Zoning Code | Procedures - Conversion of a Nonconforming Use

Description: Upon written petition, the Town Board may, on a case-by-case basis, allow the conversion of a legal nonconforming use to another nonconforming use.

Application fee: None

Submittal deadline: 3 weeks before the Plan Commission meeting, which is typically held the first Monday of the month

Decision maker(s): Plan Commission makes a recommendation and the Town Board makes the final decision

Basis of decision: The Plan Commission in making its recommendation and the Town Board in making its decision shall compare the known and anticipated impacts of the existing nonconforming use on properties in the area and those of the proposed nonconforming use. The Town Board shall not approve a conversion when the new nonconforming use would be more of a nonconformity than the existing nonconforming use.

Review process:
  1. Pre-submittal meeting. Before submitting an application, the applicant or the applicant's agent shall meet with the zoning administrator to review (i) applicable regulations and procedures, (ii) applicable sections of the town’s comprehensive plan, and (iii) the proposal. Upon request, the zoning administrator may waive the requirement to hold a pre-submittal meeting when he or she determines such meeting is not necessary given the nature of the project and/or the extent to which the applicant understands the town’s zoning requirements.
  2. Submittal of application materials. The applicant shall submit a completed application and other required materials to the zoning administrator along with the application fee as may be established by the Town Board.
  3. Staff review. Within 10 days of receiving the application and other required materials, the zoning administrator shall either place the matter on the agenda for the meeting at which the matter will be considered allowing for proper public notice or make a determination that the application is incomplete and notify the applicant in writing of the deficiencies and that the applicant has 3 months from the date of such determination to resubmit the application or forfeit the application fee, if any. The zoning administrator shall take no further steps to process the application until the deficiencies are remedied. The incomplete application shall be retained as a public record.
  4. Staff report preparation and distribution. The zoning administrator shall prepare a written staff report as described in this division and provide a copy of it to each member of the Plan Commission and town board, the applicant, and any other interested person upon request.
  5. General notice. Consistent with division 2 of article 5, the zoning administrator shall place the matter on the meeting agenda of the plan commission.
  6. Meeting. Allowing for proper notice, the Plan Commission shall consider the application at a regular or special meeting. The Plan Commission may direct the zoning administrator, town engineer, and/or the town attorney to submit a follow-up report to the plan commission and/or direct the zoning administrator to prepare such documents it deems necessary, including a preliminary decision document.
  7. Recommendation. At the initial meeting or at a subsequent meeting, the Plan Commission shall make a recommendation to the Town Board based on the decision criteria contained in this division to (i) approve the application, (ii) approve the application with conditions, or (iii) deny the application.
  8. Decision. The Town Board after considering the Plan Commission’s recommendation shall make a decision to (i) approve the application, (ii) approve the application with conditions, or (iii) deny the application.
  9. Preparation of decision notice. Based on the action of the Town Board, the zoning administrator shall prepare a decision notice consistent with this division, and a conversion order if approved.
  10. Applicant notification. If the application is denied, the zoning administrator shall, within a reasonable time following the Town Board’s decision, mail the decision notice to the applicant by regular mail.
  11. Acceptance by property owner required. If the application is approved, the property owner shall sign the conversion order and return the same to the zoning administrator within 6 months of the decision. Failure to return the signed document within the aforementioned time period shall render the Town Board’s decision null and void.
  12. Recordation. If the application is approved and the property owner signs the decision notice, the town clerk or the zoning administrator shall record the conversion order in the office of the register of deeds.