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Board of Appeals
Tuesday, June 14 2016
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
LOCATION: at the Taycheedah Town Hall
Public Hearing


Town of Taycheedah
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
Notice of Public Hearing

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Taycheedah, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, will conduct a public hearing at the Taycheedah Town Hall, W4295 Kiekhaefer Parkway, Fond du Lac, on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., for the purpose of considering a variance request submitted by 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC, Katherine Diederich. 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC, requests an exception to Section 13-1-53(d)(1)(a), Minimum Lot Size, and Section 13-1-53(b)(4), limitations on livestock units, of the Town of Taycheedah Code of Ordinances. 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC, requests approval of a Certified Survey Map creating a 2.36 acre lot located at W3875 McCabe Road and authorization to allow 20 livestock units on said lot.

All affected and interested parties are encouraged to attend and be heard.

The Town Board members may be in attendance.

Brenda A. Schneider
Board of Appeals Secretary


JUNE 14th, 2016

Members in attendance: Vice Chairman John Buechel, Erv Karls, Jason Meyer, Joe Sabel and Secretary Brenda Schneider. Also present were several interested persons and members of the Town Board.

The purpose of the public hearing was to consider variances requested by 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC, represented by Katherine Diederich. 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC requests an exception to the Code of Ordinances, Section 13-1-53(d)(1)(a), Minimum Lot Size; and Section 13-1-53(b)(4), limitations on livestock units, for approval of a Certified Survey Map creating 2.36 acre lot located at W3875 McCabe Road and authorization to allow 20 livestock units on said lot.

The public hearing was audio recorded.

The Acting Chairman Buechel called the hearing to order at 6:30 p.m. The Secretary read the notice.

