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April 29, 2009 Board of Appeals Hearing Minutes - Pine Drive Dairy Special Use Permit

Town of Lamartine
Board of Appeals Hearing
April 29, 2009 7:00 Pm
RE: Special Use Permit Request—Petitioner: Pine Drive Dairy

Present at the meeting were Town of Lamartine Board of Appeals Members, Greg Michels, Chairman, Randy Kuik, Michael Pittler, Roger Searl, and J. Peter (Pete) Braun. Also present at this meeting were; Town Attorney John St Peter (St Peter) Clerk, Jill Randall, petitioners Lawrence & John Ford and their contractor Nathan Potratz. There were forty (40) people signed in at this meeting.

The purpose of this meeting was to hear the application of Pine Drive Dairy, LLP to approve an expanded livestock facility located at W8774 County Highway T, T15N., R16E, Section 21, Town of Lamartine, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. {S21 T15N R16E NE ¼ SW ¼ (V1178-676LC)}

With all due notices having been published and posted Greg Michels, Chairman, called the Board of Appeals (BOA) meeting to order at 7:00 Pm at the Lamartine Municipal Building Meeting Room.

The Clerk made introductions.

Greg then turned the meeting over to Attorney St Peter. St Peter explained that this would be a different hearing. The petitioners have applied for an expansion of livestock facility. Pine Drive Dairy must get a special use permit (SUP) or (Permit) from the Town of Lamartine as required by town ordinance to expand their operation to exceed the 500 cattle limit. St Peter further stated that state law supersedes what the town can do to allow or not allow this expansion to occur. The focus of this meeting is to review the application and make sure it is complete. State law dictates that if the application is complete they are entitled to receive a permit unless it can be proven that it will be a severe threat to human health, life or property. Anyone wishing to speak tonight will be heard. The key is to make sure the BOA understands the application. The State Ag Department is only advisory but will at no charge check the application for completeness. St Peter offered the following rules/guidelines for anyone wishing to speak at this hearing.
1. Identify yourself – Name and Address
2. No interruptions, No clapping, etc.
3. Speak loud and clear so the tape recorder can pick up all that is said

St Peter introduced the following exhibits for the record
Exhibit #1: Affidavit of Publication of Hearing
Exhibit #2: Letter of Intent from Pine Drive Dairy – Requesting a special use permit to exceed the 500 cow
limit under A-1 agricultural zoning. Request to increase cow numbers from the current 450 to a maximum of 700 cows.
Exhibit #3: State Livestock Application
Exhibit #4: Fond du Lac County Planner, Sam Tobias opinion email dated April 24, 2009 – St Peter summarized the Tobias email stating that the expansion was consistent with the Town land use plan, and there were no wetland or wetland indicator soils in the area where new structures are proposed for construction. Tobias could find no reason for the town to withhold issuance of an SUP.
Introduced later on at this hearing were Exhibit #5 & #6:
Exhibit #5: Erosion Control & Storm Water Plan
Exhibit #6: Map Titled – “Existing Site Features & Facility Layout & Erosion Control”

Greg asked for a clarification of animals vs. animal units. The town zoning ordinance states 500 cattle it does not mention animal units; therefore this meeting would deal with cattle/animals not animal units.

Speaking for Pine Drive Diary would be John Ford (John), Lawrence Ford (Lawrence) (or collectively Fords) and their construction manager, Nathan Potratz (Potratz). John explained their farming operation and the need for the expansion. The operation would expand to 600 dairy cows and 100 heifers. John showed on maps where new facilities would be built explaining that the current facilities are shown in yellow and the new facilities in red. He reported some changes that had been made to the map since they were printed. John explained the operations Nutrient Plan, Odor Management, Runoff Management and Manure Handling. There will be no new wells on the property. St Peter reviewed the Application aloud. The Application was completed by CRA Agricultural Services. Appendix A- “WDATCP Livestock License Application Form and Worksheets”. Discussion took place regarding changes made to Pine Drive Dairy, LLP’s “WDATCP Livestock Facility License Application” (Application) since it was originally written. St Peter again advised that the Application be reviewed by the State Ag Department as offered. Lawrence noted that Pine Drive Dairy did not have to complete the odor score or the Application as the town has not yet adopted the newly drafted Animal Siting Ordinance. The Town does however appreciate that they completed the odor score anyway.
Appendix B- “Barnyard Evaluation Tool (Barny) – Engineers figure storm water and nutrient runoff of lots. Pine Drive Dairy is compliant.

St Peter asked if there were any questions from the BOA. There were none at this time.

