Home PageComprehensive Land Use Plan

November 21, 2009 Goals, Objectives, Policies & Implementation



Town of Maine


Comprehensive Plan

Goals, Objectives, Policies & Implementation





Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Natural Resources
3. Land Use
4. Transportation
5. Utilities
6. Housing
7. Cultural Resources
8. Community Facilities
9. Parks
10. Economic Development
11. Intergovernmental Cooperation
12. Implementation

Appendices

A. State Comprehensive Planning Goals
B. Marathon County Guiding Principles
C. Ordinance of Adoption
D. Public Participation Plan
E. Bibliography of Related Studies and Plans
F. Road Paving Guidelines
G. Economic Development Programs





List of Tables

Table 3-1: Future Land Use
Table 3-2: Acreage Projections, 2000-2030
Table 4-1: Summary of Pavement Conditions
Table 12-1: Criteria for Reviewing Plan Changes
Table 12-2: Action Table


List of Figures

Figure 3-1: Future Land Use
Figure 3-2: Development Constraints
Figure 4-1: Functional Classification
Figure 4-2: Planned Regional Road Improvements
Figure 4-3: WISLR Ratings
FIgure 4-4: WISLR Road Surface Type
Figure 5-1: Wausau Metro Urban Service Area



List of Acronyms

303 (d) list—waters designated as “impaired” under section 303 (d) of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

AADT—Annual Average Daily Traffic

AHI—Architecture & History Inventory (a database of the Wisconsin Historical Society).

BMPs—Best Management Practices

CCR&R—Child Care Resource and Referral Network

CDBG—Community Development Block Grant

CES—Cropland Evaluation System (Marathon County)

CIP—Capital Improvement Program

Comm 83—Chapter 83 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code under the Department of Commerce, setting standards for regulation of private sewage systems.

CRP—Conservation Reserve Program

CTH—County Trunk Highway

CWA—Central Wisconsin Airport

DWD—Department of Workforce Development

EMS—Emergency Medical Services

EMT—Emergency Medical Technician

ERW—Exceptional Resource Waters, a designation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

FEMA—Federal Emergency Management Agency

FIRM—Flood Insurance Rate Maps

HOME—Home Investment Partnerships Program

HUD—U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

LHOG—Local Housing Organization Grant

LRTP—Long Range Transportation Plan (Prepared by the Wausau Metro Planning Organization for the Metro area).

LWRMP—Land and Water Resource Management Plan (Marathon County)

MPO—Wausau Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

NCHC—North Central Health Care

NCWRPC—North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

NRHP—National Register of Historic Places

NTC—Northcentral Technical College

ORW—Outstanding Resource Waters, a designation under the U.S. Clean Water Act.

PASER—Pavement Surface Evaluation Rating

PMP—Pavement Management Plan

SHPO—State Historic Preservation Office

STF Data—Summary Tape File, referring to data files of the 2000 U.S. Census.

STH—State Trunk Highway

TDP—Transit Development Plan (Wausau Area Transit System)

TIP—Transportation Improvement Program (Marathon County)

USDA—United States Department of Agriculture

USH—U.S. Highway

UW-MC—University of Wisconsin—Marathon County

WATS—Wausau Area Transit System

WDA—Wisconsin Department of Agriculture

WDNR—Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

WDOA—Wisconsin Department of Administration

WDOT—Wisconsin Department of Transportation

WHEDA—Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

WISLR—Wisconsin Information System for Local Roads

WPD—Wetland Protection District

WPS—Wisconsin Public Service Corporation



1. Introduction

This document represents the core of the Town of Maine Comprehensive Plan. It outlines the community’s goals and objectives to address the issues and opportunities identified in the Conditions and Issues Report and guide future growth. Goals and objectives have been developed relative to each of the required nine plan elements. For each of the goals and objectives, specific policies, strategies and/or actions are recommended to enable the community to achieve them. The Implementation Element at the end of this document compiles and prioritizes all the recommended action steps and identifies who is responsible for implementation.

Coordinating planning efforts with other jurisdictions was integral to the local comprehensive planning process. This can be accomplished through the use of intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making under Section 66.1001(2)(g). By working in sub-area groups, participating in county-wide planning workshops, and directly communicating with neighboring communities, all participating local municipalities have taken steps to foster intergovernmental cooperation and land use coordination. To achieve a level of broad consistency, all participating municipalities worked together to identify common likes, dislikes and concerns impacting their respective sub-areas. These were distilled into ten countywide guiding principles that describe a broad, shared vision of the future of Marathon County.

Local plans must also address the State’s fourteen planning goals outlined in Wisconsin Statutes 66.1001, to the extent applicable. The sub-area concerns are summarized below and the State planning goals and countywide guiding principles are summarized in Appendix A and B, respectively.


Sub-Area Concerns

Follow is a list of concerns shared by the municipalities in the Highway 51 planning sub-area. These were developed through a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) exercise to identify aspects of the sub-area that participants liked, disliked, or had concerns about.

Land Use and Development:

Development regulation
• Maintain local control of development regulations
• Private property rights important
• Managed development preferred

Urban fringe development
• Annexation – lack of control over where, when and what might develop
• Cooperative boundary agreements and shared service agreements - option to manage growth at urban edge
• Planned development preferred
• Land use conflicts are a concern

Identity and appearance
• Lack of design/aesthetics controls
• Cluttered appearance on major road corridors (signs, power lines, no landscaping, etc.)
• Housing maintenance problems in some areas
• Land use conflicts – i.e., old industrial adjacent to residential



Infrastructure:

Traffic management
• Driveway access control needed (e.g., frontage roads)
• Street parking can be a problem in some areas
• One way streets (primarily Wausau)
• Limited river crossings
• Interchange locations – desire for new interchanges

Water supply
• Depletion or degradation due to high volume users (e.g., new high school, industry)
• Limited access in certain areas (bedrock, etc.)

Sewer and septic systems
• Interest in alternatives to centralized wastewater treatment
• “Comm83" opens more areas for septic systems
• High bedrock, steep slopes, and poor soils influence and/or limit sewer extensions and septic systems
• Provide water and/or septic to Town of Maine landowners under a shared service agreement pursuant Section 66.1001(2)(g).

Community services
• Shared services generally good – fragmentation an issue in some areas
• Maintain and improve services w/o increasing taxes
• Cost to provide increased level of services
• Transit services (lack of and/or desire for) in fringe communities


Fiscal/Economic:

Tax base
• Redevelopment of under-utilized lands, particularly along Wisconsin River recognized as priority
• Maintain and foster diverse mix of land uses
• Competition for development between communities not always productive
• Loss of taxable land due to public purchase

Goals, Objectives, Policies, Strategies & Actions

This document describes a variety of goals, objective, policies, strategies and actions the Town has identified to help the respond to the issues and opportunities identified in the Conditions and Issues report. Definitions are provided below to clarify the purpose and intent of each of these.

Definitions:

• Goal: A goal is a statement that describes a desired future condition. The statement is broad in scope and describes general concepts or things the community hopes to accomplish.

• Objective: An objective is a statement that describes a specific course of action to achieve a goal or address an issue.

• Policy: A policy is a general course of action or rule of conduct to be followed to achieve community goals and objectives.

• Strategies: As the name implies, strategies are strategic approaches that may involve a series of individual actions to achieve a specific goal or objective.

• Actions: An action describes a specific effort that will be undertaken to achieve a specific goal or objective.



2. Natural Resources Element

The Town of Maine contains a variety of natural resources. Most wetlands and woodlands are associated with the Wisconsin River and other streams running through the Town. One of the Town’s most significant resources is an abundance of prime farm soils, which are concentrated in western half of the Town. Protection and enhancement of natural resources is a continuing priority of the Town. Because the Town has little regulatory authority over natural resources, it will continue to work with Marathon County, the WDNR, and other State and Federal agencies to protect and enhance natural resources, including prime farm soils and threatened and endangered species within the Town.

Goal 1: Protect and enhance the sensitive natural resource areas in Maine.

Objectives:

• To work with other governmental agencies and professional experts to identify sensitive natural resources, particularly woodlands and waterways.

• To minimize intensive development in areas that could affect water quality and habitat of rivers and wetlands, steep slopes and woodlands in Maine.

• To continue working with the WDNR and Marathon County to ensure appropriate preservation of wetlands and shorelines.

• To consider additional restrictions on development in the Billy Goat Hills to ensure preservation of this unique natural area.

• To identify and encourage preservation of environmental corridors (i.e., woodlands, wetlands, and open spaces).

