Date:      10/6/2003

To:          Planning Commission Members

From:     George Dearborn, Director of Community Development

RE:          Town of Menasha Comprehensive Plan Status & Implementation

Approval Status

Now that the comprehensive plan has been adopted by the Planning Commission and Town Board, the next step in the process is approval by the State of Wisconsin and East Central Regional Planning Commission.

Plan Implementation

It is important now to begin to look at plan implementation.  Staff is now working to complete the 5 year park plan.   I also think it is important now to review the Goals Objectives and Policies of the plan with specific emphasis on implementation.  Following is a compilation of specific objectives and policies of the plan that we will all attempt to implement subject to funding availability. There are other objectives are implemented through existing ordinances and procedures.  I have highlighted some of the specific objective and procedures that we intend to pursue soon.   

Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources



a.      Permanently protect environmental corridors from development through the use of Winnebago County’s Shoreland District Ordinance and Floodplain Ordinance, the Town of Menasha/Winnebago County Zoning Ordinance, and the Town of Menasha’s Official Map Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance.

b.      Permanently protect floodlands, natural drainageways and wetlands within the Town to avoid storm-water management problems and other environmental problems.

c.       Develop strategies to remediate contaminated sites within the Town of Menasha.

d.      Encourage the use of innovative zoning techniques such as planned unit developments and cluster zoning to preserve open space and foster high quality development.

e.      Maintain and improve air, land and water quality in the Fox Cities region.

f.        Employ a comprehensive management approach for solid and organic wastes.

g.      Foster long-term development patterns through the use of innovative land use, transportation and utility planning tools.

h.      Prepare, adopt, and implement natural resource protection standards for inclusion in the Zoning and Subdivision ordinances.




a.      The Town intends to protect from development its natural resource features through the use of the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Shoreland District Zoning Ordinance, Floodplain Ordinance and Official Map.

b.      The Town will require new development projects to include storm water management facilities approved by the Town’s engineer.

c.       The Town will require all site plans, preliminary plats, and certified survey maps to accurately depict all natural resource features that are found on the site.

d.      The Town strongly encourages the preservation of all mature woodlands one acre or greater in size through the use of cluster development zoning techniques.

1.                  Transportation




a.      Encourage the use of innovative transportation system design standards to facilitate pedestrian, bicycle and transit use and reduce automobile dependency.

b.      Continue to update the Official Street Map in order to reserve adequate rights-of-way for future reconstructed or newly constructed streets, pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

c.       Coordinate transportation projects with the Town's Comprehensive Development Plan.

d.      Link the Town's transportation system with the regional transportation system through coordinated intergovernmental long-range transportation and land use planning.

e.      Take full advantage of the economic development possibilities associated with the Town's access and proximity to regional rail lines, Outagamie County Airport, the regional highway and waterway systems.

f.        Provide safe and comfortable pedestrian and bicycle facilities in all areas of the Town, including residential, commercial, industrial, recreational and institutional areas. All neighborhoods should be designed to meet the unique needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile travelers.

g.      Encourage land use densities and development patterns that make transit service feasible in the Town.

h.      Require all new development along existing and proposed transit corridors to be designed so that it can be easily and conveniently served with bus or other transit systems. Site plan reviews should include a thorough analysis of whether or not the proposed development is designed in a manner that will allow it to be served by transit vehicles (e.g. buses, car pools, vans, rail, etc.).

i.        Continue to improve the image of the Town by improving the visual quality of development along key community entryways such as STH 441-USH 10, USH 41 and CTH CB. This should be achieved by further revising the Town's signage, landscaping, outdoor storage and building design regulations so that new development fosters high visual quality.

j.        Provide a directional signage system throughout the Town. This system should guide travelers to key activity centers such as the new Town Center Complex, waterfront recreation areas, commercial districts, parks, schools, office centers and industrial facilities.

k.      Coordinate the Town's capital improvement projects with this Plan.

l.        Provide safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle routes between residential areas, schools, shopping areas, parks, medical facilities, employment centers and mass transit facilities.

m.    Require new development projects to accommodate the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and the physically challenged. Develop or modify the requirements and standards of site plan reviews and conditional use permits to incorporate these requirements.

n.      Promote intermodal trail development that will ensure that most neighborhoods in the Town are located within ¼ to ½ mile (five to ten minute walk) of a public park facility.

o.      Encourage persons owning developed property along major community entryways to improve the aesthetic quality of their properties by screening parking areas, landscaping street terraces and yards, reducing the number and size of signs, eliminating outdoor storage of materials, products or supplies, and planting decorative gardens and flower beds.

p.      Ensure that pedestrian crossings at major intersections are properly designed to provide maximum safety and convenience to those crossing these heavily traveled streets.

q.      Require new development to provide off-street parking and loading facilities.  Encourage shared parking arrangements between adjacent land uses whenever possible.

r.       Minimize the impact of new transportation projects on existing neighborhoods, businesses and natural resources.

s.       Implement access control regulations along arterial and selected collector streets in the Town to facilitate safe travel and reduce public right-of-way acquisition costs.

t.        Revise existing Town and County ordinances and standards as needed to implement the recommendations made in this Plan.

u.      Pursue the establishment of an impact fee to ensure that new development supports transportation improvements to maintain minimum levels of service for all impacted roads.

v.      Require offsite improvements for new developments that ensure that these new developments do not degrade the service levels of the public roads they will impact.

w.     Establish levels of service for all roads within the Town.


