The Town of Verona Plan Commission and the Town Board are set to consider Dane County’s new zoning ordinance in the upcoming weeks.
The ordinance, which is an overhaul of the previous one that was closing in on 70 years old, won’t have much of an impact on residents, town planner and administrator Amanda Arnold told the Press last week, because of the way she and plan commission chair Doug Maxwell navigated the process.
“We made a conscious choice to try to match the new zoning code to the old one,” she said. “Between Dane County, me and Doug, we tried to make it match as much to the existing code as possible so that we wouldn’t be creating a lot of confusion for people.”
If residents have questions for the county about the revisions to the zoning ordinance, staff will be available at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Town Hall, 7669 County Hwy. PD.
In Arnold’s email, she said that the Plan Commission and Town Board will likely adopt the new code after the Dane County staff appearance.
Arnold said that the county has made edits to the ordinance, but hadn’t done a complete overhaul in decades, which was needed because of the different levels of development seen in the county’s towns.
“There were (parts of the ordinance) that just weren’t working well,” she said. “Speaking really generally, I don’t think that their code had enough categories to address enough situations.”
In an email to residents, Arnold also reassured property owners that the rezoning won’t have an impact on their upcoming reassessment numbers – the property values that Associated Appraisal Consultants, Inc. is completing doesn’t have to do with zoning, but the way the land is used.
A “Frequently Asked Questions” document from the county states the new version only changed the parts of the ordinance that hadn’t been working.
According to the document, those changes include names for districts, land use descriptions and conditions added for specific land uses like cell towers and quarries. The new ordinance also adds multiple new districts, such as “Hamlet Residential” for residential lots near historic unincorporated towns, “Rural Industrial” for existing processing plants and salvage yards and “Utility and Right-of-Way” for parking areas, utilities or scraps of land too small to develop.
Any conditional use permits approved by the Town Board will be applied to the new zoning ordinance, the document said, and the ability to change the zoning of a property will remain within the rights of the town.
Arnold said the town is likely to adopt the ordinance, rather than opt out, because they found the county’s zoning plan to be a good fit.
“We really feel like Dane County’s done a nice job with their update,” she said. “I think the Town Board is pretty comfortable with continuing to use Dane County’s … we think that the new code is a good improvement.”