Town of GermantownOfficial Website of the Town of Germantown, Juneau County, WI
Town of Germantown
Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
October 12, 2022
Present: Commission Chair Shannon Armel, Commissioners Ken Jax, Keith Korbein, Mick McCormick, Zoning Administrator Dick Martin, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Michaele Korbein
Guests: Ed Kaelin of Castle Rock Family ATV Club
–Call to Order
The Planning Commission meeting was called to order by chairperson Shannon Armel at the Germantown Town Hall at 5:30pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. The order of the agenda was adjusted to accommodate attendees.
–Possible approval of the September meetings minutes
Ken Jax made a motion, seconded by Keith Korbein, to approve the minutes of the September 14, 2022 Public Hearing and the September 14, 2022 Planning Commission meeting. Motion passed 5-0.
–Work Session: discussion of ATV ordinance
Ed Kaelin from the Castle Rock Family ATV Club spoke regarding changing our ATV ordinance to reflect allowing ATVs and UTVs to drive on the bridge on Hwy 58 just before (the Buckhorn) County G to avoid driving 7-10 miles out of the way just to connect the route above and below the river.
State statutes do allow it in cases where a bridge is between two connector roads. The state could entertain opening up the bridge to ATV traffic but needs permission first from the Juneau County Hwy Commission, and then municipalities involved (Germantown and Clearfield) would have to amend their ordinances to show this as a permitted use.
How can the state approve this last instead of first since it is a state hwy? As long as both Germantown’s and Clearfield’s ordinance mirrors each other, the state has not turned down a request like this.
Can an ATV run on snowmobile trail that is funded? Yes. Here, they would run the road. The schools and the County has approved the school forests.
All County roads are open now to ATV traffic. Clubs pay for all signage for ATVs -the county puts up the signs and bills the clubs. The clubs pay for the sign bills from fundraiser funds; they do not get any reimbursement from the state. Snowmobile clubs maintain their trails and gets the off-road reimbursement for signage.
Who has right of way if car and ATV get to the bridge at the same time? The plan is to run both sides of the road so that is why they came to both Clearfield and Germantown. Town of Plymouth has a similar situation.
Has the DNR been approached to put in a proper snowmobile bridge? No. Snowmobile clubs have gotten permission to build the bridge but to travel over water that freezes -this is over a wetlands and there are other rules that have to be followed. The bridge is too narrow for ATVs and many newer snowmobiles, and the snowmobiles already use the bridge road at this area. Some ATVs already used the bridge now and it is not legal. Some have been caught and ticketed $265 for doing that.
Basically, the request is to amend the ordinance and cite permitted use from 37th to the Buckhorn County G. There evidently was a letter sent by Germantown to the county about three years ago on this subject.
Currently there are approximately 462,000 registered ATVs/UTVs in the state, and the number will continue to rise.
The big main concern seems to be safety on Hwy 58.
Last year there were 2 fatal ATV crashes, with the state total of 38. This year there are 14 so far.
Ed Kaelin said his club promotes safety through classes. He has the proper wording on amending the ordinance to reflect that bridge area, and he will forward it to Shannon Armel.
This proposal fits within what the Comprehensive Plan states, as Germantown is a recreational area.
An ATV/UTV has to be borne an ATV/UTV to be titled as such; it cannot be converted to ATV/UTV from something else. So, a golf cart cannot be converted and become at ATV to use ATV routes and trails.
A request was made to include a proper definition of an ATV/UTV when the ordinance is amended.
Work Session: Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map
Discussed any additional areas that should have the map changed -for areas not showing as zoned commercial but were approved, such as 41st & Zilinski, Pink’s property, south of G where the campgrounds are, etc.
Question if the canoe/tube rental by Shipwreck was ever issued a conditional use permit?
Need a list of Germantown business to make sure the map reflects those commercial areas.
This will be reviewed again when additional information is received and updates are made.
Next meeting will be Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 5:30pm
Ken Jax made a motion to adjourn seconded by Keith Korbein. Motion passed 5-0.
Meeting adjourned at 6:34 pm.