LETTER TO RESIDENTS
LETTER TO RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF HARMONY, VERNON COUNTY WISCONSIN
The Town Board of Harmony would like to alert residents to County and Town Ordinances enacted in 2016, in addition to a number of concerns that have come to our attention.
1) Vernon County, Ordinance Sec. 70-75: Non-Plumbing Sanitation Systems. All new pit or vault-type privies are now required to have a Vernon County Issued Sanitary Permit. In addition, a certified soil evaluation is required for all new privies. An “Affidavit of Non-plumbing” is required to be filed with Vernon County. The requirements for this ordinance are attached.
2) The Town of Harmony will no longer accept demolition/construction materials at the Town recycling center in amounts greater than 2 yards. The Town Recycling Officer has been instructed to reject such materials in excess of 2 yards. Residents will now need to contract for their own dumpster for demolition/construction debris.
3) Road Right-of-Way (R-O-W) Obstructions: It is the responsibility of the Town to manage road right-of-ways. By state law (Wis. Statutes 82.03, 82.18, 82.50, 893.83) the Town has the responsibility to keep the R-O-W safe and free of obstructions. The road width is specified as 66 feet, 33 feet on each side of the road as measured from the road center, unless specified otherwise in the landowner’s property deed. No encroachment is allowed by crops, fences, storage of items, debris, sawmill waste, livestock or businesses. The R-O-W easement is in place for use by public utilities and municipalities for rainwater runoff ditching, snow removal, etc. The Town has the authority to remove any obstructions and bill the offending landowner for the cost, which will be added to their property tax bill.
4) Town of Harmony Zoning Ordinance: An updated Zoning Ordinance was passed after a public hearing and signed by the Town Board on November 16, 2016. Township zoning is necessary for the orderly development in the township and mandated for property owners to receive reduced taxes under Farmland Preservation. The Ordinance can be viewed on the Town website, or copies can be obtained from the Town Clerk, Brenda Hass at 483-2447.
5) Town of Harmony Zoning Coordinator: Contact Pete Strachan at 608-689-2445 for site inspections and permits. Questions regarding Harmony Zoning: Jim Theler at 483-3288.
6) Site and Building Permits: All new residential construction requires a Site Permit (formerly called a Town Building Permit) from the Town of Harmony and a separate UDC (Uniform Dwelling Code) permit. All new structures first require a site inspection and a permit to insure setbacks and other Town, County and State zoning requirements are met. All setback restrictions as defined in the Town of Harmony Zoning Ordinance apply. All permits are reviewed for approval at the Monthly Board Meeting.
7) Unfinished House Construction: House construction needs both a (1) Siting and (2) Building permit in accordance with the Town of Harmony Zoning Ordinance. Houses that are not sided within two years of the issue date of the building permit are unfinished and a new permit is required. The Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC) SPS 321.24(1) states: “The exterior walls shall be covered with a permanent weather resistant finish.” Tyvek-type house wraps are not considered a permanent finish.
8) Buildings Destroyed or Moved: Any building that is destroyed or moved off a landowner’s property should be reported to the assessor to insure appropriated readjustment of the tax burden. The Assessor is Barrett Brenner at 715-926-3199.
9) Land Sales: Any land being sold must be zoned appropriately before the sale of said land.
10) Conditional Use Permits. To obtain a valid conditional use permit for a business, contact the Town Chairman, Lorn Goede (483-2612).
11) Driveway Sand in Winter: The Town of Harmony will not be sanding private driveways during the upcoming winter. Residents need to contact private providers for that service. Residents can pick up, up to four yard of sand/salt mix each year at the Town shop at no charge for their driveways. Quantities of sand/salt mix in excess of 4 yards will be delivered by request to residents at cost by the Town patrolmen.
12) Dog Licenses: Dog license fees may be mailed in with your tax payment, but must be paid as a separate check. The license is due by January 31 of each year, fees for each dog are: Male/Female, $8.00, if Neutered /Spayed $3.00. Before a license can be issued, rabies vaccination verification must accompany payment. State law (Wis. Statutes 95.21, 174.05(5)) requires that every dog 5 months or older be vaccinated for rabies and that a vaccination tag and owner tag with address be attached to the dog’s collar. Failure to do so can result in a fine of between $50.00 and $100.00. Dog licenses after the January 31st deadline must be obtained from the Vernon County Clerk’s office in Viroqua.
13) Dogs: Dogs must be kept on the owner’s property or properly restrained. A dog running at large or an untagged dog is subject to impoundment. An officer shall attempt to capture and restrain any such dog (Wis. Statutes 174.02). Dog owners are responsible for damages done by their dogs (Wis. Statutes 174.042).
14) Livestock Containment: Residents are reminded to take appropriate measures to ensure that their livestock is fenced or otherwise contained on the livestock owner’s property. Motor vehicle-livestock collisions and other livestock property damage can result in legal liability for all damages cause by livestock (Wis. Statutes 172.01, 172.015).
15) Seasonal Road Ban Weight Restrictions and Sawmills: Due to seasonal weight restrictions, logs cannot be delivered to a sawmill by truck on Town roads when the Weight Limit Road Ban is on. For two axles, the maximum allowable weight during the Road Ban period is 8 tons (16,000 pounds).
16) Faded Fire Signs: If your fire sign is faded contact the Town and a new one will be ordered for you at a cost of $35.00 each for a limited time, normal fee is $50.00 each.
17) Election Workers Needed: Persons who are interested in being an election worker at the Town building during elections should contact Lorn Goede at 483-2612.
18) Cemetery Committee Members Needed: Some Town of Harmony cemeteries have damaged headstones and other condition issues. Brenda Hass is organizing a Cemetery Committee to address these issues. Anyone interested in participating should contact Brenda at 483-2774.
KEEP OUR TOWN BEAUTIFUL
Lorn Goede, Town Chairman
August 17, 2017