Zoning Ordinance
  
ARTICLE B:  GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 13-1-10 Establishment of Districts
For the purposes of this Ordinance, the Town of Empire is divided into six (6) zoning districts, designated as follows:
  • Exclusive Agricultural District (EAU)
  • Agricultural Transition District (AT)
  • General Agriculture District (A-1)
  • Residential District (R-1)
  • Business District (BD)
  • Industrial District (ID)

Sec. 13-1-11 Zoning Map
The boundaries of the zoning districts enumerated in Sec. 13-1-10 are hereby established as shown on the “Official Zoning Map of the Town of Empire, Fond du Lac County,” adopted and incorporated herewith by reference. The Official Zoning Map shall be on file and available for public inspection at the office of the Town Clerk, Town of Empire. The Official Zoning Map shall be revised promptly upon the approval of any zoning map amendment requests.

Sec. 13-1-12 Interpretation of District Boundaries
When uncertainty arises concerning the boundaries of the zoning districts, the following rules shall apply:

  1. Where district boundaries are depicted as approximately following the center lines of streets, highways, or road right-of-way lines, or center lines of streams or drainage ways, such center lines shall be constructed to be such boundaries.
  2. Where district boundaries are depicted as approximately following lot lines, such lot lines shall be constructed to be such boundaries.
  3. Where district boundaries are depicted as running parallel to center lines of streets, highways or road right-of-way lines, such parallel lines shall be constructed to be such boundaries at a distance from the center lines that fulfills the intent of drawing such lines.
  4. Where boundaries do not follow property lines and distances are not specified, boundaries shall be interpreted by the decision-making body.

Sec. 13-1-13 Relationship to County Zoning Ordinances
Where lands within the Town of Empire are also subject to Fond du Lac County zoning regulations including, but not limited to shoreland, wetland and floodplain zoning, the most restrictive regulations shall be applied.

Sec. 13-1-14 Uses Regulated
No building, structure or use of land shall hereafter be initiated or altered except in conformity with the regulations specified for the district in which it is located. Uses not particularly specified in this Ordinance may, nonetheless, be permitted by the Town Board, only if such uses are substantially similar in character to the principal uses permitted in the district.

Sec. 13-1-15 Lot Size
No lot shall be reduced in size such that the lot no longer complies with the minimum lot size requirements specified for the district in which it is located.

Sec. 13-1-16 Height Requirements; Exceptions
No structure shall hereafter be constructed or altered in such a way that it does not comply with the height, bulk, yard or setback requirements specified for the district in which it is located.

  1. Height Exceptions for Specific Buildings. Churches, schools, hospitals and other public and quasi-public buildings may be erected to a maximum height of sixty (60) feet, provided that the front, side and rear yards required in the applicable district are each increased at least one foot for each additional foot of building height above the maximum height otherwise applicable in the district.
  2. Height Exceptions; Other Structures. Chimneys, cooling towers, elevator bulkheads, fire towers, monuments, stacks, tanks, water towers, ornamental towers, spires, masts, accessory structures and improvements consistent with agricultural uses, power transmission poles and lines, and towers other than those regulated by Sec. 13-1-41 are excepted from the height requirements of this Ordinance.

Sec. 13-1-17 Area and Bulk Requirements; Exceptions
The minimum size of a residential structure shall be one thousand, two-hundred (1,200) square feet of living area. No part of a yard or other open space required in connection with any building for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this ordinance shall be included as part of a yard or other open space required for another building. No accessory structure, or portion thereof, shall be erected or extended into a required yard except as allowed by Sec. 13-1-51, Accessory Uses and Structures. No principal structure, or portion thereof, shall be erected or extended into a required yard except for the following:

  1. Fire Escapes. Open or enclosed fire escapes may project into a required yard not more than five (5) feet.
  2. Customary Architectural Features. Cornices, belt coursed and other ornamental features may project into a required yard not more than one foot.
  3. Bus Shelters. Bus shelters may be located within a required yard, so long as no portion of the structure is located within a road right-of-way.