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to ensure development is done in a manner that does not negatively impact its environmental resources or natural character.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Develop an inventory of sensitive natural resources located in the Town of Maine.

2. Consider establishing a zoning overlay to address specific development restrictions in the Billy Goat Hills and other areas with sensitive natural resources.

3. Encourage the preservation of open space and wildlife corridors in new developments through the use of incentives and flexible regulations, such as cluster development and conservation easements.

Goal 2: Build awareness of natural resources.

• Objective: To educate residents about existing natural resources in Maine and ways to preserve them.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to build awareness of its natural resources and means to enhance and protect them.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Establish a routine method of distributing information to property owners in the Town regarding natural resources. This might include periodic newsletters, inserts in mailings to property owners, or creating a permanent display of information at the Town Hall. Information topics might include:

• Restrictions on activities that might impact natural resources imposed by the Town, County, and/or State.
• Reducing use of fertilizers.
• Natural landscaping techniques.
• Natural storm water management techniques.

Goal 3: Protect water quality and guard against contamination of potable water resources.

• Objective: To encourage residents to conduct regular well testing to ensure safe water supplies.

• Objective: To the extent possible, limit uncontrolled runoff, over use of fertilizers, and other waterway contaminants from impacting surface water.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to enhance the quality of its water resources.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Amend the zoning and land division ordinance as necessary to incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to ensure new development provides for adequate surface water management and erosion control. Large-scale development proposals should also be required to provide engineered drainage studies.

2. Report instances of possible groundwater contamination to the WDNR.

Goal 4: Protect and preserve prime farmland for agricultural production.

• Objective: To encourage use of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce soil erosion, decrease sedimentation into surface waters, and increase proper nutrient crediting to protect soil quality.

• Objective: To work with other governmental agencies and professional experts to identify prime agricultural lands.

• Objective: To adopt appropriate controls for protection of prime agricultural land.

• Objective: To participate in regional programs through agencies such as Marathon County and the UW-Extension to promote the preservation of prime agricultural land and assist farmers in maintaining economically viable farms.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to support active farming and discourage fragmentation of farmland or other actions that would negatively impact the Town’s agricultural base.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Work with UW-Extension, Marathon County, and the NRCS to implement and monitor farmland conservation practices.

2. Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.

3. Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).

4. Explore potential to establish a Transfer of Development Rights program to minimize development pressures on areas with active farming.

Goal 5: Protect and enhance the woodlands in Maine.

• Objective: To encourage use of the Managed Forest Law to prevent fragmentation of large sections of woodland and to encourage good forest practices.

• Objective: To encourage forest land owners to participate in the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association for information on good stewardship of forest resources.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine recognizes the importance of its woodland resources on the Town’s environmental and aesthetic quality and places a high value on preservation of these resources.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and formally designate (include on zoning map) areas to include in the Woodlands Conservation overlay zoning district. Development in these areas should be done in accordance with the development standards described in Section 17.11-15 of the Town Zoning Ordinance.

2. Continue to serve as the liaison between private property owners in the Town and the County, WDNR, and others regarding the Managed Forest Law (MFL) and other programs aimed at protection and preservation of woodlands.


3. Land Use Element

The Town shares borders with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw. Growth in these communities can directly affect the Town and annexation is a continual threat to the implementation of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Most of the more developed portions of the Town of Maine are located along and east of CTH K, near the borders with Wausau and Brokaw. Much of the western and northern portions of Maine have remained largely agricultural and rural in character. The Town’s future land use map reflects a continuation of this pattern; guiding most new development to areas in the eastern and southern parts of Town, with concentrations of higher intensity uses along major county roads; particularly CTH K and WW.

Goal 1: Proactively plan for transition from agricultural to rural residential land development.

• Objective: To identify areas where different types of residential development, such as large lots or subdivisions, should occur, to maintain Maine’s concept of rural character.

• Objective: To manage the location and density of residential development in order to minimize development-related costs for the Town (public safety services, paved roads, etc.).






Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to ensure that new development occurs in an orderly manner with minimal impacts on active agricultural operations.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and designate a Rural Development Zone as described in the Town’s 1995 Land Use Plan.

2. Zone properties in the Rural Development Zone to encourage development and densities consistent with the intended character of these zones.

Goal 2: Provide tools for managing growth.

• Objective: To base land use decisions on Maine’s adopted plan for future development.

• Objective: To update the zoning and subdivision regulations on a regular basis to ensure they support the community vision expressed by the future land use map.

• Objective: To utilize, and update as needed, conservation subdivision standards that will permit development while preserving open space and/or rural character.

• Objective: To consider establishing stronger development regulations for commercial and industrial development to improve the appearance and discourage strip type development.

• Objective: Direct more intensive future growth to areas that are contiguous to existing developed areas and have sufficient road access.

• Objective: To identify areas where existing land uses are incompatible with surrounding uses and take steps to minimize incompatibilities.

• Objective: Balance individual property rights with the desires of the community as a whole.

• Objective: To utilize intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making under Section 66.1001(2)(g) to effectively implement a Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to ensure orderly and efficient growth.

2. The Town of Maine discourages “strip” type development.

3. The Town of Maine will adopt, consistently enforce, and update its various codes and ordinances needed to achieve the plan goals.

Strategies/Actions:

1. To discourage lining of roads with individual driveways, consider requiring minor subdivisions to be designed as small clusters served by shared driveways or streets.

2. Identify and designate an Urban Growth Zone as described in the Town’s 1995 Land Use Plan.

3. Zone properties in the Urban Growth Zone to encourage development and densities consistent with the intended character of this zone.

4. Explore providing incentives, such as density bonuses, to encourage cluster subdivisions.

5. Adopt buffer requirements for all non-residential development. This will involve developing standards for buffer yards/setbacks, screening, and landscaping.

6. Amend the Town’s land division ordinance to require Town approval of all land divisions, regardless of size.

7. To seek intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making under Section 66.1001(2)(g) to preserve and implement the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Goal 3: Discourage non-farm development in active farming areas.

• Objective: To discourage non-farm development in active farming areas in order to minimize use conflicts and guard against fragmentation of large blocks of remaining farmland.

• Objective: To encourage preservation of larger tracts of farmland that can accommodate modern agricultural equipment.


Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to minimize non-farm development impacts on active farm areas.

2. The Town of Maine encourages preservation of prime farmland.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.

2. Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).

Goal 4: Ensure that annexations proceed in an orderly manner.

• Objective: To continue to strengthen lines of communication and work cooperatively with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw to coordinate future growth and development along common borders.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine strongly supports coordination of development along common boundaries.

2. The Town of Maine will continue to work cooperatively with its incorporated neighbors regarding annexation.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Work with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw to explore opportunities to establish cooperative boundary agreements to manage growth along common boundaries.

2. Work cooperatively with the City of Wausau and/or the Village of Brokaw to prepare a coordinated zoning plan if Extraterritorial Zoning authority is initiated.


Future Land Use – The Town of Maine Future Land Use map, shown in Figure 3-1 illustrates the anticipated future pattern of land uses. The map includes fourteen land use categories to guide where new residential and non-residential development should be encouraged to locate or where development should be discouraged. Descriptions of each land use category and the number of acres within each category are provided in Table 3-1. Figure 3-2 shows areas with development constraints due to environmental conditions such as wetlands and floodplains, or policy constraints such as restrictive zoning or other programs (i.e., Exclusive Agriculture, Forest Crop Law). Areas where existing development precludes additional development are also shown.

As shown by the acreage breakdown on Table 3-1, almost 32 percent of the land area in the Town is designated for Single-family Residential land uses. Agricultural land uses (Cropland and Other Agriculture) account for over 25 percent of the land area and Woodlands occupy over 24 percent. Only a relatively small amount of land is designated for commercial or industrial uses, which together total less than 6 percent. Commercial and Industrial land uses are concentrated in the east part of the Town along major roadways.


