I.                 Purpose of the Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan              

 

A.                Why Plan?                                                                         

 

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

                                                                           General Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

Well, General, perhaps plans are not “useless,” but the point is true. The real benefit of planning, community or otherwise, is working through the process, not the production of a map or document at the end. In this context, the word  “plan” is a verb, not a noun; it is an action, not a result.

 

Good planning brings people together to talk about what responsible growth looks and feels like. It encourages discussion among citizens, agencies, and governments. It presents choices on how and where to live; how to get to and from work, school, home, and play; and how a community will look, function, and feel.

 

The planning process identifies what is and what can be, and fosters discussion on how the past influenced the present and can guide the future. It is an opportunity to discuss options and develop common goals. It provides a focus for finding and discussing innovative ways to meet diverse community needs.

 

The “finished” plan – the map or report – is really little more than the documentation of the planning process. It records facts and describes a scenario for the future. It displays how financial and human resources might be allocated. It illustrates the planning process’s discussion and findings.

 

A good plan is not the end of a process but the beginning of a new one. It is the starting point for implementation, a guide for change. It cannot be viewed strictly as “law,” but, rather, as a reference for future decision-making. The plan is a tool, not just a product.

 

 

 


B.                Smart Growth Legislation                                                    

 

The most complete planning legislation in Wisconsin’s history was included in the State of Wisconsin Biennial Budget for 1999-2001 and was revised in May 2000 for technical changes. The “Smart Growth” comprehensive planning legislation provided a framework for developing comprehensive plans and to assist the community in making informed land use decisions. The framework includes nine specific elements and fourteen goals. By January 1, 2010, all communities which make land use decisions will need to base those decisions on an adopted comprehensive plan based on the Smart Growth legislation.

 

It also provided for a grant program that will provide communities an incentive to further advance the local efforts in their comprehensive planning process and a connection to other planning related actions to help provide overall consistency with the plan developed by the local community.

 

C.                Planning in the Town of Menasha                                        

 

The Town of Menasha has a long history of developing and using comprehensive plans to direct its future. The Town’s first plan was adopted in 1986. A new plan was prepared and adopted in 1996. The 1996 plan established goals, objectives and policies that have been used to direct the Town’s growth. The Town has required conformance of all rezoning with the adopted future land use map and requires amendments to the future land use map if a rezoning does not conform. The 1996 plan was approved by East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, which ensured that the Town could expand its sewer service area.

 

This Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan meets all of the requirements of the new State of Wisconsin Legislation on Growth Management under Wisconsin Statutes 16.965, 16.9615 and 66.0295. It is intended to direct the growth of the community for the next twenty years, with a review of its objectives on an annual basis and a full update every five years. This plan incorporated input from all residents of the Town of Menasha while encouraging efficient government and facilitating intergovernmental cooperation. As with the 1996 plan, this will be a blueprint for future development that will help citizens, developers and all other entities know what to expect about the future of the Town of Menasha.

 

The Town of Menasha Plan Commission by Resolution #000 recommended the adoption of the Town of Menasha Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan to the Town Board of the Town of Menasha. On DATE, the Town Board held a public hearing at which the ordinance to adopt the Town of Menasha Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan was discussed. On DATE, the Town Board of the Town of Menasha adopted Ordinance #000.

 


II.             Future Land Use Plan                                                     

 

A.     Summary                                                                          

 

Introduction

 

The land use plan for the Town of Menasha is the visual representation of existing and planned development (see Map 1). Here is where the impact of the population projections, the historical and projected changes in the demographics of the community, the projected densities of different types of residential development, the transportation pattern and systems, the protection of natural resources and more become real for the residents of the Town of Menasha.

 

Key Issues and Drivers

 

The key issues and drivers that were the focus of the meetings with the Town of Menasha Planning Commission were reviewed and analyzed in preparing the Future Land Use Plan for the Town of Menasha. Some of the key issues and drivers that are more fully explored in V. Inventory and Analysis include:

 

Ø       Change in demographics

Ø       Change in household size and structure

Ø       Recent and planned transportation improvements

Ø       Protection of agricultural, natural and cultural resources

Ø       Promotion of economic development

 

Review of Draft Future Land Use Plans

 

A draft of the Future Land Use Plan was the subject of two public forums held on May 16, 2002 at the Town of Menasha Municipal Complex and on May 23, 2002 at the Town of Menasha Community Center.