2.                  Housing




a.      Encourage, in appropriate locations in the Town, a variety of housing types, including single-family, duplex, multiple-family and condominium units.

b.      Stabilize the physical condition of older neighborhoods by creating and enforcing property maintenance codes, developing funding programs, and applying for grants that are geared toward housing rehabilitation and maintenance, and buffering residential areas from incompatible land uses.

c.       Ensure that specialized residential facilities (e.g. elderly housing, CBRFs) are adequately served with transit service, pedestrian facilities, bicycle facilities, recreational facilities, and convenient, nearby shopping, service and entertainment areas.

d.      Identify the most suitable areas for new residential dwelling units on the Future Land Use Plan and guide new residential development to those areas.

e.      Locate new housing units in areas that have convenient access to shopping, schools, churches, parks, services and transit facilities.




a.      Encourage, in appropriate locations in the Town, a variety of housing types, including single-family, duplex, multiple-family and condominium units.

b.      The Town encourages the provision of a full range of high-quality housing types in the community (e.g. single family, duplex, multiple family) for various age and income groups.

c.       New housing should be built in areas of the Town with convenient access to commercial and recreational facilities, transportation systems, schools, employment opportunities, and other necessary facilities and services.

d.      Encourage neighborhood diversity. Identify the community-wide need for low income and assisted family housing to encourage diversity.

e.      The Town encourages surrounding communities to provide their fair share of low income and assisted housing units.

f.        All non-agricultural development on lands located within the adopted Grand Chute-Menasha West Sewer Service Area should be served with the full array of municipal services. Unsewered urban development is strongly discouraged within the Sewer Service Area because it can not be efficiently served with essential public services, including sanitary sewer and water, storm sewer, sidewalks, high levels of police and fire service, street maintenance, parks and schools/bus routes. Further, scattered unsewered urban development results in land speculation and premature conversion of productive agricultural lands.

g.      The creation of unsewered subdivisions within the Sewer Service Area shall not occur within the Town of Menasha.


3.                  Utility and Community Facilities




a.      Provide all area residents an opportunity to partake in a wide range of active and passive recreational activities on a year-round basis.

b.      Plan for the future open space and recreational needs of the urban area.

c.       Provide recreational opportunities in a cost-effective manner.

d.      Work closely with local school districts and other civic groups to provide adequate recreation facilities and programs and to avoid duplication of recreational facilities.

e.      Continue to require new subdivisions to provide land dedications when appropriate and fees for park and open space acquisition and facilities.

f.        Ensure that the Town's Parks and Open Space Plan is kept updated and certified by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to enable the community to apply for various State and Federal grant programs.

g.      Provide efficient and economical public facilities and services to urban development.

h.      Ensure the Town’s capital improvements program is consistent with this Plan.

i.        Promote economy and equity in the delivery of urban services.

j.        Promote sanitary sewerage systems that will effectively and economically serve urban development.

k.      Coordinate the Town's Comprehensive Plan with Regional Sewer Service Area Plans.

l.        Develop urban service phasing plans that are coordinated with the Town's Land Use Plan and Transportation Plan.


4.                  Economic Development




a.      Support the development of a high quality business park and community commercial center.

b.      Retain and expand existing commercial establishments and industries.

c.       Take maximum advantage of the economic development potential the Town enjoys given its proximity to a regional airport, major rail lines, and the regional highway network.

d.      Improve the visual quality of existing commercial and industrial establishments in the Town of Menasha to enhance the "image of the town" to visitors, residents and potential new investors.

e.      Diversify the local economic base so that it keeps pace with the realities of a rapidly changing world economy and does not become threatened by economic down turns in various sectors of the industrial economic base (e.g. paper industry).

f.        Better utilize the waterfront as an economic development amenity by working with neighboring units of government to develop a vision plan for the region's water resources.

g.      Determine through the land use planning process the highest and best use of vacant or under-utilized properties within the Town.

h.      Recruit new industries by aggressively marketing the Town's unique locational attributes, skilled labor force and full range of municipal services.

i.        Amend the Town/Winnebago County Zoning Ordinance and Map or develop a separate Town zoning ordinance and map if possible to ensure a high quality business environment by guiding new businesses to pre-planned areas that are well-served by municipal services and the regional transportation system.

j.        Provide Town shoppers with adequate services and facilities such as safe and convenient parking areas; comfortable, visually attractive and well-lit sidewalks in commercial areas; safe crossings across major streets; and logical, convenient transit routes that connect residential areas with shopping districts and employment centers.

k.      Diversify the mixture of commercial and service uses in the Town to meet unmet market niches and better serve existing neighborhoods.

l.        Encourage the use of innovative regional economic development strategies and tax base sharing tools in the Fox Cities region.

m.    Encourage intergovernmental cooperation and coordination in the area of economic development.

n.      Encourage the creation of a business association that will support the Town of Menasha.


5.                  Intergovernmental Cooperation




a.      Foster cooperation and coordination in the provision of services where efficiency, equity and economies of scale can be obtained with other entities.

b.      Provide efficient and economical public facilities and services to urban development.

c.       Coordinate the Town's Comprehensive Plan with the Sewer Service Area Plans prepared by the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

d.      Develop urban service phasing plans that are coordinated with the Land Use and Transportation Plans prepared by the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.




a.      The Town of Menasha shall encourage involvement with adjacent municipalities including the counties of Outagamie and Winnebago in order to minimize conflict of land use and conflict in policies, and to achieve economies of scale.

b.      The Town shall designate staff to act as liaisons with adjacent municipalities, Outagamie and Winnebago counties and other regional, state and federal agencies.