Table 3-1: Future Land Use
Land Cover Category Description Acres % of Total Land Area

Single Family Residential One family structures, farm residences, mobile homes 8,579 31.73
Multi-Family Residential Multiple family structures with three or more households, condos, duplexes, apartments 257 0.95
Commercial Services Retail stores, taverns, restaurants, truck stops, gas stations, farm coops, farm implement dealerships, automobile dealerships, business offices, motels/hotels, offices, telephone/gas company 1,457 5.38
Industrial Saw/paper/lumber mills, dairies, industrial parks, trucking operations, distribution centers 106 0.39
Quarries/
Gravel Pits Mining operations 792 2.93
Cropland Tilled agriculture, prime farmland 5,444 20.14
Other Agriculture Fallow, pasture and undetermined agriculture. 1,423 5.26
Public/
Quasi-Public Schools, churches, cemeteries, libraries, government buildings, National Guard, utility facilities (e.g., power lines and towers, water towers, municipal wells). 143 0.53
Woodlands Privately-owned forested land, including nurseries, paper mill forests, etc. 6,664 24.65
Water and Wetlands Open waters, such as lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, creeks, reservoirs, etc. 503 1.86
Transportation Airports, highways, road right-of-ways, railroads, logging roads 1,219 4.51
Barren Land Unused open land in wooded areas, along streams, along roadsides 450 1.66
Total Land Area 27,037
100%
Source: Future Land Use map, 2005


Land Needs – Projections of future population and employment growth in Maine are provided in the Conditions and Issues report and are based on projections compiled by the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Marathon County, and the Wisconsin Department of Administration. These were used to estimate the amount of land needed to accommodate future residential and non-residential development over the next 25 years. Acreage projections were based on assumptions about density of houses per acre and employees per acre.

It is estimated over the next 25 years, 299 acres will be needed to accommodate future residential development and 34 acres are needed for future non-residential (commercial and industrial) development. Data provided in the Conditions and Issues report estimate that there are currently about 21,900 acres of land that could be developed within the existing Town borders. However some of this acreage could have environmental or other constraints that limit development potential.

Table 3-2 indicates estimated acreage in land use categories with land considered “developable”. For purposes of this acreage breakdown, the 2000 acreage was taken from the Existing Land Use Map (Figure 4-1) in the Conditions and Issues report. “Residential” includes land designated for Single Family and Multiple Family Residential land uses; “Commercial” includes land designated for Commercial land uses; “Industrial” includes land designated for Industrial and Quarry land uses; and “Agricultural” includes land designated a Cropland, Specialty Crops, Other Agriculture, Barren, or Woodlands. The increase in acreage is assumed to occur evenly, with Residential acreage increasing by 50 acres every 5 years, Commercial acreage increasing by 4 acres every 5 years, and Industrial acreage increasing by about 3 acres every 5 years. It is also assumed that Agricultural acreage will decrease proportionate to the increase in Residential, Commercial, and Industrial acreage, as land is developed and converted from Agricultural land uses. Thus, the amount of land in Agricultural land use will decrease by 57 acres every 5 years.

Table 3-2: Acreage Projections, 2000-2030
Estimated Total Acreage
2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030
Agricultural 21,018 20,961 20,904 20,847 20,790 20,733 20,676
Residential 1,168 1,218 1,268 1,318 1,368 1,418 1,468
Commercial 78 82 86 90 94 98 102
Industrial 572 575 578 581 584 587 590
Source: Acreage based on estimates compiled by NCWRPC, 2003, Marathon County, and WDOA.

Comparing the estimated acreage needed shown in Table 3-2 and the acreage allotted on the Figure 3-1, Future Land Use Map, it appears sufficient acreage to meet estimated demand for new residential, commercial, and industrial development has been provided in the appropriate land use categories.

Consistency between Land Use and Zoning – Land use and zoning designations are related, but not necessarily identical. Land use categories tend to be fairly general whereas zoning districts regulate specific land uses and development requirements. Because the land use categories are general it is common for more than one zoning district to correspond to each land use category. It is also possible that some zoning districts might be consistent with more than one land use designation.

Achieving consistency between land use and zoning is required by State Statutes. This generally occurs when a community is considering a proposed zoning change. The decision to approve a zoning change must be based on the adopted comprehensive plan, and specifically, the future land use map. Generally, if the requested zoning is consistent with the land use designation on the property it should be approved, unless unique circumstances indicate the rezoning would negatively impact surrounding properties or the community. If a rezoning request is not consistent with the land use designation, the community should consider denying the rezoning request.

In situations where a rezoning request is not consistent with the land use designation - but the community believes the requested zoning is appropriate in the specific location and would benefit the community - the zoning change can be approved, however, the land use map should be amended accordingly to establish land use and zoning consistency. The process for amending the land use map is discussed in greater detail in the Implementation Element.


4. Transportation Element

County and State highways provide good access to and through the Town of Maine. These are supplemented by a network of local roads. A possible “northern crossing” over the Wisconsin River could bring additional growth and development pressures to portions of the eastern side of the Town in the future. Figure 4-1 illustrates the roadway system in the Town.

Goal 1: Improve traffic safety within the Town.

• Objective: To work with Marathon County to investigate safety issues such as road geometry, speed limits, driveway access and other factors along county roads (e.g., CTH WW and CTH K).

• Objective: To continue to work with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department to enforce speed limits in the Town.

• Objective: To review, and improve as needed, driveway access requirements on Town roads to ensure safety, emergency vehicle access, and efficient traffic management.

• Objective: To look for opportunities to minimize rural/urban road usage conflicts.

• Objective: To develop a “toolbox” of traffic-calming methods or devices that could be implemented to better manage traffic flow and speed limits in the Town.

• Objective: To increase driver awareness of farm vehicle traffic.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine places a high priority on maintaining safe roadways.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Conduct a study to determine the extent of speeding on Town roads and identify “problem” areas.

2. Work with Marathon County to identify road corridors where speeding is a problem and determine if traffic calming measures can be installed.

3. Work with Marathon County Sheriff’s Department to enforce speed limits within the Town.

4. Work with Marathon County to identify unsafe intersections and plan for design improvements.

5. To avoid incompatible land uses resulting from annexation, this may involve the use of intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making for shared public services, as provided under Section 66.1001(2)(g).





Goal 2: Maintain and improve Town roads in a timely and well-planned manner.

• Objective: To establish a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to prioritized and allocate funding for road maintenance and improvements.

• Objective: To continue to conduct an annual road analysis, using PASER to rate local road conditions and prioritize maintenance scheduling.

• Objective: To explore road design alternatives for roads that receive higher traffic volumes and use by heavy vehicles and farm machinery.

• Objective: To continue to seek adequate and consistent sources of revenue to fund needed road improvements.

• Objective: To continue to work with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department to enforce weight limits on Town roads.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to ensure that roads in the Town are well maintained and designed to accommodate current and anticipated traffic volumes.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify Town roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic and prioritize maintenance needs.

2. Develop design standards for roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic. These might include: thicker pavement or deeper road base; wider pavement and/or paved shoulders; installation of signage indicating frequent use by heavy/large equipment/vehicles.

3. Report instances of potential weight limit violations to the County in a timely manner. Serve as the “eyes on the street”.

4. Develop a Capital Improvement Plan to annually identify, prioritize, schedule, and budget for improvements and routine maintenance of Town roads.

5. Consider establishing a road maintenance fund.

6. Develop and adopt guidelines that require developers to finance some of the infrastructure improvements necessary for new development.

Goal 3: Ensure that new development will not have negative impacts on traffic efficiency and movement within the Town.

• Objective: To continue to use, and update as needed, existing subdivision ordinances to guide road planning and access to Town roads in new development.

• Objective: To explore opportunities to work cooperatively with the Village of Brokaw and the City of Wausau to address traffic impacts from development within or proposed by the City of Wausau or the Village of Brokaw that impacts Town roads, traffic efficiency, and safety of Town residents and families.

• Objective: To require roads in new subdivisions to be designed to accommodate future expansion where appropriate.

• Objective: To work with Marathon County to ensure that county roads can accommodate increased traffic resulting from commuters traveling through Maine.


Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to minimize the impacts of new development on existing development and infrastructure.

Strategies/Actions:

1. To discourage lining of Town roads with individual driveways, consider requiring minor subdivisions to be designed as small clusters served by shared driveways or streets.

2. Routinely review, and revise as necessary, road design and access standards in the Town’s subdivision ordinance.

3. Require that roads in new subdivisions be designed to allow extensions and connections to roads in future developments on adjacent properties where possible.

4. Require developers to submit traffic studies for large developments.

5. Coordinate review of major developments/subdivisions with Marathon County to ensure local and county traffic concerns are adequately addressed.

6. Coordinate review of major developments/subdivisions with the surrounding communities to discuss potential traffic impacts on Town roads and opportunities to mitigate traffic problems.

7. To review any proposed petitions for annexation under Section 66.1001(2)(g) regarding its impact on Town roads and the safety of Town residents and families from any proposed road use activity.


Road Improvements

Planned improvements to the Wausau metropolitan area road system are identified in the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Wausau Metropolitan Area (LRTP). An update to this plan is currently underway and should be completed in spring 2006. Figure 4-2 illustrates planned roadway improvements in the Wausau area.

