M I N U T E S
Planning Commission – February 6, 2017
Town of Caledonia, Waupaca County, Wisconsin
Commissioners present: Helen Adams, Ivan Gruetzmacher, Kim Miller, Marvin Schneider
Also present: Paula Pagel,Town Chairperson, Michael Iacopetti (SAC Wireless for AT & T), Jeff Anderson (president, Fox Valley Muzzleloaders), Brian Bradley (secretary Fox Valley Muzzle Loaders), Scott Bellile (New London Press Star), and Art Gorges.
Chairperson Marv Schneider called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. and noted that the required public notice for the meeting was posted. The agenda was approved 4-0. The minutes of the January 9, 2016 Planning Commission were approved, 4-0.
Conditional Use Permit for a proposed AT&T transmission tower
Michael Iacopetti, an agent from SAC Wireless for AT&T, explained that AT&T’s conditional use permit (CUP) for constructing a telecommunications tower in the Town of Caledonia is part of a federal program to bring wireless broadband Internet service to rural areas for residents, schools, police and fire services, and other entities. The CUP seeks permission to build a 135 foot monopole cell tower that will have a range of three to four miles. The area that needs coverage determines the placement of the tower. Although the company would prefer to use an existing tower, the closest current tower is 3.5 miles away.
Commissioners briefly discussed the cell phone tower to be constructed on Art Gorges’ property for which a recommendation to the town board to approve the CUP was made in December 2015. No construction has begun as yet but is anticipated in spring 2017.
Discussion for the AT&T tower centered on concern for controlling the density of towers in the township, obtrusive down-lighting for nearby residents, and the desire for cooperative planning and co-location by providers on existing and future towers. However, it was recognized that some residents have poor current cell and Internet service, and the tower may provide improved service.
Helen Adams moved to recommend approval of the conditional use permit for the AT&T cell tower to the Town Board. Kim Miller seconded. Motion approved 4-0. Commissioners also recommended on the approval form that the County Planning and Zoning Committee consider the following: density of towers in the township, offensive lighting for nearby residents, and encouraging the co-location of services on existing and future towers.
Chairperson Marv Schneider made a recommendation of a well-qualified individual to be considered for appointment to fill former commissioner Webb Shaw’s unexpired term. Paula Pagel will contact the person. It was also suggested that the ending date (year) of commissioners’ terms be added on the Planning Commission portion of the town’s website.
Meeting Notice and Posting
To ensure Planning Commission meeting notices are posted within the required time period for public meetings, Helen Adams presented the following proposal:
· All items for discussion and action at the next Planning Commission meeting must be received by the chairperson or vice chair by Thursday at 5 p.m. of the week preceding the meeting. Items not meeting the deadline will be considered at the next monthly meeting.
· The Planning Commission chairperson and/or the vice chair will complete the agenda and forward the meeting notice for public posting to the town clerk by Friday noon of the week preceding the Planning Commission meeting. The agenda will be sent both to the clerk’s official email address and a designated personal email address.
· If the town clerk is unavailable, the meeting notice will be forwarded to the Planning Commission recording secretary for posting.
· Information regarding the deadline for receiving Planning Commission requests and documents will be placed on the town’s website.
· Unapproved Planning Commission minutes will be posted on the town website with the designation “draft” and will be replaced with the official meeting minutes after their approval.
After brief discussion of the process and positive benefits, Marvin Schneider moved to recommend in concept to the town board the proposed process for the posting of Planning Commission meeting notices and minutes. Kim Miller seconded. Motion approved 4-0.
Review Comprehensive Plan Survey Questions
At their January meeting, commissioners reviewed questions from three resident surveys from the Town of Osceola, Town of Mosinee, and the Stone Lake area with the goal of creating a survey to gather residents’ input to inform revision of the Town of Caledonia Comprehensive Plan. Those questions tentatively selected in January were reviewed and revised to better fit the data commissioners want to obtain. The question selection was not completed and will continue in March.
Comprehensive Plan Review of Chapter 2
Time did not permit the review of Chapter 2 tables and discussion of revised text and was postponed until the March meeting. It was noted that the projected data from East Central Regional Planning Commission appears to be closest to the reality commissioners are seeing in the township.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.
Action Items for the March meeting
Helen R. Adams, Recording Secretary
Upcoming meetings – 5:30 p.m. at Readfield Elementary School
March 6, 2017
April 3, 2017
May 7, 2017