Town of Germantown

Official Website of the Town of Germantown, Juneau County, WI

Joint Planning Commission/Town Board Meeting


Town of Germantown Town Hall
N7560 17th Avenue
New Lisbon, WI 53950
November 18, 2020
5:34 p.m.

Present:   Commission Chair Shannon Armel, Commissioners Gervase Thompson and Mick McCormick, Commissioners and Board Members Keith Korbein and Ken Jax, Town Board Chair Gregg Haunroth, Board Members Ray Feldman and Skip Barton, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Michaele Korbein

Absent:    Zoning Administrator Dick Martin

Guests:    Josh Langen from Vierbicher


Call to Order

The Planning Commission meeting was called to order by Chairperson Shannon Armel at the Germantown Town Hall at 5:34 p.m.



This was done during the Public Hearing.


Discussion and any clarification with Vierbicher on proposed changes to sections 2,3,5,6, and 11 of the Zoning Ordinance and Sections 2-19 of the Land use Ordinance

Josh Langen from Vierbicher presented the changes as posted.  Changes are being proposed to bring the ordinances up to date per State requirement, and to clarify and make them easier to understand.


Per State Statutes for major changes, another public hearing will be needed before these can go to the Town Board for approval.  Highlights of some of the changes were discussed and are major changes to the ordinances.  Josh answered some questions during discussion.


Zoning Ordinance #22

Section 2 had standards added for things like parking and landscaping standard. Question on parking a camper on a lot in a subdivision -this is a use.  Basically, interpretation is done by Zoning Administrator, so the Camping Ordinance would come into play.  Would it be considered a structure?  It would first have to be legally permitted.  There is only one dwelling per lot.  Deed restrictions cannot supersede local law.


Section 3 noted that the Zoning Administrator reviews projects and issues certificates of zoning compliance before a building permit can be issued.


Zoning Districts are adjusted to be only ARO, TC, CD, SO, and PUD.  Also, a Permitted and Conditional Uses Table was created to simplify seeing what is permitted where and how.


Section 3.07 (3)(e)  Pre-existing piers notation.


It was indicated some people are waiting to build and need to know the length of pier they can have.  Legal length of pier here is 80’.  Straight line or average line of water depth can be used for figuring pier length.  Wisconsin’s Pier Planner pamphlet is very clear. State says you may go out to 3’ of water as measured at summer low levels; however, you may not go out so far that you obstruct and affect navigation, fish spawning, wildlife habitat, or water quality, etc.  So, you may not be able to get to the 3’ depth.   Lights can be required on the docks.  The WI DNR Pier Planner was referenced for additional information.


Section 3.08 is proposed to be repealed and replaced as proposed.  It essentially assists developers with knowing what the Planning Commission needs.  Small Change vs. Large Change means you either don’t have to start or you do have to start over.


Section 5.0 is proposed to be repealed and replaced as proposed.


Conditional Use goes to the Planning Commission for approval, not the Board.


State law is very clear that the applicant must provide substantial evidence.


Staff does not have to go to the site to view if a good drawing and a survey are provided.  If the Planning Commission would go to the site, an agenda would have to be posted noting that.


Section 6.0 notes that even if the parcel is not in a PUD or meet CUP requirements, it still needs a site plan.  Applicant must comply with conditions if the Conditional Use Permit has conditions.


Under 6.03 (c) The word ‘shal’ needs to be corrected to ‘shall’.  Josh will adjust this.


The end of Section 6.0 documents included Section 7.0 but should have been separate and noted in the agendas, but no one noticed.  There are changes to be made in Section 7.0 so that will also be part of the upcoming meeting agendas.


Ordinance 9

Junkyard section was removed, and rest of the ordinance was updated.  Reinforces that you can’t get a permit without zoning compliance.


Definition of a Lot:  Need to change the word ‘citified’ to ‘certified’.  Josh will adjust this.


Rental -goes back to bylaws.  Bed and Breakfast laws are clear that people need to follow state law.  It was noted that it was not recommended that the Town get into rentals -can’t stop from renting but we can stop the renting from being a business like a Bed and Breakfast, hotel, halfway house, AirBnB, etc.  -it becomes a zoning violation and a state violation.  Department of Revenue knows they are out there.  State has a license available that people can get to rent property; they would just have to file appropriate taxes on the rentals and income.


Historical use of the wording ‘mobile homes’ is mainly for units built through 1976.  After that they should be referred to as ‘manufactured homes’.   Section 9 needs that change.  Josh will adjust this.


Page 6 under SET-BACKS, the word ‘had’ after ‘patios’ should be changed to ‘hard’.  Josh will adjust this.


Concerns of properties with no ditch and no culvert:  can this cause road heave?  Property used as an example was in Half Moon Bay.  Zoning Administrator can determine this. 


Ordinance 9 and Ordinance 22 should be separate resolutions, and Josh will work on them.  Any other typos will be corrected as found. 


A comment was made that we may be at the point of needing a full-time Zoning Administrator and that inspections, fines, and violations could fund this.  Also, we should not be willing to spend the Town’s money creating the updated ordinances and not have them get enforced.  Maybe Vierbicher can help with getting someone to do this who understands the ordinances.


The next meetings may be Zoom meetings.  Planning Commission may need to meet first.  Then a public hearing, before this can go to the Town Board for final approval.


Sign Ordinance work session and Camping Ordinance work session was tabled.



Gregg Haunroth made a motion, seconded by Ken Jax, to adjourn at 6:57pm.  Motion carried 4-0.


Respectfully Submitted,


Michaele Korbein

Deputy Clerk/Treasurer