The WDOT requires all incorporated communities to prepare a Pavement Management Plan (PMP) using a pavement rating system for their local roads. The Pavement Surface Evaluation Rating (PASER) system is the system used most by Wisconsin communities. PASER rates road surfaces on a scale of 1 to 10. This scale is broken down as follows:

• “1” and “2” = very poor condition
• “3” = poor condition
• “4” and “5” = fair condition
• “6” and “7” = good condition
• “8” = very good condition
• “9” and “10” = excellent condition

In addition to its use in the new Wisconsin Information System for Local Roads (WISLR), the rating system gives communities a detailed assessment of the appropriate maintenance method for each road segment under their jurisdiction. This assessment is then incorporated into the community’s PMP.

Figures 4-3 and 4-4 and Table 4-1 below illustrate the WISLR road assessment done in 2004 by surface type and condition rating. As shown, the majority of roads in the Town are paved with either asphalt or concrete. Roads exhibiting a surface condition rating at or below “Fair” should be examined to determine what type of reconstruction or strengthening is necessary. Roads that display a surface rating of “Good” or better will only require minimal preventative maintenance to maintain safe travel conditions. Those roads without data should be examined to ensure safe travel conditions exist along these routes.

Table 4-1: Summary of Pavement Conditions (miles)
Surface Type Code
Unimproved Road Graded Earth Road Gravel Road Wearing Surface Cold Mix Asphalt on Concrete Cold Mix Resurfacing with < 7" Base Cold Mix Resurfacing with > 7" Base
17.29 2.38 0.49

Cold Mix Asphalt Base < 7" Cold Mix Asphalt Base > 7" Hot Mix Asphalt on Concrete Hot Mix Resurfacing Hot Mix Asphalt Pavement Concrete Pavement Brick or Block Pavement
16.39 24.61 2.35 27.01 0.82

Surface Condition Rating
No Data Failed Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
1.36 11.68 18.39 26.3 13.89 19.72
Source: WDOT (WISLR), 8/10/04

As shown above, about 60 percent of the roads in Maine are rated in “Good” or better condition and will require only preventative maintenance. However, roughly 31 miles of roadways will require some sort of reconstruction in the foreseeable future.
Paving Gravel Roads – Most roads in Maine are paved, however about 17 miles remain gravel. When deciding to pave gravel roads, several factors should be taken into consideration. Appendix F outlines some general guidelines to help the Town decide if or when to pave gravel roads.

Traffic Calming - In areas where traffic levels have the potential to create safety concerns, consideration should be given to installing traffic calming measures. The purpose of traffic calming is to slow traffic to increase safety for non-motorized street users, particularly for the most vulnerable (i.e., children, seniors, and the disabled) and increase neighborhood livability.

Narrowing streets can serve a valuable traffic calming function. However, this is usually done in conjunction with street reconstruction. In existing neighborhoods where it will be some time before streets are reconstructed, other traffic calming strategies may be useful. Particularly where a special need is identified, such as near schools, parks and other high pedestrian use area.

Stop signs are often used in neighborhoods as a traffic calming strategy. While stop signs are easy to install and remove and are relatively inexpensive, some communities have found that placing stop signs where they are not warranted by traffic demand, results in an increased disregard for all stop signs. Traffic control devices, such as stop signs and speed limit signs, differ from traffic calming measures in that they are regulatory and require active enforcement. Traffic calming measures are intended to be self-enforcing.

Traffic calming strategies vary dramatically in type, design, and function. Generally, strategies should focus on slowing traffic to appropriate speeds and not divert traffic from one street to another. Traffic calming devices are not appropriate in all situations and must be selected in light of local conditions and circumstances. In general, traffic calming devices that alter street width, or the perception of street width, are more comfortable to drivers than strategies that alter the physical road environment, such as speed humps. Whether to install traffic calming devices, and which to use should be thoroughly discussed with affected residents, businesses and property owners prior to installation to ensure that the device serves the appropriate function and is accepted by the neighborhood and affected road users.

5. Utilities Element

Portions of the southern part of Maine are located in the Wausau Urban Service Area, which defines existing and proposed areas where public utilities may be provided (see Figure 5-1). An update to the Wausau Urban Area Sewer Service Plan is currently in progress and is expected to be completed in early 2006.

The Town does not currently provide public utilities. Given shared borders with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw, the potential for shared public services under Section 66.1001(2)(g) is present.

The Town does not provide storm water management facilities and site specific grading is addressed in conjunction with building permit requests. Water quality and soil erosion are managed at the county level through implementation of the Marathon County Land and Water Resources Management Plan, which was updated in 2005.

Goal 1: Ensure a sufficient supply of potable water.

• Objective: To identify and discourage concentrated development in areas with limited water availability.

• Objective: To discourage developments using high amounts of water in areas with limited water availability.

• Objective: To proactively identify and plan for areas that may have public water systems in the future.

• Objective: To work with surrounding municipalities to explore opportunities for orderly extensions of water and sewer services as a shared public service to intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and decision-making pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g).

• Objective: To continue to work cooperatively with the Village of Brokaw to coordinate development in areas under the Village’s Wellhead Protection Plan.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to protect its drinking water supply.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and map areas in the Town where high bedrock and clay soils may restrict development (pose constraints on installation of wells and conventional septic systems). Consider zoning these areas for low intensity uses.

2. Identify and map areas where public water systems may be provided in the future.

3. Report instances of possible groundwater contamination to the WDNR.

4. Meet with the Village of Brokaw and City of Wausau to discuss the use of shared public services under the intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making provided under Section 66.1001(2)(g).



Goal 2: Plan for efficient and environmentally sensitive sanitary waste disposal.

• Objective: To continue to work with Marathon County to ensure that on-site waste disposal systems will not have negative effects on wetlands, rivers or streams in Maine.

• Objective: To work with Marathon County and the WDNR to encourage use of common sanitary waste disposal systems in cluster subdivisions.

• Objective: To explore the feasibility of creating a sanitary sewer district in the area around the intersection of CTH K and CTH WW, where demand for development is growing.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to minimize environmental impacts related to on-site sanitary waste disposal.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Coordinate with Marathon County to assist residents that have failing septic systems.

2. Revise cluster subdivision requirements, if needed, to require use of common sanitary waste disposal systems.

3. Meet with Marathon County, WDNR, the Village of Brokaw, and the City of Wausau to discuss the potential to create a sanitary sewer district to provide shared public services under the intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making as provided under Section 66.1001(2)(g).


6. Housing Element

The majority of housing in the Town consists of single-family, owner-occupied dwellings, including farmsteads. The housing stock is generally in good condition overall and most is less than 30 years old.

Goal 1: Minimize scattered residential development and preserve the rural character of Maine.

• Objective: To consider appropriate lot sizes for new rural residential development in areas of active farming to minimize fragmentation of farmland and reduce the potential for farm/non-farm conflicts.

• Objective: To utilize, and update as needed, conservation subdivision ordinances that will permit development while preserving open space and/or rural character.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to ensure that new residential development is well planned and does not detract from the rural character of the community.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Direct new residential subdivisions to areas contiguous with existing developed areas by zoning such areas to allow cluster and other residential subdivisions.

2. Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.

3. Revise cluster development requirements, if necessary, to provide incentives such as density bonuses to encourage cluster subdivisions.

4. Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).

Goal 2: Improve awareness and access to housing options.

• Objective: To ensure quality housing at various levels of affordability in Maine.

• Objective: To work with Marathon County to provide information to residents regarding housing agencies and programs that serve special housing needs (seniors, low-income, etc.).

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to provide access to information regarding housing options and programs to Town residents.


Goal 3: Maintain and seek to improve property values in Maine.

• Objective: To educate property owners about the importance of property maintenance.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to protect and maintain private property values.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Prepare and distribute information on property maintenance codes to Town residents.


7. Cultural Resources Element

The Town of Maine does not have any properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places and does not have a local historic preservation commission. Efforts to preserve and enhance its historic resources and cultural history will continue to be made through cooperation with the County Historical Society.

Goal 1: Identify, recognize, and preserve historically significant buildings and sites.

• Objective: To work with the County Historical Society to identify historic resources so they may be considered in future planning.

• Objective: To ensure that any known cemeteries, human burials or archaeological sites are protected from encroachment by roads or any development activities.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine supports the preservation of historically significant buildings and sites.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and map potential historic buildings, cemeteries/burials, and archaeological sites in the Town.

