Local Programs

Custom programs are presented on a variety of topics including public participation, zoning, subdivisions and specific topics such as cell tower siting regulations and farmland preservation.

Launched in late-2002, this program is a combination self-study/workshop educational series designed to help local elected officials and planning commissioners stay abreast of the innovations and changes in the fields of planning, zoning, and land use. Chapters include:

Why Is Planning Important?
The Public Planning Process
Plan Commission Powers
Major Wisconsin Land Use Laws
What Do All The Acronyms Mean?
Wisconsin’s Open Meeting Law
“Smart Growth” In Wisconsin
Zoning Land Divisions
Types of Plans & Tools
Public Participation
Intergovernmental Cooperation
Other Agencies: DNR, DOT, etc.
Farmland & Open Space Preservation Design & Site Plan Review
Brownfields & Redevelopment
Economic Development, Housing & Transportation
Environmental Impacts
Property Rights
Appendix: Cell Towers, CAFOs, Moratoria . . .

The program is intended to be user-friendly, convenient, and easy to complete.

In October 1999 the Wisconsin legislature acted in response to increased development issues and planning needs when they adopted a comprehensive planning law to help communities plan their growth while maintaining the quality of life their residents currently enjoy. At its best, planning is simply addressing issues before they become problems.

By the year 2010, all Wisconsin communities that wished to regulate the use of land (primarily zoning and land division regulation) must have adopted a comprehensive plan that met the requirements set out in the statutes. In Sheboygan County, all 28 communities met the deadline, and UW-Extension assisted 24 of these communities.

Now the focous shifts to implementaion of the recommendations within these plans. UW-Extension has been helping local communities prioritize their plan recommendations and suggest tangible ways to work toward solutions.

Are you satisfied with your community the way it is? Answering this question is a major (and often the first) phase in a community-wide comprehensive planning effort. Visioning is the process of looking beyond the present to imagine the future. There are generally five main steps:

1.) Understand current issues facing the community
2.) Identify problems the community can work to address
3.) Identify strengths the community seeks to preserve and perhaps enhance
4.) Identify opportunities on which the community can build
5.) Based on a consensus of the participants, create a brief written and
illustrated report describing the desired future that addresses all or most of the above

Naturally, the more participation there is by local officials, community leaders, and residents, the more accurate and credible the final vision will be. UW-Extension staff is available to help facilitate the visioning sessions and to provide overall guidance in working through the five steps listed above.

Through the innovative use of public surveys and mapping overlays, composite maps are created to help indicate where a community’s residents would prefer to see various land uses develop in the future.

For more information on these programs contact:

Kevin Struck – Growth Management Educator
Extension Sheboygan County
5 University Drive
Sheboygan, WI 53081
Phone: 920-459-5902
Fax: 920-459-5901
Email: mailto:Kevin.struck@wisc.edu