Month in Review, November, 2013:

With the upcoming holiday season and the end of the legislative session in sight, there was much activity in the area of municipal law in November. One change that will benefit municipalities is the increase in the maximum municipal court cost that may be recovered from a municipal court defendant. 2013 Wisconsin Act 53, which amended section 814.65, Wis. Stat., increased the maximum amount that may be imposed upon a municipal court defendant from $28 to $38.

The legislature also recently sent two bills to Governor Walker for his signature. The first, 2013 Senate B 314 (creating Wis. Stat. § 66.10015) prohibits a municipality from changing the standards for a land development permit once the developer has made his/her application. In essence, this bill freezes regulation of development at the time the developer completes the application process. The second, 2013 Senate Bill 183 relates to shoreland zoning. Current law provides that if a city or village annexes county shoreland area, previously subject to a county shoreland ordinance, after a specified date, the shoreland area continues to be subject to the county ordinance and the county ordinance must be enforced by the annexing city or village. The same is true if the shoreland area was part of a town that is then incorporated as a city or village after a specified date. Senate Bill 183 eliminates the requirement that the county shoreland zoning ordinance remain in effect and be enforced after incorporation or annexation.

A number of additional bills are awaiting signature by Governor Walker.

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