Katherine Diederich (Diederich), representing 7TZ Farm Girl, LLC, residing at W3760 Cty. Rd. WH, was sworn in. Her testimony was as follows:
Her goal is to receive confirmation of the Town Board approved Certified Survey Map and a variance to exceed the animal limitation.
Matt & Julie Lefeber are the prospective buyers of the 2.36 acre lot.
She recognized the Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP) and legal opinions as experts. She also consulted Section 13-1-193(c), the five criteria required for the Board of Appeals to grant the variance, as contained in the Zoning Code dated 11/25/13.
The variance for the animals, recognizing that DATCP is the State's authority and the legal authority for Farmland Preservation, she discussed the animal limitations. She explained the General Ag zoning designation. The parcel is consistent with farming operations.
The CSM meets the 100-foot minimum setback around the structure intended to house animals.
As for the handling of animal waste from a 2.36 acre parcel, two farmers have entered into 5-year rental agreements for the farmland with the Diederichs'. They will be happy to spread manure waste over the rented land.
Diederich read information received from DATCP derived from the State Statute. "Local governments cannot discriminate against livestock agricultural when they set-up an agricultural district unless they meet the requirements. The requirements are that a political subdivision may not enact or enforce a zoning ordinance with a category of agricultural district in which livestock facilities are prohibited unless the political subdivision bases that prohibition on reasonable and scientifically defensible findings of fact adopted by the political subdivision that clearly show that the prohibition is necessary to protect public health and safety. However, the town has not satisfied this paragraph c; it does not appear that there is a public health or safety justification to support the restriction of livestock in A-2." The hardship would be that this section, as currently written, would be in violation of state statute.
As for the confirmation on the Board's decision to approve a CSM for 2.36 acres, Diederich noted that the Plan Commission also motioned at a prior meeting, strong support for its' approval.
This parcel was solicited as a farm. It is fully recognized by the prior owner as a farm.
Effective 1/1/2016, the Town did not have a zoning coordinator.
She investigated the zoning language. She went to the zoning board as an advisory council to the Board. She asked specifically, before she moved any further, what the interpretation was.
She also contacted the farmland preservation on the definition of A-2.
She noticed that there was a prior version of the zoning code. It did note that in this particular zone of A-2 that animals could be accommodated on larger than two acres with a limitation of one animal per acre.
You will note in the zoning code, that general ag has all the likes of farm property.
In order to not discriminate against prior or future owners of land within this general agricultural district, it specifically allows for a lot size and it also specifically addresses agriculture natures within that A-2.
Also, she wanted to point out that the requirement for five-acres is not a state requirement. It is an arbitrary requirement. It used to be 35-acres in the zoning code. It is subject to interpretation on what nature the acreage goes with because the 5-acres was designed if a farmer wanted to sell open land to prevent future hardship for the farmer. The farmer did not want to sacrifice, or get financial security, he would never sell his buildings. It can be reasonably interpreted that the 5-acres had to do with open land not land that already had a barn, a house and a storage shed on it.
Also noting to the Town Board that evening that throughout the comprehensive plan, it specifically addresses residents wanting open spaces and the preservation of farmland.
Hardship to the future owner of this property, if you impose a 5-acre lot, they lose their ability from a financing perspective because of rules regarding interest rates. A 5-acre lot will disqualify my future owners from that financing option; even if farmland in incidental to the 5-acres. They will not have the ability for this type of financing.
A hardship on the current owner, should you impose a 5-acre lot size, there is no good way to transition that piece of property into 5-acres. If you run it along the south border, she loses even more acreage. She already lost a quarter acre. If you extend the boundary the long way of the south, it's the equivalent of you giving me $20 and I'm only going to give you $15 back. It does not make zoning sense. Or, if you made that parcel go straight north, it disrupts the lay of the land. So, it does not accommodate. So, the hardship really is in this, not that you need a hardship but I'm going to show you that. Because the CSM really exists, but I am doing this because I would really like your sign-off on it. The hardship exists not only to the current owner but the future owners, having to impose restrictions. And it goes to why the town board, as the executors of that zoning code, have the right to interpret it. They took all of the animal references and applied it to general agriculture in nature. And they approved the CSM. What I'm looking for from you is to acknowledge their approval of that CSM. And should you need to write within your five categories that a hardship does exist, I'm also giving you that.
The five acres would disqualify my current owners. It is not consistent with farmland preservation in which the Comprehensive Plan, the Department of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection, wants agricultural to stay, if you parcel that off, you can take out of agricultural use realistically another 2.5 acres, which is not consistent with farmland preservation.
o Appeals members noted the lack of identification of the various type of buildings on the CSM and being familiar with the financing matter.
Diederich respectfully requested approval of the CSM noting some urgency in regards to current financing.
There is nothing in approving this variance that would be viewed unfavorably. It's a farm.
o Vice Chairman Buechel noted that a hardship cannot be related to money. He made reference to the buyer's financing matters.
Diederich noted that this have been a long term plan, and financially, the prospective buyer would probably not be able move forward with this plan should this zoning board require five-acres.
There are other things that she could show that making the lot 5-acres doesn't make sense. Because you never want to discriminate against an owner of an A-2 property when there are other existing A-2 properties of the same or less lot sizes. Your zoning code specifically talks about animals in this zone. So that is why I'm not particularly hung up on the hardship aspect of the CSM. The lot size, because it has been approved by the board who has the authority and who is the executor and administrator of that zoning code.
o When question by a Board of Appeals member about the 20 units requested, Diederich explained that right now she has chickens which is one (unit) and the barn can accommodate probably only 20 units so she didn't want to have a restriction that she has 10 and somebody has a baby or somebody has two and asks her to hold them for her. She just wanted to have it where she would never have to come back and ask. The barn is set up to where they have it configured that they wouldn't fit anymore. Plus the pasture to the east would be crowded with more than 20. Twenty is a reasonable number and it would never be more than that.

