Land Division Ordinance
  
ARTICLE I:  DEFINITIONS
Sec. 10-1-110 Definitions
In the construction of this Chapter, the definitions contained in this section shall be observed and applied except when the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Alley - A public or private right-of-way which provides secondary access to abutting properties.

Applicant - The Subdivider or Condominium Developer or the Subdivider's or Condominium Developer's agent.

Arterial Street - A street used, or intended to be used, primarily for fast or heavy through traffic. Arterial streets shall include freeways and expressways, as well as standard arterial streets, highways, and parkways.

Block - A group of lots existing within well-defined and fixed boundaries, usually being an area surrounded by streets or other physical barriers and having an assigned number, letter or other name through which it may be identified.

Bufferyard - An area of land within the boundaries of a lot or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, either consisting of natural existing vegetation or using trees, shrubs, fences and/or berms, designed to limit continuously the view and/or sound from the lot or site to adjacent lots or sites. Bufferyards are typically defined by a delineated easement graphically indicated on the face of the Certified Survey Map, Subdivision Plat or Condominium Plat.

Building - A structure having a roof supported by columns or wall. When separated by division walls from the ground up and without openings, each portion of each building shall be deemed a separate building.

Certified Survey Map - As defined in Wisconsin Statutes, Section 236.34.

Channel - A natural or artificial watercourse of perceptible extent which periodically or continuously contains moving water, or which forms a connecting link between two bodies of water. It has a definite bed and banks which serve to confine the water.

Collector Street - A street used, or intended to be used, to carry traffic from minor streets to the major system or arterial streets, including principal entrance streets to residential developments.

Condominium - A structure having two (2) or more dwelling units, each assigned to individual ownership, but located on a lot having common ownership and use arrangement.

Conservation Easement - A type of "protective covenant" the boundary lines of which are graphically depicted on the face of a Certified Survey Map, Preliminary Plat, Final Plat and/or Condominium Plat used to conserve and preserve a natural resource feature that is protected under the provisions of this Chapter.

County - Reference to County shall mean Fond du Lac County and shall include any agency, department or committee thereof.

Critical Areas - Areas of steep slopes, woodlands and forest (mature and young), lakes, ponds, streams, shore buffer, floodplains, floodlands, drainageways, wetlands and shoreland wetlands as defined in the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Empire.

Cul-de-sac Street - A minor street with only one outlet and having a turn around for the safe and convenient reversal of traffic movement.

Detention Basin - A man-made or natural depression below the surrounding grade level designed to collect surface and subsurface water so that it might impede its flow and to gradually release the same at a rate not greater than that prior to the development of the property, into natural or man-made outlets (i.e. storm sewer system or stream).

Development - Any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate including, but not limited to, construction of or additions or substantial improvements to buildings, other structures, or accessory uses, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations, or disposition of materials.

Drainageway - The land on either side of and within fifty (50) feet of the centerline of any intermittent or perennial stream graphically shown on: a topographic survey prepared by and certified by a Wisconsin registered land surveyor at a contour interval of not less than two (2) feet or the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic map of the area.

Easement - Authorization by a property owner for another to use the owner's property for a specified purpose.

Extraterritorial Plat Approval Jurisdiction - The unincorporated area within 1_ miles of a fourth-class city or village and within 3 miles of all other cities over which cities and villages may exercise plat approval, provided they have enacted an official map ordinance or subdivision control ordinance in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes, Section 236.10.

Final Plat - The map of plan of a subdivision and any accompanying material as described in Section 10-1-24 of this Chapter.

Flood of Record, Maximum - The highest recorded elevation of a recorded flood event.

Flood Protection Elevation - An elevation two (2) feet above the elevation of the 100-year recurrence interval flood, or where such data is not available, five (5) feet above the maximum flood of record.

