Town of Clover Plan Commission
February 1, 2022, 7 pm
Call to Order: 7 pm
Roll Call: Sheryl Isaksson, James Stemwedel, Chris Lehnert, Keith Koenning. Pete Berton, absent.
Audience Attendance: Marcus Zarbinski
Announcements: Wisconsin Coastal Management Program staff have recommended approval of the application for funding assistance for the 2023-2043 Comprehensive Plan. The chair appeared on January 27 via Microsoft Teams before the Project Selection Committee. Awards will be finalized in March.
The 2021 TPC Annual Report is available on the Town’s website, herbsterwisconsin.com.
Approval of Minutes: December 7, 2021, Meeting Minutes approved by consensus.
Old Business: None
1) Class A Special Use Permit for three RVs for more than 4 months in A-1 zoning by Kim Zarbinski.
1) The applicant has placed two RVs on the property without permits.
2) A portable privy is on the site (approved by Bayfield County 11/4/2021).
3) Town of Clover Driveway Permit #135 is incomplete (not approved) as of January 31, 2022.
4) No address sign in place. The applicant states he will obtain one.
1) The applicant’s son states one RV is for his family and the other for his brother’s family. The third permit is sought to store another RV on the site.
2) The applicant and the applicant’s son state that it is their intention to build a permanent structure at an unknown future date.
Past practice, Town of Clover:
In 2014 the TPC adopted guidelines for RVs on undeveloped parcels and made recommendations for one RV only as follows:
August 2011, Greene, 2 years; September 2013, extended 2 years.
June 2012, Hanson, 2 years.
September 2012, Pikus, 2 years; September 2014, extended 2 years.
September 2014, Farkas, 2 years; September 2017, extended for additional unknown time
September 2020, Hughes, 2 years.
Marcus Zarbinski (son of the applicant Kim Zarbinski) advised TPC members that he is unfamiliar with zoning regulations and he would like to do things correctly. He seeks permits for two RVs for more than four months (the third permit would be desirable but not as important as the first two permits).
In discussion TPC members expressed reluctance to deviate from past practice of recommending one RV only for the purpose of temporary use until a permanent residence is built. Members advised Mr. Zarbinski to consider discussing with the Zoning Department the rules allowing RVs for up to 21 days without a permit and the permit that allows a 4 month placement.
Consensus recommendation to the Town Board: Recommend approval of the Class A permit with conditions:
1) One RV only. Remove existing second RV by June 1 or obtain 4-month permit.
2) Obtain address sign.
3) Town compliant driveway.
4) Two-year permit. Remove RV by March 2024.
5) Permit not transferrable if property sold.
Goal 1 of the Comprehensive Plan discourages mobile homes (RVs fit this category). Goal 1 also encourages single family residential, seasonal, and recreational development. Allowing an RV on a site for a limited period of time is a reasonable way of allowing a landowner to experience the site before building a permanent structure.
The TPC notes that the paperwork of the permits requires clarification. The Class A “pink form” is a “request for 3 RVs on property for longer than 4 months. Attached to the “pink form” are three applications for RVs up to 4 months.
2) Class B Special Use Permit for one short-term rental at 87180 Old School Rd in R-RB zoning by John Nixon and Rachel Hartshorn.
1) 12/7 TPC recommended approval of Class A application with conditions.
2) 12/8 Town Board recommended disapproval because “property being rented without proper documentation.” The Zoning Department may not issue a Class A permit if the Town recommends disapproval. The Class B application is the “appeal” of the denial.
3) On unknown subsequent date John Nixon/Rachel Hartshorn filed a Class B Special Use Permit Application.
1) The applicants have a valid license from the Bayfield County Health Department.
2) Available information suggests that the applicants have been renting without a Town of Clover short-term rental license. There is on airbnb.com a listing as of January 31, 2022 for an A frame in Herbster, three minutes from the beach, hosted by Rachel. Because airbnb.com does not provide site addresses it is an assumption and not a certainty that this A frame is the Nixon/Hartshorn short term rental. The airbnb.com map shows the listing to be on Old School Rd. The listing has 21 customer reviews including five labeled January 2022.
Past Practice Town of Clover:
1) Between 1/2018 and the present the TPC has recommended approval of 10 Class A and Conditional Use Permits (these are two unit permits) for short-term rentals.
2) Before considering the permit application, the TPC inspects the driveway, the presence of an address sign, the neighborhood, etc. and until 2021 when the Town of Clover Short Term Rental License became effective, recommended conditions affecting the parking, RVs, fireworks, noise, etc. The conditions are now part of the Town license, renewed annually. Complaints about a rental submitted to the Town may result in license revocation or denial of renewal.
In discussion TPC members expressed frustration over the apparent lack of compliance with regulations by the applicants (see this discussion summary after the recommendation).
Consensus recommendation to the Town Board: Recommend approval of the Class B permit with conditions:
1) This permit is not transferable if the property is sold.
2) Prior to advertising and rental the property owner must have a Town of Clover Short-Term Rental License.
Goals 1 and 10 of the Comprehensive Plan support recreational housing and tourism.
Discussion summary regarding issue of operating a short term rental in advance of obtaining the required County zoning permit and Town license. TPC members expressed a desire to see provisions to punish violators and to deter others from future violations.
The Town of Clover ordinance does include a violation provision: “Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that fails to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance shall, upon conviction, pay a forfeiture of not more than $500.00 plus the applicable surcharges, assessments, and costs for each violation. Each day a violation exists or continues constitutes a separate offense under this Ordinance. In addition, the Town Board may seek injunctive relief from a court of record to enjoin further violations.”
A suggestion was made that the ordinance could be amended in the fee structure section, to add: “Initial fee is doubled if applicant has rented for more than 10 days without a Town of Clover license.” State law exempts rentals of 10 days or less per year.
Future Business: None
Adjournment: 8 pm
Minutes prepared by the Plan Commission Chair, Keith Koenning, and questions may be directed to email@example.com or 715 774 3475.