 

Presentations were made on the Smart Growth Comprehensive Planning Process by Alvin Bellmer, Chairperson of the Town of Menasha Planning Commission and George Dearborn, Director of Community Development for the Town of Menasha. Jonathan Bartz, Principal Planner for Martenson & Eisele, made a presentation on past, present and future land use in the Town of Menasha.

 

Town residents who attended the public forums were given the opportunity to review a draft future land use plan for the Town of Menasha, ask questions of the Town’s staff and consultant, and make suggestions on future land use in the Town of Menasha. Below is a list of the areas that generated the largest amount of questions and suggestions:

 

Ø       The projected industrial or business park located on the west side of CTH CB north of the Town of Menasha Municipal Complex

Ø       The property owned by the Town of Menasha located on the east side of CTH CB north of East Shady Lane

Ø       Projected future land uses along West American Drive between Millpond Lane and Cold Spring Road

Ø       Projected future land uses surrounding the Tri-County Ice Arena.

Ø       The desire for residential development to be low density versus medium or high density

 

The Town’s staff and consultant reviewed the suggestions and comments in developing a second draft of the Future Land Use Plan that was presented to the Town of Menasha Planning Commission on July 17, 2002. Based on the discussion at that meeting, a final draft of the Future Land Use Plan was prepared for inclusion on the Town of Menasha web site and for the presentation of the draft Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan at a public hearing in DATE.

 

Recommendation – Agricultural Preservation Plan

 

It is recommended that the applicable ordinances and regulations be reviewed for possible changes that may be needed to implement the Agricultural Preservation Plan (see Section D. Land Use Projections on page 11).

 

Recommendation - Neighborhood Development Plan Areas

 

It is recommended that the Neighborhood Development Plan Areas be reviewed and prioritized (see Section C. Development and Redevelopment Opportunities on page 7).

 

Recommendation - Neighborhood Discussion Areas

 

It is recommended that planning workshops be scheduled for each of the four Neighborhood Discussion Areas (see Section C. Development and Redevelopment Opportunities on page 7). The workshops should be completed by 2004.

 

 

 


B.                Land Use Goals, Objectives and Policies                                

 

Goal

 

To provide for orderly growth and development that ensures the character, magnitude and location of all land uses are considered in achieving a balanced natural, physical, and economic environment, and contributes to the general health, safety and welfare of the Town’s residents and property owners.

 

Objectives

 

a.     Develop and adopt a Land Use Plan that guides the public and private sectors in making decisions on the development and redevelopment of land in the Town of Menasha, and provides for a complete range of land uses in the areas most appropriate for such uses.

b.     Develop and adopt new regulatory tools, and revise and re-adopt existing regulatory tools needed to promote compact development in areas that can be efficiently served by existing Town services.

c.      Amend the existing zoning map to be consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and neighborhood development plans.

d.     Where and when necessary, draft and adopt new ordinances and development standards to implement the goals, objectives, and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and the Neighborhood Development Plans and Neighborhood Discussion Areas.

e.     Develop and adopt Neighborhood Development Plans.

f.       Develop and adopt a Town-administered zoning ordinance.

 

Policies

 

a.     The Town shall require all decisions and actions concerning land use development and redevelopment in the Town of Menasha to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

b.     The Town shall require that all non-agricultural development located within the Town of Menasha’s Sewer Service Area be served by municipal services.

c.      The Town shall discourage residential development on land that is not in the Town’s Sewer Service Area.

d.     The Town shall encourage the development of vacant and under-utilized land within the Sewer Service Area that can be served by existing municipal services and facilities and transportation systems.

e.     The Town shall use the Site Plan Review process to improve the visual quality and physical design of the Town of Menasha by developing and continuing to enforce signage, landscaping, property maintenance, building design, parking and loading and outdoor storage regulations which foster high quality urban development.