Floodlands - Those lands, including the channels, floodways and floodplain fringe of any given reach, which are subject to inundation by the flood within a given recurrence frequency. The 100-year recurrence interval flood [or that flood having a one (1) percent probability of occurring in any given year] is generally used for zoning regulation. Other flood events used in this Chapter are the 50-year recurrence interval flood [or that flood having a two (2) percent probability of occurring in any given year] and the 10-year recurrence interval flood [or that flood having a ten (10) percent probability of occurring in any given year]. Where detailed flood data is not available, the maximum flood of record is used.

Frontage - The length of the front property line of the lot, lots or tract of land abutting the right-of-way of a public street road or highway.

Frontage Street - A minor street auxiliary to and located on the side of an arterial street for control of access and for service to the abutting development.

Grade - The slope of a road, street or other pubic way, specified in percent.

High Groundwater Elevation - The highest elevation to which subsurface water rises. This may be evidenced by the actual presence of water during wet periods of the year, or by soil mottling during drier periods. "Mottling" is a mixture or variation of soil colors. In soils with restricted internal drainage, gray, yellow, red and brown colors are intermingled given a multi-colored effect.

High Water Elevation - The average annual high water level of a pond, stream, lake, flowage, or wetland referred to an established datum plane or, where such elevation is not available, the elevation of the line up to which the presence of water is so frequent as to leave a distinct mark by erosion, change in, or destruction of, vegetation or other easily recognized topographic, geologic or vegetative characteristic.

Highway, Limited Access -
A freeway or expressway providing a trafficway for through traffic, in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting property on lands and other persons have no legal right to access to or from the same, except at such points and in such manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over the trafficway.

Homeowners' Association - A Wisconsin non-profit membership corporation which serves as an association of homeowners within a Subdivision, Certified Survey Map, or Condominium having shared common interests, responsibilities with respect to costs and upkeep of common private property of a Subdivision, Certified Survey Map, or Condominium. Such common property includes private recreation and open space areas within the Subdivision, Certified Survey Map, or Condominium. For the purposes of this Chapter, homeowners' associations include condominium associations.

Improvement, Public - Any sanitary sewer, storm sewer, drainage ditch, water main, roadway, park, parkway, public access, sidewalk, pedestrian way, planting strip, off-street parking area or other facility for which the County or Town of Empire may ultimately assume the responsibility for maintenance and operation.

Land Division - The act or process of dividing land into two or more parcels.

Landscaping - Living material, such as grass, groundcover, flowers, shrubs, vines, hedges and trees and nonliving durable material, such as rocks, pebbles, sand, mulch, wood chips or bark, walls and fences, but not including paving.

Lot - Designated parcel tract or area of land established by plat, subdivision or as otherwise permitted by law to be used, developed or built upon as a unit, and containing the minimum frontage, width, and area sufficient to meet building, parking, setback, open space, sanitary, or other requirements.

Lot Area - The total square footage lying within the peripheral boundaries of a parcel of land. In any zoning jurisdiction, the area of a lot specifically excludes:
  1. the right-of-way of a public or private street;
  2. areas of navigable water.

Lot, Corner - A lot abutting two or more streets at their intersection, provided that the corner of such intersection shall have an angle of 135 degrees or less measured on the lot side.

Lot, Legal - A unit of land existing under a single ownership which complies with the applicable basic district standards for the Zoning District in which such lot is situated or meets the definition of a "lot of record" of this Chapter, which is provided with the minimum frontage upon a public road, and which complies with all applicable Subdivision and Laws and ordinances.

Lot Lines - The peripheral boundaries of a parcel of land.

Lot of Record - A legal lot of record shall mean a lot legally created and recorded in the Fond du Lac County Register of Deeds Office prior to or according to the Fond du Lac County Subdivision Ordinance of August 20, 1968, meeting applicable State County Zoning and Subdivision Laws and Ordinances.

Lot, Through - A lot which has a pair of opposite lot lines among two parallel streets and which is not a corner lot. On a through lot both street lines shall be deemed front lot lines.

