Guidelines for the Rezoning Process

The Need for Rezoning

When a property owner wants to use land in a way that is not permitted by the zoning of his or her property, the owner must request a rezoning of the property to a classification which  permits the desired use.

Generally, rezonings are justifiable under one of the following three circumstances:

  1. When the requested rezoning is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan adopted by the Common Council.
  2. When there was an error or oversight in the original zoning of the  property.
  3. When changes have occurred to conditions in the vicinity of the property which prevent the reasonable use of the property as currently zoned.

Applying for a Rezoning

If you are the owner or option holder of a piece of property and wish to petition for rezoning, the process is started by submitting an application and filing fee to the Development Services Department, located at Marshfield City Hall.

To complete the application you need to know:

  1. The tax parcel, address and/or legal description of the property.
  2. The existing zoning classification & requested zoning change.
  3. The existing land use & proposed use for the property.

The Development Services Staff will assist you in completing the form.  Your application must be submitted by the deadlines prior to each meeting.

Public Notice

State law requires that a rezoning be publicized in a local newspaper  because it may affect surrounding property, roads, and public utilities. Plan Commission public notices are placed in the Marshfield News-Herald two times, at 17 days & 10 days prior to the public hearing. Property owners located within 100ft of the subject property will be notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the public hearing.

Staff Review

When an application is filed, the planning staff evaluates the request, beginning with an on-site assessment of the property and surrounding area. This field work is needed to determine how the rezoning could impact adjoining land uses.

The staff also consider which services are available to the site, consult with various departments, and review adopted planning documents.

If the rezoning request is consistent with the goal & polices of these adopted plans, the planning staff will most likely recommend the rezoning. If the request is in conflict with adopted plans or has a potential for harming the surrounding areas, the staff may recommend denial. In forming these judgments, the staff is obligated to consider the health, safety and welfare of the total community, as well as the desires of the applicant and neighbors.

A written staff report is prepared for each request and mailed to the applicant the Friday prior to the Plan Commission hearing.

The Public Hearing

Plan Commission public hearings occur on the third Tuesday of each month in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The Plan Commission hearing provides a public forum where petitioners and any opponents can address the commission. The Commissioners then vote on the rezoning request, recommending either approval or denial, or approval of a different, less restrictive zone than the one requested.

The Plan Commission can also vote to postpone a rezoning decision to a later date, or table it for an indefinite period of time.

Denied rezonings are usually closed matters, unless the petitioner appeals to the Common Council for reconsideration. Zoning requests recommended for approval are placed on the agenda of Common Council for final action.

Legislative Action

Following the Plan Commission hearing, it typically takes one-to-two months before the rezoning request receives final approval. An approval by Common Council requires two readings of an ordinance, normally at successive meetings. Final legislative action is effective after the ordinance has passed the two readings and is published.

Zoning Agencies

Marshfield Plan Commission Recommends zoning district boundaries and regulations to the Common Council.

Development Services Department Administers and enforces the zoning regulations.  Reviews and recommends actions on rezoning requests and ordinance changes to the Plan Commission.

Marshfield Zoning Board of Appeals Reviews appeals of decisions of the Building Inspector and Zoning Administrator.  Also has the power to interpret provisions of the zoning ordinance and grant variances from its requirements.

City of Marshfield Common Council Adopts and amends zoning ordinance text and maps.

Contact Information

For more information regarding re-zoning, please contact Bryce Hembrook, City Planner at (715) 486-2074.