 

f.       The Town shall use the Site Plan Review process to reduce the potential for conflict between potentially incompatible land uses by requiring adequate mitigation measures such as buffer yards, vegetative or structural screening, sound-proofing, traffic access control and directed parking lot lighting.

g.     The Town shall use the Site Plan Review process to address storm water management problems associated with increasing urbanization by requiring new development to provide on-site storm water management facilities.

h.     The Town shall use the Site Plan Review process to encourage the use of innovative land use design and development tools and techniques such as planned unit development, transit-oriented development, cluster development and conservation development to foster compact, pedestrian-oriented and mixed use developments.

i.       The Town shall use the Site Plan Review process to prohibit development from locating in wetlands, floodplains, and delineated conservation and environmentally sensitive areas.

j.       The Town shall establish, adopt, and implement density and intensity standards for all future land uses.

k.     The Town shall encourage the concentration of higher density and intensity growth in and around areas that are adequately served by transportation facilities, public utilities, and community services and facilities.

l.       The Town shall encourage a broad range of residential land use densities to satisfy the housing preferences and income levels of all residents.

m.  The Town shall promote development of commercial areas that are convenient to the public and integrated with surrounding land uses and the transportation system.

n.     The Town shall encourage, and provide land for, industrial development that through appropriate zoning district designation and adherence to proper planning principles, will foster a diversified economic base while not being detrimental to the Town’s aesthetics and quality of life.

o.     The Town shall require the dedication and construction of frontage roads, interconnected parking lots and/or shared driveways to minimize the number of access points on major roads.

p.     The Town shall encourage the modification of the Town/County Zoning Ordinance to provide criteria to accommodate innovative land development techniques.

q.     The Town shall approve deviations from the recommendations in the Comprehensive Plan only in the context of a formal amendment or a Town adopted detailed neighborhood development plan.

r.      The Town shall annually review the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan to identify amendments needed for the Plan to continue to effectively guide land use development decisions.

s.     The Town will coordinate its Land Use Plan with the plans of adjacent municipalities to avoid land use conflicts at borders.

 


C.                Development and Redevelopment Opportunities

 

There are fourteen areas of the Town of Menasha that should be the focus of a Neighborhood Development Plan (see Map 2). A neighborhood development plan addresses in detail the development and redevelopment needs of a specific area. While the term “neighborhood” is generally associated with a residential area, in this plan the term is used to describe areas that may contain one or a combination of land uses. The neighborhood will typically be a rectangular or circular area with a radius of ¼ mile or less. Some will be lineal or long and narrow because they are defined by a segment of the transportation system.

 

CTH BB Neighborhood

 

The planned extension of water and sewer to properties along the south side of CTH BB between American Drive and CTH CB will serve as a stimulus to the further development and redevelopment of commercial and industrial uses in this linear neighborhood. The commercial value of this neighborhood has been demonstrated recently with land sales in the $100,000 to $200,000 per acre range.

 

CTH CB West Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood, one of the largest discussed in this plan, is located east of Irish Road, south of CTH BB, west of CTH CB, and north of the land on which the Town of Menasha’s Municipal Complex is located. It is currently predominantly agricultural. The neighborhood has a number of assets, including gently sloping topography, natural features such as environmental corridors and woodlands, and access to the transportation system, all of which lend themselves well to a future high quality business park. This neighborhood provides an opportunity for Smart Growth development concepts.

 

Stroebe Island Neighborhood

 

While this neighborhood has experienced substantial development over the years, it remains an outstanding environmental asset for the Town. Development for residential use is nearly complete and the protection of the open space and wetlands around the Island should be a priority of the Town and the residents who call this neighborhood home.

 

USH 10 & West American Drive Neighborhood

 

The location of transportation improvements has always dictated where development will take place. An example is the construction of USH 10 and the frontage road of West American Drive. This long, lineal neighborhood stretches along the entire length of USH 10 from the USH 41 interchange west to the Town of Clayton and is mostly undeveloped. This neighborhood is an opportunity for the Town of Menasha to promote the type of commercial development that is representative of the quality, style and design desired by the leaders and residents of the Town.

 

USH 10 and CTH CB Interchange Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood, south of USH 10 and west of CTH CB, is another example of development opportunities being generated by transportation improvements. Currently a combination of residential and undeveloped property, the stream corridor and woodlands provides a natural background and boundary for the development of the neighborhood for well-planned commercial uses.

 

North Lake Street and STH 441 Neighborhood

 

Further north on North Lake Street and just south of the STH 441 bridge is an undeveloped area with approximately 1,000 feet of frontage on Little Lake Buttes des Morts. Most of the surrounding land use is residential. This neighborhood offers the opportunity to provide more public access to one of the Town’s most valuable natural resources.