Irene Petrie, W3129 Cty. Rd. WH, was sworn in. Her testimony in support was as follows:
On behalf of her dad, Leander Buechel, he would be very proud to have the farm still running and have animals on the farm.
When dad no longer could do farming, he rented the land. Petrie and her husband started renting the land and so did her sister Lori and her husband Dan, and nephew Andy Petrie. Kathy has given them the honor for five years to keep renting it.
They have no problems using their skidsteer and helping them move manure and putting it on the rented land.
They will be renting the shed for storage. Stuff will not be sitting outside.
She believed her dad had 40 animals plus new stock of 15-20.
Her dad took it over from his godmother when she could no longer farm.

Lorraine Diederichs, N8158 Highland Drive, was sworn in. Her testimony in support was as follows:
She agreed with Irene's comments.
We need to realize how many barns are out there that are eyesores because they are falling apart. They are going to keep up the property so that it looks nice.
She want to see this move forward.

Matt Lefeber, W3764 Cty. Rd. WH, was sworn in. His testimony in support was as follows:
It's a nice lot.
The buildings are falling apart. The house is in rough shape. They plan to fix them up and raise their family there. His wife babysits kids. There's a nice area, away from the road, where the kids can play.
He's always wanted to raise animals. He currently works on a dairy farm. He plans on a small hobby farm, not a large beef operation.

Susan Dreger, N7983 Fairfield Drive, was sworn in. Her testimony was as follows:
She was not in opposition but had questions.
They received the notification letter because their property is within 300 feet.
What is the definition of 20 units? The ordinance definition was read aloud.
It sounds like the approval has already been done for the 2.36 acre parcel instead of the five-acres. The Town Board has approve the CSM.
Is the intent of the land behind them to remain a field and Lefeber will buy the house? Diederich responded with yes.
Where will animal waste be spread? Diederich responded that she has 87 acres plus another 80 acres nearby that it can be deposited on. There will be no issues with accumulating manure or smell or flies. She is respectful of the fact that people live on Fairfield. The property is eligible for manure spreading. The Dregers spoke to Leander Buechel and Val Eppli when they bought the property 22 years ago. Mr. Buechel told them that manure would not be spread in their area. Irene Petrie commented that they have been renting the land for many years. When her husband spreads manure, it goes in and within 15 minutes it is gone. They have been spreading the land since before the Dregers moved there. They respect others in regards to the timing of manure spreading.
When she looks at the ordinance, it states one livestock per acre. She's concerned about possible cruelty putting 20 livestock units on 2.36 acres due to limited space. Diederich responded that with the 100-foot setback to the north, east and south, there is plenty of land for those animals to roam. She assured that no animal will ever be mistreated and that there are no issues with public health and safety.
Dreger has spoken with a number of their neighbors. They are also concerned with the amount of livestock.
She questioned the possible change from A-2 to A-1 and the impact on property values. Dreger was informed that the rezone request was denied.
What are the long-term thoughts regarding the 2.36 acres? Diederich explained that they and the Lefebers will have a joint farming operation in the barn, including joint maintenance of the farm property.

Katherine Diederich rebuttal was as follows:
She respectfully asked for approval of both variances, the 2.36 acre CSM and the animal units, with no concern for public health and safety.

After seeing no other further parties interested in testifying, Vice Chairman declared the public hearing closed at 7:10 p.m.
Board of Appeals deliberations:
The members referred to the three steps required to grant a variance.
Unnecessary hardship is present due to physical limitations of the parcel.
Public interest will not be contrary to public interest due to the fact it had animals in the past and was an operating farm.
The joint venture includes use of the other acreage.
Diederich added that Lefeber will be the sole owner. She will pay $20 per month to put chickens in the barn. The 2.36 acre lot is not irregular in shape.

Motion by Erv Karls, second by Jason Meyer, that since it was approved by the Town Board and based upon Kathy Diederich's testimony, the variances be approved. Roll call vote:
Joe Sabel yes
Erv Karls yes
Jason Meyer yes
John Buechel yes Motion carried (4-0).

Motion by Erv Karls, second by Joe Sabel, to adjourn at 7:17 p.m. Motion carried (4-0).

Attest: ________________________________________
Brenda A. Schneider
Secretary, Board of Appeals

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