8. Community Facilities Element

The Town provides a variety of community services and facilities some in cooperation with the County or adjacent municipalities. Providing high-quality and cost-effective community services is a continuing goal of the Town. The Town will continue to work with Marathon County, the Wausau school district, and other service providers to address needed service or facility expansion or improvements as needs arise.

Goal 1: Support and maintain existing community facilities.

• Objective: To maintain the Town Hall as a seat of local government and community meeting hall.

• Objective: To maintain and expand Town facilities as appropriate to accommodate existing and additional service needs.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine recognizes the importance of the Town Hall as a community gathering place and as the center of Town government.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify necessary repairs and allocate funds to maintain and/or improve the Town Hall on a regular basis.


Goal 2: Maintain current provision of community services.

• Objective: To analyze future developments for their impact on the community’s tax base in relation to the services that they would require.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine supports the continued provision of cost-effective community services.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Continue to perform annual budget allocations to fund public services.

2. Consider the fiscal impact of new development as part of the development review process.

Goal 3: Provide cost-effective public safety services.

• Objective: To continue to support the volunteer fire department and maintain and improve fire equipment.

• Objective: Continue to work with the Marathon County Sheriffs Department to continue to provide effective police service.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to provide a well-trained, well-equipped, and well-staffed volunteer fire department.


Goal 4: Ensure adequate and cost-effective emergency response.

• Objective: To regularly evaluate the level of fire and emergency response services provided in Maine.

• Objective: To expand or contract for additional services as, and when needed.

• To continue to explore opportunities to provide cost-effective ambulance service.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to provide a high level of emergency services in a cost-effective manner.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Regularly record, review, and audit emergency response times.

2. To investigate alternatives means to collect payments for First Responder services.

3. Work with First Responders and local insurance agencies to explore opportunities to improve coordination and communication in response to service to freeway motorists.

9. Parks and Recreation Element

The Town does not have any public parks, however is interested in exploring opportunities to provide parks in conjunction with subdivision development. The Town does have a significant amount of wooded and open space land, particularly along the Wisconsin River.

Goal 1: Support the Marathon County park and forest system that serves Maine residents.

• Objective: To encourage adequate funding for maintenance and improvements of Marathon County parks and forests.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine recognizes and supports the Marathon County park system as an important asset to the community.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Continue to encourage adequate funding for the Marathon County Parks and Forestry Department.

Goal 2: Support the development of parks and trails to meet recreational needs of existing and new Maine residents.

• Objective: To consider the need for future parks in new development through enforcement of existing park dedication requirements.

• Objective: To continue to support and provide for maintenance of Lion’s Park.

• Objective: To work with appropriate agencies, such as the WDNR, WDOT, Marathon County, and others, to implement identified trail routes in Maine (i.e., N. 60th Avenue).

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to provide park and trail facilities to meet the needs of current and future Town residents.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Periodically review and update requirements for dedication of land or cash for parks, recreation, and open space purposes in conjunction all new subdivision requests.

2. Work with Marathon County to identify and map potential trail routes in the Town. Use this map during development review to identify where trails should be installed in conjunction with new development or road construction.

3. Consider conducting a survey to evaluate the need for additional parks or recreation facilities in the Town.

10. Economic Development Element

While there are several commercial and industrial businesses in Maine, farming remains an important part of the Town’s economy and livelihood of many Town residents. Maintaining the viability of active farming and responding to the decline in the ginseng industry is a continuing priority for the Town. The Town’s close proximity to the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw also makes it a desirable location for people who work in the urban areas but want to live in a more rural setting.

Goal 1: Maintain an adequate tax base to provide vital Town services.

• Objective: To ensure high quality and efficient community services and responsiveness to meet resident needs and goals as defined in this Comprehensive Land Use Plan and minimize incentives for annexation.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to encourage high-quality development that enhances the Town’s tax base.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Work with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw to obtain shared public service agreements under intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g) when presented with a petition for annexation.

2. Consider the fiscal impact of new development as part of the development review process.

Goal 2: Support the local agricultural economy to ensure that existing farms are able to remain in agriculture for as long as they choose.

• Objective: To discourage non-farm development in areas with large blocks of farmland and active farm operations.

• Objective: To support the creation of niche markets or other opportunities that will help farmers stay in business.

• Objective: To encourage the use of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to increase productivity of farmland.

• Objective: To support development that preserves rural character (i.e., horse riding stables).

• Objective: To ensure roads are designed and maintained to accommodate safe travel by farm and non-farm vehicles.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine recognizes the importance of farming to its livelihood and heritage and strives to protect prime farmland and active farm areas from encroachment by non-farm development.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and map areas with prime farmland and active farms. Zone these areas accordingly to restrict non-farm uses.

2. Consider requiring larger lot sizes or establishing a sliding-scale density provision to minimize non-farm uses in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.

3. Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).

4. Work with UW-Extension, Marathon County and NRCS to implement and monitor farmland conservation and best management practices.

5. Work with UW-Extension to provide information to Town farmers regarding tools, programs, and resources available to help farmers stay in business.

6. Identify Town roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic and prioritize maintenance needs.

Goal 3: Encourage limited commercial development in appropriate locations.

• Objective: To direct new commercial and/or industrial development to areas adjacent to or in close proximity to existing commercial and industrial development.

• Objective: To coordinate with Marathon County and WDOT to identify road improvements needed to accommodate commercial traffic.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will continue to support new commercial development in locations with adequate access and minimal negative impacts on surrounding land uses.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Identify and zone accordingly, areas where new commercial and industrial development should be directed. Areas identified for such development should have good access and property configurations conducive to commercial and industrial development.

2. Work with Marathon County and WDOT to review potential commercial and industrial development proposals to ensure adequate road access is available or to identify steps to make necessary improvements.

Goal 4: Support expansion and diversification of the Town’s economy.

• Objective: To support home occupations that do not create a nuisance for neighboring properties or negatively impact the rural character of the area.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will strive to maintain a diverse economic base.

Strategies/Actions:

1. Periodically review and update standards for home occupations.

2. Routinely review and revise the zoning map, if necessary, to ensure adequate land is provided in appropriate zoning districts to accommodate residential and non-residential growth.

New Business and Industry

The Town would like to preserve its rural character and retain its agricultural economic base to the extent practical and concentrate new commercial and industrial development along major roadways, particularly near the borders with the Village of Brokaw and City of Wausau. As such, most land designated on the future land use map for commercial and industrial land uses are concentrated in the east part of the Town along CTH K and WW.

The Town is interested in fostering custom or niche farming practices that complement operations on other farms as a means to maintain the viability of smaller farms. This might include production of specialty crops or specialized operations such as “nurseries” to raise young livestock before transferring to a dairy. It is anticipated that leasing farmland will become more prevalent as a way to allow retiring farmers to remain on their farms and continue to generate some income.

The Town also recognizes the growing interest in home-based businesses and would like to accommodate such uses, but ensure they do not become nuisances.

The Town has not identified any redevelopment sites nor are there known contaminated sites.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Close proximity to the City of Wausau, Village of Brokaw and past annexation has impeded the Town in the past to retain its rural residential and agricultural character. The Town seeks to retain its goals and objectives for a Comprehensive Land Use Plan through the use of intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making as provided under Section 66.1001(2)(g). As such, the Town of Maine seeks to find an intergovernmental shared service agreement to allow the Town to effectively plan and implement its Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

During the last century, Maine enjoyed the benefits of the thriving ginseng industry. However, in the last decade, there has been a decline of about 75 percent in ginseng farming. This has led to an increase in conversion of farmland to other uses; primarily residential development.

Economic Development Programs

Appendix G provides a listing of local, regional, state and federal programs relating to economic development.


11. Intergovernmental Cooperation Element

The Town of Maine wants to cooperate with neighboring municipalities, the County, and the State on a variety of matters ranging from delivery of services, including shared government services of water and sewer. The Town has recognized problems resulting from annexation that thwart and impede the implementation of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The Town seeks to avoid these past problems through the use of intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making upon a petition for annexation, including the use of shared government services.

Goal 1: Use of Intergovernmental cooperation under Section 66.1001(2)(g) upon a petition for annexation to ensure that the goals and objectives of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan are not thwarted or defeated.

• Objective: To maintain lines of cooperation and communication with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw pursuant Section 66.1001(2)(g).

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine proposes to work cooperatively with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw under Section 66.1001(2)(g) upon any attempted annexation.

Goal 2: Provide cost-efficient and effective services to residents.

• Objective: To prevent irregular borders, including string annexation that has resulted from annexation in the past.

• Objective: To regularly review and maintain road maintenance agreements with neighboring communities.