 

Fritse Park Neighborhood

 

Fritse Park is a small, five acre park off of North Lake Street along the west shore of Little Lake Buttes des Morts. It is immediately adjacent to the abandoned railroad line and bridge that the Town of Menasha and the City of Menasha are cooperatively developing into a recreational trail. Opportunities for the expansion of the park should be explored in this primarily residential neighborhood.

 

Winchester Road and Lake Street Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood, a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial land uses, is located south of Winchester Road, east of the Canadian National railroad tracks and west of Lake Street. A reduction in the different types of land uses in this neighborhood would be desirable.

 

Racine Street/9th Street Neighborhood

 

Due to the high volumes of traffic and the resulting backup of vehicles, the reconstruction of the intersection of Racine Street and 9th Street is a possibility. Access to the adjacent commercial properties will be an issue, and will need to be balanced against the safe flow of traffic. The compatibility of surrounding land uses with the possible street improvements will need to be evaluated.

 

 

 

Mayer Street Neighborhood

 

This is a residential area adjacent to the Badger Highways quarry where some of the oldest housing in the Town of Menasha is located. While no longer being actively mined, processing of mined materials does take place in the quarry. Because of the age of some of the residential structures in this neighborhood, housing rehabilitation is a potential activity. Storm water drainage is also an issue in this neighborhood.

 

Appleton Road Neighborhood

 

This is a lineal, primarily commercial neighborhood extending from STH 441 to 9th Street. The cooperation that was exhibited by the Town of Menasha and the City of Menasha in the construction of sidewalks along Appleton Road will be needed again in planning for the future transition of residential properties along Appleton Road to commercial properties.

 

Valley Road Neighborhood

 

The one mile stretch of Valley Road west of Appleton Road is characterized by a mix of commercial, industrial, residential and public land uses. Traffic access, storm water management and commercial-residential transitions are issues in this neighborhood.

 

Valley Fair Neighborhood

 

This is the area bounded by Southwest Drive on the west, Wilson Avenue on the south and the boundary with the City of Appleton on the north and east. It is characterized by high density multi-family housing and small retail and commercial structures. As one of the oldest developed areas in the Town, attention should be paid to maintaining it’s viability in the marketplace.

 

The Quarries

 

While not a typical neighborhood, the presence of five quarries in the Town presents opportunities to support and influence the reclamation plans required for each of the quarries. Each should be evaluated for integration into the surrounding area and the possible range of redevelopment alternatives.

 

 

In addition to the areas that are the focus of Neighborhood Plans, there are four neighborhoods that have been designated as Neighborhood Discussion Areas (see Map 2). The difference between the neighborhoods just discussed and a neighborhood designated as a Neighborhood Discussion Area is that in a regular neighborhood, the existing and future land uses are readily apparent. Typically there is a dominant land use that should be maintained in reviewing development and redevelopment opportunities. In a NDA neighborhood, the projected future land uses are not as readily apparent. There may be a mix of land uses, none of which are dominant, or the land may be undeveloped and the preferred land use will need to be discovered. NDA’s are generally areas in which a significant transition or change in the land use can be expected to be one of the issues addressed by the Town and its residents. Once the future land use has been determined, a neighborhood development plan can be completed.

 

CTH CB East Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood is located east of CTH CB and north of East Shady Lane. The Town of Menasha has owned this property since the early 1960’s. Several concepts have been suggested for the development of this neighborhood, including a “do nothing” alternative. In 1999, residents of the Town voted at the Annual Meeting to not sell the property. They also voted that if was to be sold, it could only be sold for park purposes. It is a very visible neighborhood and could provide the Town with an opportunity to demonstrate Smart Growth development concepts.

 

East Shady Lane and Arena Drive Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood is located just west of American Drive and has the full range of land uses from vacant to residential to commercial to industrial. Development proposals for this neighborhood have generated much interest in the past. The Tri-County Arena is located in this neighborhood. A study recently released by Winnebago County concluded the County should continue to co-own the Tri-County Arena with Outagamie County. The challenge will be to create a smooth transition of compatible land uses in the neighborhood.

 

West American Drive & Cold Spring Road Neighborhood

 

This is an area within the USH 10 and West American Drive Neighborhood that potentially could accommodate a wide range of land uses. As with the East Shady Lane and Arena Drive neighborhood, the challenge will be to create a smooth transition of compatible land uses in the neighborhood.