Appendix C- “Preliminary Design For Proposed Waste Storage Facility” – This section of the Application will need to be redone as a larger manure storage tank is now planned. St Peter asked Lawrence when they would be updating this Application to reflect the changes. Lawrence stated that it would be updated as soon as possible.
Appendix D – “Earthen Manure Storage Abandonment Plan” – This section deals with waste storage and removal. This is handled in accordance with the WDNR approved Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) written for Pine Drive Dairy and is overseen by the ASCS office in Fond du Lac.
Appendix E – “Environmental Incidence Response Plan” – Lists all emergency phone numbers in case of injury, fire or rescue emergency, spill, leak or failure at the storage facility during transport or land application.
The Fords will be working with Lynn Mathias at the County. The County has already approved the storm water runoff plan. A copy of the Erosion Control and Storm Water Management Plan (EC & SW Plan) was given to St Peter. The expiration date to review performance is October 16, 2010. St Peter marked the EC & SW Plan as exhibit #5.
Appendix F – “Odor Management Plan” – The Odor Management Plan lists contact phone numbers, odor monitoring program actions and complaint response protocols.
St Peter asked if the Fords had anything to add. They did not.

St Peter opened the meeting up to BOA questions. Questions were asked regarding the manure and odor. John stated that they are responsible for the management of the manure themselves. He noted that things must be done right to have a Grade A milk rating. Records are kept of manure application. Manure management standards are set up by the state. The Fords have 710 acres available to spread manure on their land . They also have more acres in neighboring land. Soil is tested to prevent overspreading. Significant violations are handled by calling a special Board of Appeals meeting to discuss the problem(s).

St Peter than opened the meeting for public questions and comments.

Paul Dyke – UW WI Dairy & Livestock Educators - Explained that the Application was put together during the time the Town was writing the new Animal Siting Ordinance, which is not completed yet.

Rollie Pinno – W8856 CTH T (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if Pine Drive Dairy would continue to haul the manure as they do now or would it change. Fords’ stated that 25% of the manure would be hauled daily and 75% seasonally.

Jim Schnettler – N5836 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Stated that he was not against the expansion, but had some concerns. He asked to see a site map and if there were any plans for a tree screen so neighbors had something nicer to look at. John Ford stated that there were no formal plans for a tree screen but they have talked about it.

Diane Ladwig – N5782 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Inquired as to the setback of the buildings off from Fairview Road. Potratz approximated the buildings would be off the road about 550 feet.

Susan Baker – N5798 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Asked what the flags were marking. Potratz explained that the flags mark test holes for the power company to run power lines.

Rollie Pinno – W8856 CTH T (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if the new free stall barn would be built close to the old barn. Yes it will be.

St Peter addressed a buffer zone being added to the area between east of the road and the existing building. If Fords agreed to adding a buffer zone he will write it in the SUP.

Jim Schnettler – N5836 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Voiced further concern that the farm would be getting too close to the neighbors.

St Peter asked if they would maintain a buffer zone west of the facility. Lawrence stated no not until buffer zone dimensions could be defined. St Peter asked if a buffer zone could be calculated here tonight. Discussion took place regarding how many feet the buffer zone should be.

Paul Dyke – UW WI Dairy & Livestock Educators – Stated that Fords are doing a great job of complying and they did not have to do all of this. St Peter explained again that Fords do have to get a SUP from the Town, because the Town Zoning Ordinance requires it.

Rollie Pinno – W8856 CTH T (Town of Lamartine) – Agreed with creating a buffer zone.

Susan Baker – N5798 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if the buildings would continue to run in the same direction they do now. John showed facility placement on the map.

St Peter introduced Exhibit #6 into the record – Map Titled “Existing Site Features & Facility Layout & Erosion Control”

Lee Ladwig – N5782 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if the Fords have plans for further expansion. Fords stated that to further expand they would have to get state approval.

St Peter asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the expansion.

Dave Tavs – N5741 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Spoke in favor of the expansion. He stated that he lives as close as anyone else to Fords’ place and he has no complaints; they run a conscientious dairy farm, and he gives the expansion his blessing.

Janet Williams – (Waldschmidt Property) - Owns land in the township and rents land to the Fords. She stated that they run a good operation.

Maria Taivalmaa – N5675 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Stated that the Fords’ dairy is not a problem. They are wonderful people.

Harold Birschbach – W8913 CTH T (Town of Lamartine) – Stated that Fords do a good job.

St Peter then asked if anyone wanted to speak in opposition or address any concerns they had with the expansion.

Susan Baker – N5798 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if they would be milking the same hours as before.

Jim Schnettler – N5836 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Stated that he had nothing against the Fords; he just had concerns for property values. He asked if they could work together and have some type of screening. He further noted that he wants to promote farming.

Frank Bartzen – W8403 Orchard Road (Town of Lamartine, Town Chair) – Frank asked that the BOA consider road issues and include something in the SUP. Discussion took place regarding road damage, how it would be assessed etc. St Peter stated that the town and the Fords would use common sense in defining road damage issues.

