The Poynette Village Board approved amendments to five of the village’s ordinances regarding environmental protection. The approval came after the changes were reviewed by Village Planner Mark Roffers and other village staff. The plan commission also approved the changes at its May 18 meeting.
State statutes and administrative rules require that municipalities have rules to protect and manage any present and future developments in floodplains, shoreland zones, and wetland areas in shoreland zones. There are also minimal standards when it comes to stormwater and erosion control.
According to Roffers, Poynette’s regulations are out-of-date to the current standards. Roffers had been working with former Village Administrator Martin Shanks on the necessary amendments needed, which were awaiting village board approval as the final step. Roffers noted that revisions to the village’s floodplain regulations were not included in changes up for approval because the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is waiting for FEMA to approve a new floodplain ordinance.
“Poynette might as well wait until the new model is released before advancing changes to floodplain regulations,” Roffers said in a memo to the board.
The village’s floodplain regulations were the least out of date, when compared to other environmental protection ordinances, and were updated as recently as 2016.
Following is a breakdown of the approved ordinance amendments to the Poynette Municipal Code from the May 24 village board meeting, each with comments from a report by Roffers.
Title III, Chapter 5 — Control of construction erosion and sedimentation resulting from land disturbing construction activities: Roffers said these are clarifying changes to go along with current rules. It clarifies what kind of project, the nature of the project and where the rules apply — better defining the terms to minimize later problems.
Title III, Chapter 8 — Control of post-construction runoff: These are amendments to existing village rules for post-construction stormwater management facilities, like infiltration areas and stormwater basins, according to Roffers.
Roffers said that neither of the above two ordinances “are intended to have a substantial impact on the degree of such regulations. He said they would not really be “stricter” or “looser,” but simply clearer when it comes to redevelopment and expansion projects.
Title II, Chapter 4 — Shoreland-wetland zoning: Roffers said this ordinance would repeal and replace Poynette’s state-mandated regulations covering 5-plus acre wetlands that are within the shoreland zone, which goes along with state law and the DNR model. Poynette’s shoreland zones mostly include areas within 300 feet of its two creeks.
Title III, Chapter 11 — Shoreland zoning in annexed areas: Cities and villages had been required to enforce county shoreland zoning regulations for lands annexed after May 7, 1982. Recently, state statutes were amended to require municipalities to have their own shoreland zoning ordinances. According to Roffers, this ordinance meets the minimum statutory requirements, generally by requiring 50-foot setbacks along navigable waters like Rowan and Hinkson creeks. Therefore, shoreland zoning regulations would not apply in most parts of the village, such as the downtown area. There are permitted reductions from the normal 50-foot setback. These include where nearby buildings have lesser setbacks – from remodeling or rebuilding most existing buildings in their original footprint to gazebos, decks, patios, walkways, and other minor structures.
Title I, Chapter 3 and Title III, Chapter 2 — Ensuring consistency of the role of the Board of Appeals and environmental regulations among different chapters: Many sections of these ordinances are intended to remove outdated or overlapping rules related to the above environmental regulations, Roffers said. He, and others, made sure that the BZA’s role was clear and consistent through each of these ordinances.
All villages ordinances can be viewed on the village’s website, www.poynette-wi.gov.
Wastewater Treatment Facility running smoothly
The village board also approved the 2020 Compliance Maintenance Annual Report (CMAR) for the Wastewater Treatment Facility at the meeting.
The CMAR rule within the Wisconsin Administrative Code is required annually for all publicly owned domestic wastewater treatment facilities. The CMAR is a self-evaluation report that measures the performance of the wastewater treatment. It also assesses the level of compliance with permit requirements.
In each category that the facility is tested in, it receives a letter grade from ‘A’ through ‘F,’ like in school.
The Poynette Wastewater Treatment Facility received an ‘A’ grade in all categories, with perfect scores of 100 in each graded category.