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Kinnickinnic: Back to zoning, new liquor law

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Journal
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Supervisor Bill Gnatzig told Kinnickinnic town board members at the April 8 meeting that maybe they were too hasty about not opting out of St. Croix County zoning.

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Gnatzig and Town Board Chairman Roger Van Beek attended a meeting in the town of Warren. They learned of other municipalities doing their own zoning. Warren and Troy are both planning this move.

The benefit of controlling your own zoning is not letting the county make decisions about town properties, Gnatzig explained. The town would control its own zoning and land use.

This system may be better than allowing county board members, who live elsewhere, to make decisions about Kinnickinnic, Gnatzig said.

"We maybe don't want to close the door on it as quickly as we did," Gnatzig said.

He shared other board members concerns about the cost of such an undertaking, plus finding a person with the right knowledge to head the project.

Deputy Zoning Administrator Joe Granberg explained that every so often an opportunity opens for towns to opt out of county zoning. The time now is due to the county redoing its farmland preservation plan.

If Kinnickinnic went solo, it would have to write its own zoning law, which would then need county approval.

The board decided to ask its Planning Commission to weigh the pros and cons of leaving county zoning and come back with a recommendation no later than Sept. 1.

Town attorney Bob Loberg completed a rough draft of the town's liquor license law.

Wineries would fall under a special exception permit Class A liquor license.

Wine could be bought to be consumed off-site. No liquors from other distributors could be sold. It would also allow for wine tastings, but no drinking at the winery.

River Falls Sportsmen's Club members asked how their club would fit into the new liquor license law. They wanted to work within the scope of the law once it's written.

Van Beek told them he would recommend they get a Class B beer license to permit the sale of beer for drinking at the rifle range club.

He also recommended devising a stamp system or something to enforce a no-alcohol policy while shooting guns.

Club members said they would review the law and return with feedback. Van Beek told them to pay special attention to the fines and penalties associated with providing beer on a donation basis.

With the liquor license law nearing completion, the board is working on a large-gathering law.

"We need to make sure we consider instances we're trying to protect against and make sure our ordinance achieves that," Supervisor Mae Wolfe said.

The board reviewed examples from the towns of River Falls and Oak Grove and liked aspects of both.

The town of River Falls focuses on the number of people at gatherings, while Oak Grove zeros in on the types of events allowed.

Supervisor Dave Nelson said the large-gathering law shouldn't be based on crowd size because there's no way to tell if the applicant for the picnic license is being truthful about the number of people there.

Board members also don't want to infringe on private gatherings, like weddings or graduations. They were more concerned with events like rodeos, concerts and having adequate portable potties and security.

The Town Board also hired Kathi Pelnar, from Humane Animal Control in Hudson, as Kinnickinnic's animal-control officer. Van Beek was doing animal control, but he's leaving the Town Board in mid-April.

Pelnar will be paid $55 a call and 50-cents a mile for mileage. Residents with stray, larger animals could face citations and be charged boarding costs.

The review, tour and evaluation of town roads and will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 24.

The old town hall site will be deeded back to John and Linda Fuller, 1151 Town Hall Road. Fuller's father donated the land to Kinnickinnic in 1949.

Since the recycling center is being moved to the current Town Hall, the board felt the land revert back to the Fullers. All that remains there is a shack and barricades that will soon be removed.

A Cooperative Boundary Committee was appointed with the following members:

Carolyn Laurel, 915 Ridge Pass, Hudson; Jerry Williams, 1056 County Road M; Candace Bettendorf, W285 County Road SS; Judy Peskar, 113 Liberty Rd.; Dan Bauer, 947 Quarry Rd.; Bernie Van Osdale, 1039 River Dr.; Peter Block, 309 N. River Rd.; Jerry Olson, 322 Sherwood Forest; and Roger Van Beek, 578 State Highway 65.

This committee will work with the city of River Falls to explore ways to handle the city growth into the town.

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