• Objective: To explore and utilize the potential to share government services with neighboring municipalities.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine will to strive to provide high-quality, cost-effective public services to its residents and landowners.

Strategies/Actions:

1. To avoid irregular boundaries, including string annexations that result in inefficient government services to Town residents.

2. To establish regular meetings with surrounding municipalities to review shared service agreements to avoid irregular borders.

3. Cooperate and coordinate with adjoining municipalities under Section 66.1001(2)(g).


Goal 3: Avoid incompatible land uses.

• Objective: To avoid incompatible land uses which have occurred, primarily from annexation with adjoining municipalities.

• Objective: To avoid incompatible land uses that result in unsafe residential neighborhoods from Town residents, families and children.

Policies:

1. The Town of Maine shall effectively review any petitions for annexation for incompatible or inconsistent land use resulting in safety issues for town residents, families, landowners, and visitors.

Strategies/Actions:

1. To utilize intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making upon the request of a petition for annexation to explore alternatives to the annexation that will provide shared public services and not affect the integrity and implementation of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.


12. Implementation Element

The primary reason a community prepares a comprehensive plan is to establish a framework to influence decisions regarding management of growth and regulation of development to maintain the desired community character, and to set priorities for public expenditures. To be effective, this plan should be actively used as a tool to guide decisions concerning:

• The implementation and enforcement of regulatory ordinances based on the goals and objectives identified in this plan.
• The development of programs and support systems that further the goals and objectives set forth in this plan.
• The implementation of specific community improvements as identified in the comprehensive plan.
• The establishment and support of a continued planning process providing for periodic review and updates to this plan and other land use control measures.

Implementation Tools

Having the appropriate tools to implement the recommendations in this comprehensive plan is critical. The most common implementation tools are the Town’s official controls or regulatory codes. In particular, the zoning ordinance and subdivision (or land division) regulations comprise the principal regulatory devices used to protect existing development and guide future growth and development as identified in this comprehensive plan. There are also non-regulatory approaches to implementing the comprehensive plan; these generally involve decisions about how the community will spend its limited funding resources on capital improvements and staffing.

The State planning law requires that by January 1, 2010 certain programs and/or actions that affect land use must be consistent with the locally adopted comprehensive plan. To meet this deadline, Town of Maine should update related ordinances on or before the year 2010. The Town Board officially adopts these regulatory and land use control measures as ordinances (or as revisions to the existing ordinances).

• Zoning Ordinance and Map: Zoning is used to manage and control how land is used and developed. Zoning ordinances typically establish detailed regulations concerning how land may be developed, including setbacks, the density or intensity of development, and the height and bulk of building and other structures. The general purpose of zoning is to minimize undesirable side effects resulting from development by segregating and/or buffering incompatible uses and by maintaining standards that ensure development will not negatively impact the community’s character or environment.

The establishment of zoning districts and the zoning map indicates where specific types of development can and should be located. Zoning districts shown on the zoning map should be coordinated with the land use plan and map. While the zoning map and land use map do not need to directly match at the time the land use map is adopted, the intent is that the land use map will serve as a guide indicating how the property should eventually be zoned. Therefore, indiscriminate zoning changes may result in weakening of the comprehensive plan. In fact, changes to zoning district boundaries should only be made if they are consistent with the adopted land use map.

However, there may be situations where changing the zoning district boundary makes sense and is in the best interest of the community. If changing the zoning would result in a conflict with the future land use map, the land use map should also be changed. However, the future land use map should only be changed if it does not accurately reflect the community’s desired land use pattern. Achieving consistency between zoning and land use designation is also discussed in the Land Use Element.

As discussed below, the comprehensive plan (and future land use map) should be periodically reviewed and updated to adjust for unforeseen changes or events that were not considered at the time the initial plan and land use map were developed.

The Town Board makes the final decisions regarding changes to the content of the zoning ordinance and the district map. These decisions are preceded by public hearings and recommendations of the plan commission.

• Subdivision (Land Division) Ordinance: Subdivision regulations serve as an important function by ensuring the orderly development of unplatted and/or undeveloped land. These regulations may set forth reasonable regulations for lot sizes, road access, street design, public utilities, storm water drainage, parks and open space, and other improvements necessary to ensure that new development will be an asset. The Board makes the final decisions on the content of the subdivision ordinance. These decisions are preceded by public hearings and recommendations of the Plan Commission.


Plan Adoption, Monitoring, and Amendments

While this comprehensive plan is intended to provide a long-term framework to guide development and public spending decisions, it must also respond to the continuous stream of changes that occur in the community and/or region that may not have been foreseen when the plan was initially adopted. It is appropriate that some elements of the plan are rarely amended while others are subject to updating on a more regular basis. Plan maps should also be updated periodically. In general, key maps, such as the future land use map, should be reviewed annually to make sure they are still current.

Plan Adoption: The first step in implementing this plan involves adoption of the plan by local officials. The formal review and adoption process involves plan review by the Plan Commission (or other planning committee) who must adopt the plan by resolution of majority vote. The Plan Commission recommendation is forwarded to the Town Board who must adopt the plan by ordinance (of majority vote). A public hearing is required to allow public comment on the ordinance prior to final action to adopt the plan. Adoption formalizes the plan document as the framework to guide local development decisions over the next 20 years. The adopted plan should also be recognized as a tool for communicating the community’s land use policy and goals and objectives regarding coordination of growth and development.


Plan Use, Monitoring and Evaluation: The adopted plan should be used as a tool by the Town of Maine when making land use and development decisions. Decisions concerning private development proposals, public investments, regulations, incentives, and other actions should be consistent with the goals, objectives, policies, and recommendations outlined in this plan.

Although this plan describes policies and actions for future implementation, it is impossible to predict the exact future condition of Maine. As such, the goals, objectives, and actions in this plan should be monitored on a regular basis to maintain concurrence with changing conditions and respond to unanticipated events.

This plan should be evaluated at least every 5 years, and updated at least every 10 years. Members of the Town Board, Plan Commission, and any other local decision-making bodies should periodically review the plan and identify areas that might need to be updated. The evaluation should involve first reviewing the goals and objectives to ensure they are still relevant and reflect current community desires. Then the strategies and actions should be reviewed and refined to eliminate completed tasks and identify new approaches if appropriate. The evaluation should also include an updated timetable of actions to clarify priorities.

Plan Amendments: The Town of Maine Comprehensive Plan may be amended at any time by the Town Board following the same process described above for initial Plan adoption, regardless of how minor the proposed amendment or change. Amendments may be appropriate throughout the lifecycle of the plan, particularly if new issues emerge or trends change. These amendments will typically consist of minor changes to the plan text or maps. Large-scale changes or frequent amendments to meet individual development proposals should be avoided or the plan loses integrity. A list of criteria to determine the merits of proposed amendments is included in Table 12-1.

As noted above, proposed amendments must be reviewed by the Plan Commission prior to final action and adoption by the Town Board. The public should be notified of proposed Plan changes and allowed an opportunity for review and comment. For major amendments, the Town might consider soliciting public opinion through surveys and/or community meetings prior to the official public hearing.

Plan Updates: According to the State comprehensive planning law, comprehensive plans must be updated at least once every ten years. As opposed to the more routine amendments described above, plan updates often involve re-writing of whole sections of the plan document and significant changes to supporting maps. A plan update should include a thorough examination of the community’s goals and objectives based on an analysis of current growth trends and major changes that have occurred since the plan was initially adopted or last amended. Plan updates must be formally adopted following the same procedure described above for initial plan adoption.


Table 12-1: Criteria to Consider When Reviewing Plan Changes
1. The change is consistent with the overall goals and objectives of the Town of Maine Comprehensive Plan.

2. The change does not create an adverse impact on public facilities and services that cannot be mitigated.

3. Development resulting from the change does not create an undue impact on surrounding properties. Such development should be consistent with the physical character of the surrounding neighborhood or would upgrade and improve its viability.

4. The change allows a more viable transition to the planned uses on adjacent properties than the current land use.

5. The change does not have a significant adverse impact on the natural environment including trees, slopes and groundwater, or the impact could be mitigated by improvements on the site or in the same vicinity.

6. There is a change in Town actions or neighborhood characteristics that would justify a change.

7. The change corrects an error made in the original plan.

8. There is a community or regional need identified in the comprehensive plan for the proposed land use or service.

9. The change does not adversely impact any landmarks or other historically significant structures or properties unless mitigated through relocation, commemoration or dedication.