Lot, Width - The mean horizontal distance between the side lot lines of a lot measured at right angles to the depth. On irregularly (non-perpendicular) shaped lots, the width shall be the average width of the lot computed according to Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter COMM 85. Lot width shall be measured at the street setback line applicable to the zoning district the parcel is located within. In the shoreland jurisdiction, the lot width shall also be measured at the shore yard setback line applicable to the zoning district the parcel is located within. At least 50% of the lot shall be greater than or equal to the required lot width.

Major Condominium Plat - Condominiums in which land is allocated into parcels or building sites, whether the individual portions of land are defined as "units" or "limited common elements", are subject to review and approval of this Chapter if five (5) or more parcels or building sites of five (5) acres or smaller in size and created within any five (5) year period from a lot parcel or tract which existed on the effective date of this Chapter.

Major Land Divisions - The creation of five (5) or more parcels or building sites of five (5) acres or smaller in size by successive divisions within a period of five (5) years.

Major Street - Arterial and collector roads primarily intended for through traffic with a secondary function for direct access.

Minor Condominium Plat - Condominiums in which land is allocated into parcels or building sites, whether the individual portions of land are defined as "units" or "limited common elements", are subject to review and approval of this Chapter if one (1) but not more than four (4) parcels or building sites of five (5) acres or smaller in size are created within any five (5) year period from a lot parcel or tract which existed on the effective date of this Chapter.

Minor Land Divisions - The creation of one (1) but not more than four (4) parcels or building sites which divide land into a parcel or parcels of five (5) acres or smaller in size. Minor land divisions shall be created by Certified Survey Maps. Not more than four (4) parcels may be created by means of minor land division procedures within any five (5) year period from a lot, parcel or tract which existed on the effective date of this Chapter.

Minor Street - A street used or intended to be used primarily for access to abutting properties.

Obstruction, Drainageway - This Chapter refers to two different types of obstructions:

  1. Artificial Obstruction - any obstruction other than a natural obstruction that is capable of reducing the carrying capacity of a stream or drainageway or may accumulate debris and thereby reduce the carrying capacity of a stream; such as fences, dams, planted trees and shrubs, and any other obstructions instituted as a result of human activity.
  2. Natural Obstruction - Includes any rock, tree, gravel or analogous natural matter that is an obstruction and has been located within the stream or drainageway by a non-human cause.

Open Space - Any site, parcel, lot, area or outlot of land or water essentially unimproved and set aside, dedicated, designated or reserved for the public or private use or enjoyment or for the use and enjoyment of owners and occupants of land adjoining or neighboring such open space. Open space land shall not be occupied by non-recreational buildings, roads, drives, public right-of-way or off-street parking areas for non-recreational uses.

Open Space, Deed Restricted - Deed restricted open space on platted "lots" is not occupied by any principal or accessory buildings or structures, roads, road rights-of-way or parking areas. Deed restricted open space on platted "outlots" is not occupied by non-recreational principal or accessory buildings or structures, roads, road rights-of-way, or parking areas. The maintenance of deed restricted open space located on platted "outlots" is by a homeowners' association. The maintenance of deed restricted open space located on platted "lots" is by the individual lot owner.

Open Space, Public - An open space conveyed or otherwise dedicated to a municipality, municipal agency, public school district, state or county agency or other public body for recreational or conservation uses.

Outlot - A remnant parcel of land not to be used for building purposes, so designated on the plat.

Owner - Includes the plural as well as the singular and may mean either a natural person, individual, firm, association, syndicate, partnership, private corporation, public or quasi-public corporation or combination of these having legal title or sufficient proprietary interest to seek development of land. For purposes of successive division of a parcel of land by Certified Survey Maps, "owner" shall be taken to include any related person, firm, partnership or corporation to whom conveyance has been made within two (2) years of application for approval of a Certified Survey Map. "Related" shall mean any natural person related to a transferor by blood or marriage, any person acting in an agency or trust capacity, any partnership in which the transferor is a partner and any corporation in which the transferor is a stockholder, officer or director, or in which related persons are stockholders, officers or directors.

