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Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-159. Zoning Ordinance Amendment

(1) Purpose. The purpose of this Section is to provide regulations which govern the procedure and requirements for the review and approval, or denial, of proposed amendments to the provisions of this Chapter. Refer also to the requirements of Wisconsin Statutes 62.23(7)(d).

(2) Initiation of Request for Amendment. Proceedings for amendment of this Chapter may be initiated by one of the following 3 methods: an application by any member of the general public; a recommendation by the Plan Commission to the Common Council; or by action of the Common Council.

(3) Application Requirements. An application to amend the regulations of this Chapter shall contain the following (digital files should be submitted rather than paper copies whenever possible, if applicable):

(a) A copy of the portion of the current provisions of this Chapter which are proposed to be amended.

(b) A copy of the text which is proposed to replace the current text.

(c) As an optional requirement, the applicant may provide written justification for the proposed text amendment, consisting of the reasons why the applicant believes the proposed text amendment is in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan.

(d) Any further information which may be required by the Plan Commission to facilitate the making of a comprehensive report to the Common Council.

(4) Review by the Zoning Administrator.

(a) The Zoning Administrator shall determine whether the application is complete and fulfills the requirements of this Chapter. If the application is determined to be incomplete, the Zoning Administrator shall notify the applicant.

(b) The Zoning Administrator shall review the complete application and evaluate whether the proposed amendment:

1. Advances the purposes of this Chapter as outlined in Section 18-03.

2. Advances the purposes of the general Article in which the amendment is proposed to be located.

3. Advances the purposes of the specific Section in which the amendment is proposed to be located.

4. Is in harmony with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.

5. Maintains the desired overall consistency of land uses, land use intensities, and land use impacts within the pertinent zoning districts.

6. Addresses any of the following factors that may not be addressed in the current zoning text:

a. A change in the land market, or other factors which require a new form of development, a new type of land use, or a new procedure to meet said change(s).

b. New methods of development or types of infrastructure.

c. Changing governmental finances to meet the needs of the government in terms of providing and affording public services.

7. The Zoning Administrator shall prepare a written report addressing items (4)(b)1 through (4)(b)6, above, and forward said report to the Plan Commission for the Commission's review and use in making its recommendation to the Common Council. If the Zoning Administrator determines that the proposal may be in conflict with the provisions of this Chapter or the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Administrator shall note this determination in the report.

(5) Public Hearing. Within 50 days of filing of a complete application, the Plan Commission shall hold a public hearing in compliance with Section 18-158 to consider the request.

(6) Review and Recommendation by the Plan Commission.

(a) Within 60 days of the public hearing, the Plan Commission may make a written report to the Common Council and/or may state in the minutes its recommendations regarding the application. Said report and/or minutes may include a formal finding of facts developed and approved by the Plan Commission concerning the requirements of Subsection (4)(b)2, above, and whether the public benefits outweigh any and all potential adverse impacts of the proposed amendment.

(b) If the Plan Commission fails to make a report within 60 days after the filing of a complete application, the Common Council may hold a public hearing within 30 days after the expiration of said 60 day period. Failure to receive said written report from the Plan Commission shall not invalidate the proceedings or actions of the Common Council. If a public hearing is necessary, the Common Council shall provide notice per the requirements so Section 18-158.

(7) Review and Action by the Common Council.

(a) The Common Council shall consider the recommendation of the Plan Commission regarding the proposed amendment. The Common Council may request further information and/or additional reports from the Plan Commission, Zoning Administrator, and/or the applicant.

(b) The Common Council may take final action (by ordinance) on the application at the time of its initial meeting, or may continue the proceedings by its own decision or the applicant's request. The Common Council may approve the amendment as originally proposed, may approve the proposed amendment with modifications, or may deny approval of the proposed amendment.

(c) If the Common Council wishes to make significant changes in the proposed text amendment, as recommended by the Plan Commission, the procedure set forth in Section 62.23(7)(d) of the Wisconsin Statutes shall be followed prior to Common Council action. Any action to amend the provisions of proposed amendment requires a majority vote of the Common Council. The Common Council's approval of the requested amendment shall be considered the approval of a unique request, and shall not be construed as precedent for any other proposed amendment.

(8) Effect of Denial. No application which has been denied (either wholly or in part) shall be resubmitted for a period of 12 months from the date of said order of denial, except on grounds of new evidence or proof of change of factors found valid by the Zoning Administrator.