One of the functions of SEWRPC is to help educate elected officials, local government staff members, and members of the general public on a variety of matters that pertain to the preparation of regional plan elements and the implementation of those plan elements by other governmental units and agencies. Toward this end, SEWRPC staff members make numerous appearances at county and local government meetings, in classrooms at public schools, colleges and universities, and at meetings of interest groups of various kinds. Representative examples of these types of activities are included in each Commission Annual Report. From time-to-time the Commission also sponsors regional planning conferences and works with other agencies and organizations to sponsor a variety of events that are intended to educate the general public on matters of developmental and environmental concern.
To schedule a SEWRPC staff appearance for these purposes, please contact one of the following individuals:
Kenneth R. Yunker, PE
262-547-6722 Ext. 211
Stephen P. Adams
Public Involvement & Outreach Coordinator
262-547-6722, Ext. 261
Planning Guides and Model Ordinances
Educational efforts also include the preparation and publication of SEWRPC planning guides. Planning guides are intended to constitute manuals of local planning practice. The goal is to improve the overall quality of public planning within the Region and thereby promote sound community development, properly coordinated on a Region-wide basis. The guides discuss basic planning and plan implementation practice, contain examples of good planning practice, and provide local government with model ordinances and forms to assist them in their everyday planning efforts.
These guides deal with:
The following model ordinances are available:
Examples of recent ordinances are also available on request.
The following model rules of procedure (by-laws) are also available:
Conservation Subdivision Design
Conservation subdivision design, sometimes referred to as cluster development design, involves the grouping of dwellings on a portion of a development parcel in order to preserve the remainder of the parcel in open space. Management options for the open space areas include, among others, preservation of existing natural features, restoration of natural conditions, and continued agricultural use. The open space may be owned by a homeowners association, the local municipality or County, the State, a land trust or other private conservation organization, or the original landowner. Conservation easements and deed restrictions should be used to protect the common open space from future conversion to more intensive uses.
In comparison to conventional subdivision designs, conservation subdivisions afford greater opportunity for preserving open space and maintaining the natural resources of the parcel being developed. When properly designed, the visual impact of new residential development from surrounding streets and adjoining parcels can be minimized and significant natural features and agricultural lands can be protected from development. Public infrastructure maintenance costs may be reduced due to shortened street and utility lengths.
SEWRPC defines a conservation subdivision as a housing development characterized by compact lots and permanent open space, where the natural features of the site are maintained to the greatest extent possible. SEWRPC recommends that a minimum of 60 percent of the site area be set aside as open space in conservation subdivisions in unsewered areas and a minimum of 40 percent of the site area be set aside as open space in sewered areas.
The following information about conservation subdivisions in the Southeastern Wisconsin Region is available:
A summary of conservation subdivision regulations
adopted by County and local governments in the Region (May 2008)
Conservation subdivisions developed in the Region between 1990 and 2005
SEWRPC has produced the following publications about conservation subdivisions:
Comprehensive Planning (“Smart Growth”)
In 1999, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted legislation that expanded the scope and significance of comprehensive plans within the State. The legislation, often referred to as the State’s "Smart Growth" law, provides a modified framework for the development, adoption, and implementation of comprehensive plans by regional planning commissions and by county, city, village, and town units of government. The law is set forth in Section 66.1001 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
See Comprehensive Planning page for more information.