VERNON COUNTY - A meeting on a proposed Farmland Preservation Zoning Ordinance took place in Franklin Township On Monday, August 19.
Farmers and other landowners gathered in the town hall for a question-and-answer session at 6:30 p.m. Citizens and board members discussed property rights, the effects of zoning on farming and economic development, and who was to decide whether zoning should be used in that area.
The main meeting began at 8 p.m. Town of Franklin Chairperson Berrent Froiland stated that the town board was in favor of enacting the FPP Ordinance.
There was then a discussion about misconceptions among citizens. Nikki Dwayne, legal counsel assisting the Town of Franklin, helped to clarify a number of incorrect statements made by some of the attendees. Some of the most vocal critics of the proposed FPP Ordinance were not residents of the Town of Franklin, but did own land there.
“This debate has been going on for over seven years, with many public meetings,” Vernon County Conservationist Ben Wojahn stated. “You can ask people to get as informed as you want, but we are at the point where folks either have taken the time to become informed, or will never be willing to.”
“It is our responsibility to talk to members of the community about these issues… all is not lost whether we vote for or against it,” Shannon Clark added.After talking about how they should make the decision, the town board decided that they would hold a public advisory referendum on October 21 to help inform the final decision.