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County Board Cites Likelihood of Flooding in Denying Fish Lake Zoning Request

June 21, 2013
County Board Chair John Hendrick, 608.446.4842
County Board


The Dane County Board of Supervisors denied a request to rezone a property in the Town of Roxbury and allow the owner to divide into three lots and build three homes, citing the likelihood that the properties would flood.


“These homes would be on land that has a high potential for being flooded,” said Supervisor Carousel Bayrd, citing information gathered by the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee, which had previously recommended denying the request by a 5-0 vote.


The property sits on Fish Lake Road, between Fish Lake and Mud Lake in rural northwestern Dane County. In 2010 the county purchased five homes that experienced repeated flooding along Fish Lake at a cost of $575,500.


“We’ve already taken a half million dollar hit on this lake,” said Supervisor Dave DeFelice. “Taxpayers can’t take any more.”


Attorney Ron Trachtenberg, representing Properties on Fish Lake LLC, requested that the Board send the request back to the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee to consider splitting it into two lots instead of three. Trachtenberg said houses would be built above flood plain elevation and would not be in danger.

Supervisor Dave Ripp said the Town of Roxbury should have control over property zoning within its borders, and that denial of the request was based on speculation.


“This is like saying Monona floods sometimes, so there can’t be any houses in Monona,” he said.


But opponents said the number of lots was not the issue.


“Whether this is a two lot or three lot division makes no difference,” said Supervisor Patrick Miles. “Fish Lake Road has flooded and will flood again.”


That request to refer the request back to committee was denied by a vote of 27-5, and the request itself was then denied by the same margin.


In other business, the Board unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Jerry Bollig calling for local control in collective bargaining with government employee unions. Wisconsin Act 10, currently under a court stay, would severely restrict local governments’ ability to bargain with employees.


“Many in public life hold dear the value of local control,” the resolution reads in part. “One aspect of local control is the  ability of counties to choose how they interact with their workforces. Local governments should

have the option to engage in collective bargaining with unions representing public sector  workers.”


The resolution will be provided to Governor Scott Walker and the legislators who represent Dane County in the State Assembly and Senate. It will also be forwarded to the Wisconsin Counties Association for consideration in the WCA platform.

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