Consistency Among Plan Elements

The State of Wisconsin planning legislation requires that the Implementation Element describe how each of the required elements will be integrated and made consistent with the other elements of the plan. Since the Town of Maine completed all planning elements simultaneously, no known inconsistencies exist. It is noted that some overlap naturally exists between the nine plan elements. Where deemed appropriate, goals, objectives, and actions have been repeated under all applicable elements to ensure they do not get “lost”.

This Comprehensive Plan also references previous and concurrent related planning efforts (e.g, LRTP, Groundwater Study) to ensure they are considered in planning decisions in conjunction with the recommendations of this Plan. Summary descriptions of recent and concurrent planning efforts are provided in the Conditions and Issues Report. Recommendations from other plans have been summarized and incorporated in this plan as deemed appropriate, to foster coordination and consistency between plans. Some related plans, such as the Marathon County Hazard Mitigation Plan, are incorporated by reference in this plan and are essentially considered appendices of this plan even though they are separate documents. Appendix E provides a bibliography of other plans and studies relevant to comprehensive planning.



Action Plan

The table below provides a detailed list of major actions to complete in order to implement this comprehensive plan. It compiles the major short, mid, and long-term priorities described in each of the nine plan elements.

Table 12-2 is intended to be used by local officials in setting priorities for capital budgeting and staff allocation. It is expected that this table will be reviewed annually and revised, as necessary, to respond to changing priorities, financial limitations, and other unforeseen events. It should be noted that many of the actions require considerable cooperation with others, including the citizens of Maine, staff, and other local/county/state agencies.

Priority ranking is defined as follows:

• Immediate = ASAP
• Short-term = 1-4 years
• Mid-term = 5-9 years
• Long-term = 10+ years
• On-going = Current activities that should continue indefinitely



Table 12-2: Implementation Actions
Action Priority
Natural Resources
Encourage the preservation of open space and wildlife corridors in new developments through the use of incentives and flexible regulations, such as cluster development and conservation easements.
ASAP
Establish a routine method of distributing information to property owners in the Town regarding natural resources. This might include periodic newsletters, inserts in mailings to property owners, or creating a permanent display of information at the Town Hall. Information topics might include:
• Restrictions on activities that might impact natural resources imposed by the Town, County, and/or State.
• Reducing use of fertilizers.
• Natural landscaping techniques.
• Natural storm water management techniques. ASAP
Amend the zoning and land division ordinance as necessary to incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to ensure new development provides for adequate surface water management and erosion control. Large-scale development proposals should also be required to provide engineered drainage studies.
ASAP
Report instances of possible groundwater contamination to the WDNR.
ASAP
Work with UW-Extension, Marathon County, and the NRCS to implement and monitor farmland conservation practices.
ASAP
Amend local ordinances as necessary to incorporate agricultural Best Management Practices regarding soil erosion, surface water runoff, fertilizer use, etc.
Delete?
Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.
ASAP
Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).
ASAP
Explore potential to establish a Transfer of Development Rights program to minimize development pressures on areas with active farming.
ASAP
Identify and formally designate (include on zoning map) areas to include in the Woodlands Conservation overlay zoning district. Development in these areas should be done in accordance with the development standards described in Section 17.11-15 of the Town Zoning Ordinance.
ASAP
Continue to serve as the liaison between private property owners in the Town and the County, WDNR, and others regarding the Managed Forest Law (MFL) and other programs aimed at protection and preservation of woodlands.
ASAP
Develop an inventory of sensitive natural resources located in the Town of Maine.
Short-term
Consider establishing a zoning overlay to address specific development restrictions in the Billy Goat Hills and other areas with sensitive natural resources. Short-term

Land Use
Identify and designate a Rural Development Zone as described in the Town’s 1995 Land Use Plan.
ASAP
Zone properties in the Rural Development Zone to encourage development and densities consistent with the intended character of these zones.
ASAP
Identify and designate an Urban Growth Zone as described in the Town’s 1995 Land Use Plan.
ASAP
Zone properties in the Urban Growth Zone to encourage development and densities consistent with the intended character of this zone.
ASAP
Explore providing incentives, such as density bonuses, to encourage cluster subdivisions.
ASAP
Adopt buffer requirements for all non-residential development. This will involve developing standards for buffer yards/setbacks, screening, and landscaping.
ASAP
Amend the Town’s land division ordinance to require Town approval of all land divisions, regardless of size.
ASAP
Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.
ASAP
Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).
ASAP
Work cooperatively with the City of Wausau and Village of Brokaw pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g) to manage growth along common boundaries and ensure implementation of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
ASAP
Work cooperatively with the City of Wausau and/or the Village of Brokaw pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g) if a petition for annexation or extra-territorial zoning is initiated.
ASAP
To discourage lining of roads with individual driveways, consider requiring minor subdivisions to be designed as small clusters served by shared driveways or streets. Mid-term

Transportation
Conduct a study to determine the extent of speeding on Town roads and identify “problem” areas.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County to identify road corridors where speeding is a problem and determine if traffic calming measures can be installed.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County Sheriff’s Department to enforce speed limits within the Town.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County to identify unsafe intersections and plan for design improvements.
ASAP
Identify Town roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic and prioritize maintenance needs.
ASAP
Develop design standards for roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic. These might include: thicker pavement or deeper road base; wider pavement and/or paved shoulders; installation of signage indicating frequent use by heavy/large equipment/vehicles.
ASAP
Report instances of potential weight limit violations to the County in a timely manner. Serve as the “eyes on the street”.
ASAP
Develop a Capital Improvement Plan to annually identify, prioritize, schedule, and budget for improvements and routine maintenance of Town roads.
ASAP
Consider establishing a road maintenance fund.
ASAP
Develop and adopt guidelines that require developers to finance some of the infrastructure improvements necessary for new development.
ASAP
To discourage lining of Town roads with individual driveways, consider requiring minor subdivisions to be designed as small clusters served by shared driveways or streets.
ASAP
Routinely review, and revise as necessary, road design and access standards in the Town’s subdivision ordinance.
ASAP
Require that roads in new subdivisions be designed to allow extensions and connections to roads in future developments on adjacent properties where possible.
ASAP
Coordinate review of major developments/subdivisions with Marathon County to ensure local and county traffic concerns are adequately addressed.
ASAP
Require developers to submit traffic studies for large developments.
Long-term
Coordinate review of major developments/subdivisions with the surrounding communities to discuss potential traffic impacts on Town roads and opportunities to mitigate traffic problems.
Long-term
To discourage irregular borders and reduce the efficiency or maintenance on Town roads.

Utilities
Identify and map areas in the Town where high bedrock and clay soils may restrict development (pose constraints on installation of wells and conventional septic systems). Consider zoning these areas for low intensity uses.
ASAP
Identify and map areas where public water systems may be provided in the future.
Long-term
Coordinate with the City of Wausau and the Village of Brokaw under Section 66.1001(2)(g) upon any attempt for extra-territorial jurisdiction to evaluate impacts on ground water and well head protection within Town jurisdiction.
ASAP
Report instances of possible groundwater contamination to the WDNR.
ASAP
Meet and cooperate with the City of Wausau and the Village of Brokaw to address shared public services under intergovernmental cooperation for joint planning and joint decision-making within Section 66.1001(2)(g) regarding water and sewer services.
ASAP
Coordinate with Marathon County to assist residents that have failing septic systems.
ASAP
Revise cluster subdivision requirements, if needed, to require use of common sanitary waste disposal systems.
ASAP
Meet with Marathon County, WDNR, and the Village of Brokaw to discuss the potential to create a sanitary sewer district in the area around CTH K and CTH WW.
ASAP
Discuss and evaluate the potential to create a sanitary sewer district and a water district regarding the orderly use and distribution of shared government services for water and sewer as allowed under Section 66.1001(2)(g).

