats.
(2) 
Conveyance of lots in unrecorded plats carries penalties as provided in § 236.31, Wis. Stats.
(3) 
Monuments disturbed or not placed carries penalties as provided in § 236.32, Wis. Stats.
B. 
An Assessor's plat made under § 70.27, Wis. Stats., may be ordered as a remedy by the Town, at the expense of the subdivider, when a subdivision as defined herein is created by successive divisions.
C. 
In addition to the foregoing penalties, penalties for a violation of this chapter shall be as described in Chapter 1, § 1-10 of this Code, except that in the event that the penalty provisions are in conflict with this section, the larger penalty shall apply.
Any person aggrieved by denial to a plat or certified survey map may appeal as provided in § 236.13(5), Wis. Stats., within 30 days of notification of the rejection of the plat or certified survey map. Where failure to approve is based on an unsatisfied objection, the agency making the objection shall be made a party to the action. The court shall direct that the plat is approved if it finds that the action of the approving or objecting agency is arbitrary, unreasonable or discriminatory.