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Published March 24, 2009, 08:18 AM

Farmland changes could save home owners money

A public hearing was held at last week’s River Falls Town Board meeting to discuss revisions made to the ordinance on building restrictions on soils classified as prime farmland or important farmland.

By: By Patricia Huber, staff correspondent, River Falls Journal

A public hearing was held at last week’s River Falls Town Board meeting to discuss revisions made to the ordinance on building restrictions on soils classified as prime farmland or important farmland.

Zoning Administrator Jerome Rodewald presented the amendments which would still maintain compliance with the Natural Resources Conservation Services building restrictions on class IV soils (prime farmland). The changes may allow moving or constructing dwelling sites closer to the road and allow for shorter driveways.

Rodewald explained that this amended ordinance will give residents a choice in placement of their dwelling site and save homeowners money by reducing material costs for longer driveways. In addition, more acres could be used as productive farmland.

Land owners must apply for alternate site approval and supply the following information to Rodewald:

--Name and address of owner

--NRCS soil survey map of compliant site and proposed alternate site

--An accurately drawn plot plan that shows the entire parcel including present and proposed buildings

--A narrative explaining why the proposed alternate site is superior to the compliant site

A non-refundable fee will be determined and approval must be granted by the River Falls Town Board.

Rodewald also distributed a letter that he and Chairwoman Diana Smith wrote to the city of River Falls requesting changes to lot sizes in agricultural zones. The first change would reduce the minimum lot size from two acres to one acre which would be consistent with the towns of Troy and Kinnickinnic.

The second change would reduce the minimum lot sites in the rural districts from 60,000-square feet to 40,000-square feet for those lots without central water and sewer. Lots with central water and sewer would still require a minimum of 20,000-square feet.

The city of River Falls agreed with those requests and the ETZ Committee unanimously approved the amendments.

In other action:

David Kusilek, residing at W10175 690th Ave., requested a temporary liquor licenses for two upcoming scheduled events. The first is a tractor pull on May 16 and a harvest fest from Aug. 21 through 23.

The board requested Kusilek provide proof of insurance, the names of licensed bartenders and proof that security will be provided. Supervisor Tom Sitz also requested that Kusilek read the county ordinance to ensure he meets compliance with mass gathering regulations.

Michele DeLong-Reiter with the town’s Recycling Department discussed upcoming actions. The recycling center located at N7750 Hwy. 65 will have extended hours and will be open from Wednesday, April 1, through Oct. 31. DeLong-Reiter also reported that roadside clean-up will begin in April and will take place each Saturday during the month.

DeLong-Reiter said she received a request to lower the $200 license fee for waste haulers but since no one arrived at the meeting to appeal, the board agreed not to reduce the fee amount.

Patricia Huber can be reached at Phuber0722@gmail.com

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