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City of Port Washington, Wisconsin

City of Port Washington - Comprehensive Land Use Plan: 2035 Map Amendment

What Is A Comprehensive Plan?

A comprehensive plan is a document designed to guide a community's physical development. The plan also serves to clarify the relationship between physical development policies and social and economic goals. The plan provides a long-term perspective to guide short-term community decisions such as how to evaluate the potential impacts of rezoning a parcel of land. It presents a blueprint or vision for the future, with long-range goals and objectives for activities that affect the local government. A compre-hensive plan itself is not a regulation, but regulations such as zoning are a means to implement the plan. A comprehensive plan is not a static document; it needs to be continually updated as conditions change.

66.1001(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes defines a "comprehensive plan" to include at least the following elements: issues and opportunities; housing; transportation; utilities and community facilities; agricul-tural, natural and cultural resources; economic development, intergovernmental cooperation; land use; and implementation. Comprehensive planning provides an assessment of a community's needs, a state-ment of a community's values, the community's long-term goals and objectives, and measurable steps which can be taken to achieve one or more goals. The plans are comprehensive in that the elements encompass many of the functions that make a community work such as wastewater treatment, trans-portation, housing, and land use. Comprehensive plans consider the interrelationships of those functions and help coordinate the various plans and programs of a community. Implementation of the comprehensive plan is linked to ordinances such as zoning and subdivision, the local budget, coopera-tion with other units of government, and the needs and capabilities of the private sector.

Does The City Of Port Washington Have A Comprehensive Plan?

Yes. The City's plan is referred to as the "Comprehensive Plan 2035" and was adopted on January 6, 2009 after nearly five years of work. This 500+ page document consists of both text and a land use map. The City's Comprehensive Plan is available at https://cityofportwashington.com/compPlan.html.

What Comprehensive Plan Amendment Is Being Proposed?

The City is considering an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan's Land Use Map. If adopted, the amendment would change the Map's designation of certain vacant land located along the south lake bluff, east of County Trunk Highway C and South Wisconsin Street, from "Low Density Residential" use to "Mixed Use." The Land Use Map, which shows (by circling) the lake bluff lands affected by the proposed Map amendment, is available at pdf/planningDevelopment/Preliminary Planned Land Use Map 2035.pdf. The proposed change to the Land Use Map would allow for both low and higher density residential development, along with commercial and open space uses, of the lake bluff lands. The Comprehensive Plan's text would not be amended since the text does not restrict future development of the vacant lake bluff lands solely to low density residential use. The lake bluff lands are merely referenced as future low density residential use on the Land Use Map. This is because in the preparing the City's Comprehensive Plan, those areas identified for future development but with no clear consensus as to a specific use were designated as low density residential on the Land Use Map. It was understood that during the planning period the Land Use Map may be amended from time to time as needed. If adopted, the proposed amendment to the Land Use Map will reflect the objectives contained in the City's Request for Proposals (RFP), which was used to solicit private developers' ideas and plans for development of the vacant lake bluff lands. The particular development proposal selected by the City for the lake bluff lands contains a mix of residential densities as well as commercial uses and open spaces.

Why Is It Necessary To Amend The Comprehensive Plan's Land Use Map?

The Wisconsin Statutes require that if a common council amends a city zoning ordinance to rezone certain lands, the rezoning ordinance must be consistent with (i.e., not contradictory to) the city's comprehensive plan. Therefore, if the lake bluff lands are rezoned to allow for the proposed mixed use development, the rezoning ordinance must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan's Land Use Map. Thus, it is first necessary for the City to amend the Land Use Map's designation of the lake bluff lands from "Low Density" to "Mixed Use," before the land may be rezoned to facilitate such development.

What Is The Process For Amending The Comprehensive Plan's Land Use Map?

The procedure to amend a land use map is outlined in the Wisconsin Statutes. In this case, the process began with identifying the need to amend the Land Use Map, as discussed above. On February 15, 2018 the Plan Commission discussed and adopted a resolution recommending such amendment. On February 22, 2018 a notice of public hearing was published in the newspaper which, as required by law, was at least 30 days before the March 27, 2018 public hearing on the proposed amendment. In addition, information relating to the proposed Land Use Map amendment will be disseminated through the City's official website, the City's Facebook page, public cable access television, and at the Niederkorn Public Library, 316 W. Grand Avenue, Port Washington, WI. Further information, including a copy of the proposed ordinance, will be made available in the Office of Planning & Development at City Hall, 100 W. Grand Avenue, Port Washington, WI. Prior to the March 27, 2018 public hearing, all required governmental entities and agencies will be notified of the proposed Land Use Map amendment, as required by law. A public informational meeting is scheduled for March 20, 2018 at City Hall, prior to the regular Common Council meeting. During the March 27, 2018 public hearing, pertinent public questions and comments submitted via the City's website, Facebook page or other means will be shared prior to Common Council deliberation and action on the proposed ordinance.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Is the proposed amendment consistent with the vision, goals, objectives, policies, and programs of the Comprehensive Plan? Yes; both the proposed Land Use Map amendment and proposed development for the lake bluff lands are consistent with the following goals: Preserve and protect Lake Michigan bluffs; allocate a mix of residential land use categories, including medium density urban residential and high density urban residential uses that can be efficiently served by bicycle and pedestrian facilities; designate areas for new mixed-use development outside of the downtown area that allow limited high density residential housing in conjunction with, or close proximity to, commercial development; and create flexible zoning to allow for new mixed-use development in areas outside of the downtown area.

Will the proposed amendment benefit the City as a whole? Yes. The proposed amendment will encourage community growth and prudent development to ensure the continued quality of life.  It will also preserve and enhance open space, provide passive and active recreation and natural areas, and furnish convenient access for citizens and visitors to enjoy and make full use of Lake Michigan.

Is the proposed amendment compatible with surrounding land uses? Yes; mixed use development, including residential and commercial uses, is compatible with all surrounding land uses including Lake Michigan. Industrial development would not be harmonious and would be an undesirable neighbor.

Are existing City facilities and services, including transportation facilities, adequate to serve the type of development associated with the amendment? The lake bluff lands and proposed uses can be served by both municipal water and sewer. South Wisconsin Street, County Trunk Highway C, and Sunset Road provide readily available transportation access to the proposed subdivision development.

If applicable, will the proposed amendment enhance economic development within the City? Yes; mixed use development offers residents and visitors the opportunity to live, work and play. Mixed use can also provide greater tax base than just a single land use type. The commercial component of the proposed development can also provide increased opportunities for employment.

Public Participation

The City welcomes input and comments on the proposed Land Use Plan amendment. Provided here is a form on which questions may be submitted, and responses will be provided via email as soon as practicable. The public may comment on Facebook at http://facebook.com/CityofPortWashingtonWI. Additional information may be obtained from the Department of Planning & Development by contacting rharris@cpwwi.org or by calling 262-284-2600. If you know your Alderperson, you may contact him to share your thoughts or concerns. Alderperson contact information is available at: https://cityofportwashington.com/ (please scroll down to the bottom of the page).

City of Port Washington, Wisconsin Department of Public Works Contact Us

Planning & Development Department
100 W. Grand Avenue
P.O. Box 307
Port Washington, WI 53074

Director of Planning & Development
Bob Harris

Administrative Assistant
Judy Klumb
100 W. Grand Avenue
P.O. Box 307
Port Washington, WI 53074

City of Port Washington, Wisconsin Official You Tube Channel