Sec. 13-1-18 One Principal Structure Permitted Per Lot
No more than one principal structure shall occupy a single lot, except where a lot or tract is used for public, institutional, commercial or industrial purposes, or as provided in the EAU and AT Districts. In such cases, all buildings shall conform to all yard/setback requirements around the lot specified for the district in which the lot is located.

Sec. 13-1-19 Frontage Requirements
All lots shall have a minimum fifty (50) foot frontage upon a public roadway or other officially approved means of access; however, in order to receive a building permit for construction of any principal structure the lot must comply with the minimum lot width requirements specified for the applicable zoning district.

Sec. 13-1-20 Dedicated Roadway
No permits shall be issued for a lot that abuts a public roadway dedicated to only a portion of its proposed width and located on that side of the roadway from which the required dedication has not been secured.

Sec. 13-1-21 Lots Abutting More Restrictive Districts
Except for lots in R-1 District, lots abutting districts with more restrictive (i.e. greater) side yard requirements shall provide side yards no less than that required in the more restrictive district.

Sec. 13-1-22 Mobile Structures Prohibited
Except as provided in Sec. 13-1-40 for mobile homes, mobile structures or other vehicles for human occupancy are prohibited as principal or accessory structures or uses in all districts except as temporary offices for contractors on a construction site.

Sec. 13-1-23 Site Regulations

  1. Site Suitablility. No land shall be used or structure erected which is held unsuitable for any proposed use by the appropriate decision-making body for reason of flooding, inadequate drainage, soil and rock formations with severe limitations of redevelopment, severe erosion potential, unfavorable topography, inadequate water supply or sewage disposal capabilities or any other feature likely to be harmful to the health, safety or welfare of current and future residents of the Town. In addition:
    1. No lot served by public sanitary sewer facilities shall have less than fifty (50) percent of its required lot area below an elevation at least two (2) feet above the elevation of the 100-year recurrence interval floodplain.
    2. Every lot served by an on-site sanitary sewage disposal (septic tank) system shall have at least one (1) acre in area that does not lie within floodlands.
    3. All lots more than one (1) acre in area served by an on-site sanitary sewage disposal (septic tank) system shall contain not less than forty thousand (40,000) square feet of land which is at least 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.
    4. Lands made, altered or filled with non-earth materials within the preceding twenty (20) years shall not be divided into building sites which are to be served by on-site soil absorption sanitary sewage disposal systems.
    5. Each lot or dwelling unit shall be capable of meeting the requirements of the Fond du Lac County Sanitary Code and the Wisconsin Administrative Code regarding the construction of on-site sewage disposal systems.
    6. For the purposes of this ordinance, a deck shall be considered a part of the building or structure.
  2. Preservation of Topography. In order to protect the property owner from possible damage due to change in the existing grade of adjoining lands, and to aid in preserving the natural patterns of the landscape, no change in the existing topography of any land shall be made which would result in increasing any portion of the slope to a ratio greater than one and one-half (1 _) horizontal to one (1) vertical, within a distance of twenty (feet) from the property line, or which would alter existing drainage pattern to adversely impact abutting properties except with the written consent of the owner of the affected properties and with the approval of the appropriate decision-making body. All slopes shall be protected against erosion, and in no case shall any slope exceed the normal angle of slippage of the material involved.
  3. Public Sanitary Sewerage and Private Sewage Disposal Systems. When a proposed use requires sanitary facilities and public sanitary sewer facilities are available to the lot, the applicant shall construct sanitary sewer facilities in such a manner as to make adequate public sanitary sewer service available to the lot. Where public sanitary sewer facilities are not available, private systems shall be constructed pursuant to applicable regulations of Fond du Lac County and any applicable sanitary district. Private holding tanks are expressly prohibited as disposal systems for new construction.
  4. Water Supply Facilities. When a proposed use requires potable water and public water supply facilities are available to the lot, the applicant shall construct water supply facilities in such a manner as to make adequate public water service available to the lot. When it is proposed to establish a private water supply system to serve the lot, the applicant shall construct water supply facilities to conform to all applicable regulations of the appropriate governing jurisdictions.

Sec. 13-1-24 through Sec. 13-1-29 Reserved for Future Use

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