Parcel - Lot created by a division of land. A parcel (s) which is owned, controlled or managed as a single entity shall be treated as a single tract, unless separated by a public road and navigable and non-navigable waters. A parcel is created as of the date the deed, land contract, lease, etc., is recorded with the Register of Deeds Office.

Pedestrian Pathway - A public way that is intended for the convenience of pedestrians only. It may also provide public right-of-way for utilities.

Plat - The map, drawing, or chart on which the Subdivider's land division or Condominium Developer's condominium is presented to the Town of Empire for approval.

Preliminary Plat - A map showing the salient features of a proposed subdivision submitted to the Town of Empire Planning Commission for purposes of preliminary consideration as described in Section 10-1-21 of this Chapter.

Protective Covenants - Contracts entered into between private parties or between private parties and public bodies pursuant to Section 236.923 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which constitute a restriction on the use of all private or platted property within a minor land division or subdivision for the benefit of the public or property owners and to provide mutual protection against undesirable aspects of development that would tend to impair stability of values.

Public Way - Any public road, street highway, walkway, drainageway or part thereof.

Replat - The process of changing, or the map or plat which changes, the boundaries of a recorded Subdivision Plat, Certified Survey Map or part thereof. The division of a large block, lot or outlot within a recorded Subdivision Plat or Certified Survey Map without changing the exterior boundaries of said block, lot or outlot is not a replat.

Retention Basin - A man-made or natural body of water of a depth of not less than three (3) feet, designed to contain water at all times, the level of which will be increased as a result of the flow into it of surface and subsurface water, collected therein and released gradually into natural and man-made outlets.

Setback - Those minimum street, front, rear and/or side yards required by the Town of Empire Zoning Ordinance.

Shoreland Jurisdiction - The area within 1,000 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a navigable lake, pond or flowage; or within 300 feet of the ordinary high water mark of a river or stream; or to the landward side of a floodplain, whichever distance is greater.

Shoreland Wetland - A wetland, as defined by this Chapter, which is located within a shoreland area.

Slope - The degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal, usually expressed in percent or degrees.

Stream - A course of running water, either perennial or intermittent, flowing in a channel.

Street - The right-of-way of any street, road, highway, lane, etc., dedicated to the public which generally provides access to abutting properties.

Subdivision, Town of Empire - (Subdivisions satisfying this classification, are subject to Town of Empire review, and do not require State review). The subdivision of a lot, parcel or tract of land by the owner thereof or the owner's agent for the purpose of sale or of building development, where:

  1. The act of division creates five (5) or more parcel or building sites, each of which is larger than one and one-half (1 1/2) acres and which is five (5) acres or smaller in size: or
  2. Five (5) or more parcels or building sites of which is larger than one and one-half acres and which is five (5) acres or smaller in size and created by successive divisions within a period of five (5) years.

Subdivision, State - (Subdivisions satisfying this classification are subject to mandatory State review under Wisconsin Statutes, Section 236 in addition to Town of Empire review under this Chapter). The division of a lot, parcel or tract of land by the owner thereof or the owner's agent for the purpose of sale or of building development, where:

  1. The act of division creates five (5) or more parcels or building sites of one and one-half (1 1/2) acres each or less in area; or
  2. Five (5) or more parcels or building sites of one and one-half (1 1/2) acres each or less in area are created by successive divisions within a period of five (5) years.

Town - Reference to town shall mean the Town of Empire including the Town Board, Town Clerk or any other designated Town Commission.

Town of Empire Planning Commission - The Town of Empire Planning Commission, as authorized by Wisconsin Statutes, Section 62.23.

Tract - A contiguous area of land which exists or has existed in single ownership.

Watercourse - A permanent or intermittent stream channel.

Sec. 10-1-111 through Sec. 10-1-119 Reserved for Future Use.

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