Minutes, Oct. 4, 2022

Plan Commission Minutes

Town of Washburn

Town Hall

Tuesday, October 4, 2022


Members present: Kim Bro (chair), Cyndi Belanger (secretary), Tim Schwenzfeier (vice chair).

Members absent: Jim Park (town board representative), Hallie Sandberg.

Town Road Supervisor: Mike Harvey.

Others present: Wendy Stein, Phil Kraus.


  1. Chairman Bro called the meeting of the commission to order at 7:17 P.M. and verified its legal notification (posted at town hall and Tetzner Dairy) on October 2, 2022 and on town website.
  2. At 6:00 P.M. the commission conducted a site visit of the closed Washburn landfill on South Maple Hill Road west of West Maple Hill Road (~12 acres in SE¼ SW¼ S.29, T49N, R05W), in order to prepare for a field visit of citizens interested in learning about the history of the landfill, the closure process, the construction of the clay cap, the groundwater monitoring process, changes resulting from decay and compaction of the municipal solid waste, and responsibilities for annual inspection and maintenance. Wendy Stein joined the commission during the site visit. Buzz Raspotnik mowed the cap in August, and the condition of the topsoil cover over the clay cap was visible. The most severe areas of subsidence in the cap are on the east side, where cattails are growing in depressions at least 2-feet deep. Cattails tend to grow in areas where there is standing water for a significant part of the growing season. There are other depressions on the entire cap where sedges characteristic of wet soils are growing. It appears that surface water runoff in these areas is detained and seeps out through the topsoil on the downhill sides of the depressions. Commissioners observed several cracks in the topsoil around the edges of areas of subsidence in the clay cap. Commissioners observed an area northeast of Monitoring Well #3 on the east edge of the landfill site where the Town of Washburn placed tree stumps and a small pile of soil from the remediation of the east end of South Maple Hill Road. Wendy pointed out several examples of the noxious weeds leafy spurge and spotted knapweed on and around the landfill cap.
  3. At 6:45 P.M. the commission conducted a site visit of Phillip & Catlin Kraus’s 8.4 acre parcel (~NE¼NE¼NE¼ Section 28 T.49N R.5W; Tax ID#: 38621; south side N. Maple Hill Rd near the Church Corner Rd intersection). Mike Harvey and Phil were at the site. The Kraus’s propose a driveway extending uphill from N. Maple Hill Rd, to the west central side of the parcel. A row of trees screens the owners’ proposed building site from the town roads. According to the soils map, the area near the town road is clay, and the proposed building site is sand-over-clay. A wooded area of steep transitional soils uphill from the proposed building site will remain undisturbed. Mike explained the need changes from the owners’ proposed plan: a larger Tee turnaround near the proposed garage and a wider driveway at the connection to N. Maple Hill Rd. A minimum culvert length of 30 feet and 18‑inch diameter is required in the road ditch. Phil agreed to these recommendations and revised his site sketch (see below).
  4. The minutes of the September 6, 2022 meeting were approved (Tim moves, Cyndi seconds).
  5. The commission recommended (Cyndi moves, Tim seconds) that the town board approve the driveway permit for Phil & Catlin Kraus. The revised layout, as shown in the updated sketch (below) will meet the drainage, visibility, roadbed and turnaround requirements of the Town Driveway Ordinance (Sect. 4). The commission also recommended (Cyndi moves, Tim seconds) that the town board recommend future approval of the county Class A Special Use Permit for the owners to build a residence in an Agriculture‑1 zoning district if the county permit application is consistent with the preliminary development plan shown on the driveway permit sketch. The existing vegetative screening maintains the rural character of the area (Policy #8.1.e), and the layout minimizes the potential for erosion of the transitional soils. The most sensitive transitional soils will remain wooded (pp.8‑30).


  1. The commission selected Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 3:30 P.M. to guide a community field visit of the landfill. There should be adequate daylight for citizens to observe current conditions and to ask questions and express concerns that the commission can summarize for the town board. The commission suggested that representatives of the City of Washburn and the Town of Bayview, who share responsibility for inspections and maintenance of the closed landfill. The commission felt that an on-site visit would be more instructive for the public than would an indoor presentation. Kim will talk to town chair Sandy Raspotnik about inviting town and city representatives.
  2. Kim announced that he attended a September 21 meeting of the county comprehensive plan committee. There are subcommittees for each of the chapters in the plan, and Kim asked to participate in the Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources Subcommittee. The next meeting of the committee is November 16th.
  3. The meeting adjourned at 8:15 P.M. (Tim moves, Cyndi seconds).


Draft submitted by: Kenneth Bro, Chair, Town of Washburn Plan Commission (October 10, 2022).


Plan Commission Report


The commission recommends that the Town Board approve a driveway permit for Phil and Catlin Kraus and, after they apply, recommend county approval of the Class A Special Use Permit to construct a residence in an Agriculture‑1 zoning district, if their proposal is consistent with the development plan shown on their driveway permit sketch (below).

The commission proposes to lead a community field visit of the closed landfill on South Maple Hill Rd. at 3:30 P,M, on Sunday, October 16th.