Housing
Direct new residential subdivisions to areas contiguous with existing developed areas by zoning such areas to allow cluster and other residential subdivisions.
ASAP
Consider requiring larger lot sizes in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.
ASAP
Revise cluster development requirements, if necessary, to provide incentives such as density bonuses to encourage cluster subdivisions.
ASAP
Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).
ASAP
Prepare and distribute information on property maintenance codes to Town residents. ASAP

Cultural Resources
Identify and map potential historic buildings, cemeteries/burials, and archaeological sites in the Town. ASAP

Community Facilities
Identify necessary repairs and allocate funds to maintain and/or improve the Town Hall on a regular basis.
ASAP
Continue to perform annual budget allocations to fund public services.
ASAP
Consider the fiscal impact of new development as part of the development review process.
ASAP
Regularly record, review, and audit emergency response times.
ASAP
To investigate alternatives means to collect payments for First Responder services.
ASAP
Work with First Responders and local insurance agencies to explore opportunities to improve coordination and communication in response to service to freeway motorists. ASAP

Parks and Recreation
Continue to encourage adequate funding for the Marathon County Parks and Forestry Department.
ASAP
Periodically review and update requirements for dedication of land or cash for parks, recreation, and open space purposes in conjunction all new subdivision requests.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County to identify and map potential trail routes in the Town. Use this map during development review to identify where trails should be installed in conjunction with new development or road construction.
ASAP
Consider conducting a survey to evaluate the need for additional parks or recreation facilities in the Town. ASAP

Economic Development
Coordinate and cooperate with the City of Wausau and the Village of Brokaw under Section 66.1001(2)(g) upon a petition for annexation to ensure implementation of the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
ASAP
Consider the fiscal impact of new development as part of the development review process.
ASAP
Identify and map areas with prime farmland and active farms. Zone these areas accordingly to restrict non-farm uses.
ASAP
Consider requiring larger lot sizes or establishing a sliding-scale density provision to minimize non-farm uses in areas with significant amounts of prime farmland and/or existing active farms.
ASAP
Develop a brochure to distribute to local realtors and/or potential homebuyers educating them on the characteristics of active farming activities (i.e., smells, noise, farm equipment using local roads, etc.).
ASAP
Work with UW-Extension, Marathon County and NRCS to implement and monitor farmland conservation and best management practices.
ASAP
Identify Town roads that receive significant volumes of heavy equipment and truck traffic and prioritize maintenance needs.
ASAP
Identify and zone accordingly, areas where new commercial and industrial development should be directed. Areas identified for such development should have good access and property configurations conducive to commercial and industrial development.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County and WDOT to review potential commercial and industrial development proposals to ensure adequate road access is available or to identify steps to make necessary improvements.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County and WDOT to review potential commercial and industrial development proposals to ensure adequate road access is available or to identify steps to make necessary improvements.
ASAP
Routinely review and revise the zoning map, if necessary, to ensure adequate land is provided in appropriate zoning districts to accommodate residential and non-residential growth. ASAP

Intergovernmental Cooperation
Cooperate and communicate with the City of Wausau and the Village of Brokaw regarding annexation and growth along common boundaries pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g).
ASAP
Explore the feasibility of establishing cooperative boundary agreements with the Village of Brokaw and City of Wausau.
ASAP
Establish regular meeting dates with surrounding municipalities to review service agreements and identify opportunities to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
ASAP
Conduct annual reviews of service agreements with neighboring municipalities.
ASAP
Continue to participate in discussions with neighboring municipalities and the Wausau metropolitan area regarding service consolidation and opportunities to share services and/or public facilities.
ASAP
Maintain and post at the Town Hall, a calendar of monthly meetings of the various governmental agencies.
ASAP
Maintain Town membership in the Wausau Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
ASAP
Consider conducting regular community surveys to solicit public input on various issues and concerns affecting the Town.
ASAP
Maintain regular contact and timely feedback to Marathon County staff regarding concerns with road maintenance and code enforcement.
ASAP
Work with Marathon County Sheriffs Department as needed to improve communications or other efforts to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of police protection services.
ASAP
Maintain regular communication with Marathon County officials. ASAP



Appendix A: State Comprehensive Planning Goals

Wisconsin Statutes 66.1001 requires that the goals, objectives, policies, and programs of local governmental units be consistent with the fourteen planning goals in the State planning legislation, which include:

1. Promote the redevelopment of lands with existing infrastructure and public services and the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing residential, commercial, and industrial structures.

2. Encourage neighborhood designs that support a range of transportation choices.

3. Protect natural areas, including wetlands, wildlife habitats, lakes and woodlands, open spaces, and groundwater resources.

4. Protect economically productive areas, including farmland and forests.

5. Encourage land uses, densities, and regulations that promote efficient development patterns and relatively low municipal, state government, and utility costs.

6. Preserve cultural, historic, and archaeological sites.

7. Encourage coordination and cooperation among nearby units of government pursuant to Section 66.1001(2)(g).


8. Build community identity by revitalizing main streets and enforcing design standards.

9. Provide an adequate supply of affordable housing for all income levels throughout each community.

10. Provide adequate infrastructure and public services and a supply of developable land to meet existing and future market demand for residential, commercial, and industrial uses.

11. Promote the expansion or stabilization of the current economic base and the creation of a range of employment opportunities at the state, regional, and local levels.

12. Balance individual property rights with community interests and goals.

13. Plan and develop land uses that create or preserve varied and unique urban and rural communities.

14. Provide an integrated, efficient, and economical transportation system that provides mobility, convenience, and safety, which meets the needs of all citizens including transit-dependent and disabled.


Appendix B: Marathon County Guiding Principles

Participants in the Marathon County comprehensive planning process worked cooperatively, through several meetings with sub-area groups, to develop a set of guiding principles that describe broad characteristics of a desired future for their communities and Marathon County. The guiding principles consist of a series of statements that reflect shared values and priorities regarding future growth and development. These principles were used to provide a general frame of reference for developing local goals and objectives. The ten guiding principles include:

1. Respect Local Governance - Planning in Marathon County should build on local town, village and city government as a system that is unique, has served residents well, and is a strong component of local identity.

2. Preserve Working Agriculture - Agriculture has been central to the culture and economy of Marathon County for over 100 years. Farming has been a way of life for generations of county residents and is fundamental to both community and individual identity. Efforts such as protecting prime farmland from development, exploring niche markets, and supporting cooperative practices can be implemented at the local level to help maintain and preserve working agriculture.

3. Maintain a Sense of Place - As Marathon County’s population grows and changes, communities will need to ensure that important physical features, buildings, and landscapes that exemplify their local identity are retained. These features provide a sense of heritage and continuity that contribute to a community’s identity and sense of place.

4. Preserve Rural Character - Shifts in the farm economy and urban expansion are altering the County’s rural landscape characterized by working farms, woodlands, rolling hills, marsh areas, and plentiful water bodies. As open spaces, farms, and woodlands are being lost or fragmented by development, Marathon County communities will need to make some important choices in order to preserve the qualities and character of the rural landscape.

5. Safeguard Natural Resources - Marathon County is graced with abundant natural resources including numerous rivers, wetlands, forests, and wildlife. Careful stewardship of natural resources is essential to protect against fragmentation and degradation and ensure these resources continue to contribute to the ecology, character, quality of life, and economy of Marathon County into the future.

6. Foster Managed Growth and Coordinated Development - Managing growth is important to ensure that no area is overwhelmed by development, land use conflicts are minimized, and development occurs in a quality manner that minimizes impacts on natural resources. Managing growth requires coordination of land uses and infrastructure, within and between communities, and recognizes that high quality growth in any one community will benefit surrounding communities as well.

7. Cost-Effective and Efficient Provision of Public Services - Marathon County residents are clear in their desire to keep local taxes reasonable. One of the most effective means to keep taxes under control is to ensure that public services are efficiently organized to provide the best service possible for the taxpayer dollar. Communities have a responsibility to provide the highest level of services possible given limited resources. To ensure cost-effective public services, local communities may want to consider options such as greater coordination, cost-sharing and consolidation if such efforts improve access to services and service delivery.

8. Build Social and Civic Capacity - Marathon County residents take pride in their long tradition of local government. Ideally, participation in community affairs embraces and builds upon the diversity of cultures and values present in the community. Providing opportunities to share ideas and participate in community decision-making is essential to building and maintaining a strong sense of local community.

9. Support Rural Service Centers - Rural centers are part of a web of services that support residents, give local identity and are part of the rural way of life that residents want to preserve. Most villages in the County grew as centers to provide goods and services for nearby farmers, but have evolved as rural activity centers including the local school, churches, and some goods and services. Just as city neighborhoods are stronger with nearby commercial services, rural areas are stronger with nearby villages that provide a central meeting place to connect with other rural residents. As more people move to rural areas, it makes sense to concentrate new development in areas that can efficiently provide utilities and other services.

10. Preserve and Enhance Local Tax Base - A strong tax base allows a community to deliver needed services to residents while helping to keep taxes low. Erosion of local tax base is a concern for many communities, often as a result of annexation, increases in public land ownership, and shifting economic markets. Efforts to attract additional revenue generators and coordinate with adjacent municipalities can help communities protect and preserve their local tax base.



Appendix C: Ordinance of Adoption

Appendix D: Public Participation Plan

Appendix E: Bibliography of Related Plans and Studies

Appendix G: Guidelines for Paving Gravel Roads




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