From: Erica Zick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM
Subject: Conditional Use Permit # 2260
Cc: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. Kolar,
In regards to the matter of CUP #2260 mineral extraction. Attached please find as example one our neighbors copy of the only notice sent to the neighbors to this property. I had discarded my own as I, as others had expected to receive further notice with a meeting date and location, which I and others did not. Please note that it omits any date or location for any meetings. Wisconsin law requires that notices include:
Content of notice. Notice must specify the time, date,
place and subject matter of the meeting
We ALL expected a further notice to be sent with the required meeting dates and location, none was received by any neighbor.
We only became aware of the scope and location of this quarry when we received a mailing from Dane County for a Feb. 25, 2014 meeting mailed by regular mail on Feb. 20, 2014. We contacted Dane county zoning on Feb. 25 to inform them that this is the first notice we had with any meeting information regarding CUP #2260 and requested that this be sent back to the Town for lack of proper notice.
We received no other notice for the Town of Albion meeting, and employees of the Edgerton Truck Stop claimed yesterday that there was no notice of the Jan. 7, 2014 Town of Albion meeting posted there either, contrary to the testimony at the March 11, 14 meeting.
Notice published in The Edgerton Reporter is unlikely to be seen by interested parties, it is a very small circulation paper in Rock County. Wisconsin law requires:
Notice to media. Notice (written, phone, or fax) must be
provided to the governmental unit’s official newspaper and
to any media who have filed a written request. If there is no
official newspaper, notice should be provided to a newspaper
or other media likely to give notice in the affected area...
Following the Feb. 25, 2014 Dane county meeting, immediate neighbors went to the Albion Town Board and requested the rules information for Albion in regards to notice to immediate neighbors and were told by Julie Hanewal - Clerk, that Albion requires no notice.
To the contrary, we have finally discovered that a requirement of notice does in fact exist, and is required. We have found a printed version of the ordinance for the Town of Albion regarding such required notice to neighbors for conditional use permits:
Notify neighbors within 500 ft./.5 mile of your property. A signature
must be obtained on the attached form or a letter sent out certified mail signature requested and bring in green copies of certifications with signatures. You must turn this information in at the Planning Commission meeting
http://townofalbionwi.com/uploads/documents/Conditional%20Use%20Procedure.pdf it is repeated in the zoning procedure rules http://townofalbionwi.com/uploads/documents/Zoning%20Procedure.pdf
Wisconsin law requires:
In addition to the notice requirements of the open meetings law,
all zoning board meetings and hearings must comply with notice requirements of:
State statutes governing procedures for zoning boards,41
DNR rules for shoreland, shoreland-wetland, and floodplain
zoning matters,42 and
Other notice requirements imposed by local ordinance or
Many people outside the 500' neighbor area are effected by this (more than fifty have signed the objection petition), and have joined immediate neighbors in their objections to CUP #2260 as they also had no advance warning of the town meeting, From the Zoning Handbook Chapter 4:
Interested Parties - Notice must also be given by mail to
parties in interest,57 including:
Any zoning officer whose decision is appealed, and
Adjacent/nearby property owners as specified by local
ordinance. We recommend that zoning staff provide notice
to people within a greater distance if the proposed use
could affect people farther away (e.g., gravel pit, landfill).
The Town of Albion failed to check the notice sent by applicant to neighbors as suggested in the Zoning handbook Chapter 4:
Violations of the Open Meetings Law
Suggested procedures to avoid violations
Zoning board members must individually determine compliance
with all aspects of the open meetings law. Prior to participating
in a meeting or hearing, zoning board members should review the
following procedures to determine whether they are in compliance
with the open meetings law:
Determine proper notice. At the beginning of a meeting,
each member of the zoning board should determine whether
proper notice was provided. If compliance is questionable, the
municipal attorney should be able to provide counsel on the
We feel that the Town of Albion Board has violated the Open Meetings Law by their lack of attention to the notification to immediate neighbors.
Also from the Zoning handbook Chapter 6, we feel that we were denied due process in that the CUP #2260 applicant notice to immediate neighbors/interested parties was vague and omitted the required meeting dates and locations, we received no written notice from the Town of Albion, and in that some members of the Town Board of Albion have/had close ties to both the owner of the property and quarry business and have expressed inappropriate and bias support in favor of the property owner in meetings:
Because zoning board decisions often affect specific individuals,
zoning boards must follow the rules of due process to ensure
that all parties involved in a hearing before the board are treated
fairly.65 Procedural rules of due process include:
Providing adequate notice of a pending decision to affected
Ensuring that each decision maker is impartial and unbiased,
Avoiding or disclosing any exparte contacts,
Providing an opportunity to present at hearings, and
Basing decisions on clear, pre-existing standards and factual
evidence in a record that is available for review...
The original application was also incomplete when passed by the Town of Albion Board, law requires that application must be complete before public hearings:
According to S.10.123(3)(a) it does not conform with the standards and factors that the ZNR committee must also consider when approving a CUP in the A-1 Exclusive District:
1. It does not conform with the statement of purpose of the zoning ordinance in that it is for 10 years it does not state specific dates required in 10.191 5. Proposed dates to begin extraction, end extraction and complete reclamation. They are not stated specifically. It is not specific in 10.191 10. Types, quantities, and frequency of use of equipment to extract, process, and haul. These are not fully stated. And regarding the application mapping in 10.191 15. (d) 2. 2. Zoning district boundaries in the immediate area. Label all zoning districts on the subject property and on all neighboring properties. The application map Yahara submitted failed to label the Zick property at all or the zoning on all neighboring properties.
We understand that your board has sent this back to the town of Albion Board for further action and have given them the "option" of taking additional public comments. We are now aware of a "special" meeting called for Monday March 24th at 7:00pm. We the immediate neighbors as well as the over fifty area residents who were also taken unaware of and who have joined in objection to CUP #2260, do not feel as though the Town of Albion Board will allow fair further public and interested party comment as exampled by and demonstrated by the disrespect that was shown to the immediate neighbors by the Town Board of Albion in the recent meeting, and specific bias statements made by Town of Albion Board members at that meeting and others as related to us from those in attendance as coming from Town Chairman Venske such as "corn is down and gravel is up", "gravel is gold", "this is a done deal" etc..
Proper notice laws were not followed and the application and reclamation was incomplete and insufficient according to the NR-135, and now all of sudden they want a well, but that wasn't in the application and the CUP amendments Dane county zoning has placed don't allow pumping or removing water from the site. The application map specifically omitted a neighbor's name and the zoning on neighboring properties, the Town Board could not properly, and should not have considered the incomplete CUP application, nor could they faithfully determine this site for compatibility with already permitted use on neighbor land with a map that did not identify the zoning on those properties. This is not Yahara's first quarry application and therefore, they should be well aware of the requirements for the application and the reclamation plan. Failure to fully complete or follow NR-135 for their reclamation plan is not good business and a disregard for the laws set forth before quarry operations for a good reason. One board member that originally voted for the CUP #2260 has admitted that the materials in the application were not properly reviewed and has joined us in signing the petition of objection to CUP #2600.
We respectfully request the Zoning Board to request the Town of Albion to void the original CUP #2260 and require reapplication so that all parties have a fair chance of consideration, and a fair voice in this decision.
Thank you, The neighbors of CUP #2260