Linda Birschbach – W8913 CTH T (Town of Lamartine) – Commented that she did not think it would be fair for Fords to have more restriction than anyone else in the township.

John and Lawrence noted that the road would have to be checked seven (7) times per year.

Dave Tavs – N5741 Fairview Road (Town of Lamartine) – Stated that he felt it would be a bad deal for the Fords as proof of who actually damaged the road would be tricky.

Potratz noted that harvest time is same time for all farmers and Fords would not be the only ones using the roads.

St Peter stated that it is legal to have conditions in the permit to charge for proven road damage.

Thomas Hintz – W8314 Hawkview Circle (Town of Lamartine) – Asked if the County has seen this permit. St Peter answered no they have not.

Bruce Rhode – N5097 Palmer Road (Town of Lamartine, Supervisor) – Asked if the area that this dairy farm was located was on the Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map earmarked as a 1000 animal units area. Greg stated that yes it was but that had no bearing at this point because the Comprehensive Plan has not been adopted.

St Peter asked Fords if they had anything further to say before the BOA makes their decision. John stated that they will address screening issues; they do not want to be bad neighbors.

Greg Michels, BOA Chair, addressed the manure hauling operation. He asked if there were some way the road damage issues could be addressed. Lawrence answered yes if it was a reasonable request. Greg further commented that the Fords are good land stewards and neighbors, but has concerns that good things could change because of a bigger expansion with more employees. John noted that there would be no new employees and they will continue to operate as in the past. Lawrence works with the employees everyday to keep things running smoothly.

Pete Braun asked Fords if they would update this Application even if they did not have to. Lawrence stated that they can if the BOA has issues. St Peter commented that this is meant to be self-policing. More discussion took place about hauling and road concerns.

The BOA had no other questions. St Peter spoke about reimbursement to the Town by Pine Drive Dairy of hearing and legal fees up to $1,000.00.

Conversation took place regarding the inspection rights and the enforcement of the SUP. The review period of the permit will be two (2) to four (4) years. If the property was sold a meeting would be called for new owners and special conditions would be discussed.

General discussion continued. The Project completion date is around Labor Day, September 2009.

St Peter offered a summary of points to be addressed in the SUP in addition to the Application as updated:
 Buffer Zone of 275 feet
 Periodic inspections as deemed necessary
 Permit runs with the land and is transferred to new buyer with BOA reserving the right to meet with the new buyer to go over the permit
 Periodic review of the performance of the permit to address problems. The first meeting to be held after two years and then as needed
 Road Issues—Fords are responsible for provable damage to the roads and the BOA requests that the Ford’s work with the Town to develop an inspection protocol
 Legal fees to be reimbursed by the Fords not to exceed $1000.00
BOA Chairman Greg Michels listed the points (conditions) above summarized by St Peter. St Peter agreed that those were the conditions along with the Application that would be drafted in the SUP.
Greg asked if the Fords agreed with the conditions. Lawrence stated that he preferred to see the language first. Greg stated that the Special Use Permit would be contingent on all parties agreeing to the language in the permit. St Peter will write the SUP and distribute them to all involved. If a major problem exists with the conditions another meeting will be called to discuss the language. Pete Braun asked if the Fords would update the Application. Fords stated “Yes” they would.
St Peter asked John and Lawrence Ford if they understood the conditions. They both answered YES they did.
Greg asked if there was anything else to be added to the Special Use Permit. With no additions, Pete Braun moved to approve the permit as described by the BOA chair with conditions that were described subject to approval of the final language after it is distributed and the book (Application) is updated. Motion seconded by Roger Searl. Greg explained that the BOA would now vote. A YES vote would mean agreement to issuing a SUP to Pine Drive Dairy and a NO vote would mean you do not agree to issue the permit. He instructed the BOA members to write their name and vote on the paper ballot.

Let the record show that five paper ballots were cast with the following results:
Greg Michels YES
Mike Pittler YES
J. Peter Braun YES
Roger Searl YES
Randy Kuik YES

The Board of Appeals voted 5-0 to issue a Special Use Permit to Pine Drive Dairy. St Peter will prepare the document and distribute it for review.

Motion to destroy ballots was made by Randy and seconded by Mike. Motion carried 5-0.

With no further business to discuss, a motion to adjourn was made by Pete Braun and seconded by Roger Searl. Motion carried and the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,
Town of Lamartine

Jill Randall
Municipal Clerk

C:\LAMARTINE TOWN\rezoningmins\SPECIAL USE PERMIT REQUEST MINUTES\BOA Minutes Pine Drive Dairy 4-29-2009.doc


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