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Vernon County’s Town of Liberty discusses Farmland Preservation Zoning
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LIBERTY TOWNSHIP - On Monday, February 10, at 6:30 p.m., town board members and local residents met at the Liberty Town Hall. The subject of the meeting was an update with possible action on a draft of the zoning ordinance. It began with a re-cap of last month’s meeting, the treasurer’s report, and the patrolman’s report.  

A few public comments were brought up, including questions about grants to repair Maple Drive Road and requests for ‘no shining’ signs on Duck Creek and Ski Hill roads. County Supervisor Adrian Amelse brought up a Wisconsin Coverts Project Workshop, which will be held from August 13-16 at Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff, Wisconsin.  

Town Supervisor Nicole Rakobistch then gave a zoning ordinance update, and proposed a public hearing during the town’s annual meeting in April. It was decided that a review of the ordinance draft would take place in March. 

Next, Vernon County Conservationist Ben Wojahn presented a model Farmland Preservation Zoning ordinance. He stated that with this plan, landowners who used good conservation on their land would be eligible for $7.50 per acre. 

“Good conservation” would mean following requirements for grazing, manure flow, and nutrient management plans,” Wojahn explained.  

Addressing a question about separate districts, Wojahn said that there would be two districts; one residential and one for farmland preservation. The program would bring money to residents, along with more incentive to work with the Vernon County Land and Water Conservation Department.  

“Even if you’re renting out to a dairy farmer, it doesn’t take much cropland to earn $6,000 in tax credit,” Wojahn stated. 

“I think we have a nice residential aspect, but we also have large tracts of land here.  We want to set a good balance between rural land use and residency in the area,” Amelse added.

There was more discussion of the current draft and how this plan could be worked into it. It was said that resources at DATCP could possibly help to fit the two together.  

The meeting ended with a general consensus that available resources would be used to do further research on how farmland preservation could be worked into the Town of Liberty’s draft zoning plan.