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Changes recommended to Ashwaubenon’s property standards

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – Changes to the village code as it relates to density, intensity and dimensional standards for property were recommended Tuesday, Oct. 6, by the Plan Commission.

Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the proposed changes were prompted by Ashwaubenon’s building inspectors recently receiving questions regarding home improvement.

“As a result of COVID, quite honestly, people are, instead of traveling, they are investing in their homes, whether it’s for patios, in-ground pools, accessory structure, home additions, porches, you name it,” he said. “We’re seeing a big push in home reinvestment, which all-in-all is a good thing for the village.”

Schuette said the current code has a table that limits the amount of impervious surface per lot, based upon lot size.

“What those impervious surface numbers are based upon, I guess, is unknown,” he said.

Schuette said he spoke with Village Engineer Steve Birr and decided a better approach – rather than determining how much impervious surface someone has, which can involve putting together a detailed site plan and possibly hiring a surveyor – is to go with a minimum 25 percent green space requirement.

“That’s much easier to define, much easier to calculate, and most people will easily fall within that,” he said.

Schuette said there are other items needing to be cleaned up in the code, such as the minimum lot size and frontage for the R-1 Residential zoning district.

“Currently, the requirement is 100 feet of frontage and 12,000 square feet (lot size) for an R-1 Residential lot,” he said. “The vast majority of the village currently would not meet that requirement, our R-1 districts. They vary, generally between 75 to 85 feet… All of those lots currently are, technically, legally non-conforming.”

Schuette said changing the minimum requirement to 90 feet of frontage and 10,000 square feet of lot size would bring those lots closer to conformance, as well as provide some additional flexibility for any redevelopment that may occur in the residential areas.

“I took a look at the Village of Howard, for instance,” he said. “Their minimum lot area is 10,800 square feet, but 80 feet of frontage. So again, we’re well within norms, as far as what the recommendation is. I believe, as it currently stands, (it’s) quite a bit higher than what is necessary for a good single-family home.”

Schuette said the proposed amendments to the property standards are being done “holistically, rather than piecemeal.”

“I’m also hoping that this cuts down on a few of the calls that we get, either to me or to our building inspectors, just with questions on interpretation of the code,” he said.

Schuette said the village board will consider the recommended changes Oct. 27 for final approval.

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