 

St. Mary’s Central Neighborhood

 

This neighborhood is bounded by Cold Spring Road on the west, Jacobsen Road on the north and American Drive on the east and south. The neighborhood is a mix of residential, industrial, commercial and public uses. Special attention will be needed to maintain the separation of uses where necessary and to encourage or discourage proposed developments based on their compatibility.


D.               Land Use Projections                                                          

 

1.                 Agricultural

 

It is the intent of the Town of Menasha to protect productive agricultural land and discourage residential development outside of the Sewer Service Area by prohibiting multi-lot platted subdivisions and by limiting single lot rural residential development.

 

Traditionally, municipalities have limited single lot residential development through the requirement of a minimum lot size of, for example, 35 acres. This has resulted in land being removed from productive agricultural use and scattered residential development that can be accurately described as urban sprawl. Smart growth discourages urban sprawl and encourages compact development.

 

While the Town would like to protect productive agricultural land and discourage residential development outside of the Sewer Service Area, it also recognizes that urban development will continue to occur and that at some point in the future, agricultural land uses will no longer exist in the Town. The challenge is to manage the transition of the land in the Town currently outside of the Sewer Service Area so that when it does become part of the Area, services can be provided efficiently and economically.

 

To address this challenge, this plan suggests a new approach to the protection of productive agricultural soils and the encouragement of compact development in areas outside of the Sewer Service Area. The basic concept is to adopt a maximum lot size instead of a minimum lot size and to restrict the number of lots that can be created out of a larger parcel of land. The following requirements would apply as of DATE to all properties in the Town of Menasha that are not in the Sewer Service Area:

 

Ø       Existing properties of less than 35 acres cannot be further subdivided.

Ø       Contiguous parcels with single ownership of 35 acres or more with an existing dwelling can be subdivided so as to have no more than two (2) additional rural residential lots of two (2) acres or less.

Ø       Contiguous parcels with single ownership of 35 acres or more with existing residential dwellings can be subdivided so as to have no more than three (3) rural residential lots of two (2) acres or less.

Ø       Rural residential lots would be limited to a maximum of two (2) acres.

Ø       Clustering of the rural residential lots would be encouraged.

Ø       Rural residential lots would be required to have 100 feet of frontage on an existing public street.

 

 

 

2.                 Residential

 

Residential land use projections on a five year basis were made for the Town of Menasha (see Table 1; for a more detailed table, see Table 36 on page 128). In making these projections, it has been assumed that 70% of the additional housing units will be for single- and two-family development and 30% will be for multi-family development. It was also assumed that the density in new subdivisions for single-family and two-family residential units would be three units per acre by 2005 and increase to five units per acre in 2020. The density for multi-family developments would be nine units per acre in 2005 and increased to ten units per acre by 2020.

 

Table 1

Acres Needed for Single, Two and Multi-Family Housing

 

Year

Current

Projected

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

Single and Two Family

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Acres Developed

1,623

1,783

1,869

1,957

2,029

Number of Acres Available/(Needed)

242

82

(4)

(92)

(164)

Multi-Family

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Acres Developed

271

294

309

325

340

Number of Acres Available/(Needed)

54

31

16

0

(15)

Source: US Census, Town of Menasha and Martenson & Eisele, Inc.

 

Single- and Two Family Development (Low Density)

 

In 2000, the Town of Menasha had approximately 242 acres of undeveloped land zoned for single and two-family housing. An initial analysis shows that based on densities of three to five units per acre, 406 acres will be developed by 2020, which is 164 acres more than is currently zoned for future growth. Further analysis reveals several factors that will influence the total number of acres that will be developed and where the development will occur.

 

While the Town of Menasha will encourage compact development and low density development of five units per acre, it is possible that residential development projects will be proposed at a density of less than five units per acre. The result will be the need for more land than shown in the projections. A second factor is that portions of the 242 acres have been developed over the past eighteen months. And finally, a parcel by parcel analysis of the vacant, unplatted land zoned for single family development reveals several parcels that are unlikely to develop due to ownership situations, environmental conditions or a projected change in zoning to a non-residential use. For example, several parcels are outside of the Sewer Service Area. Another area is located between the Canadian National Railroad tracks and wetlands in the area of Stroebe Island.

 

Based on these factors, the Town of Menasha Future Land Use Plan shows more than 406 acres of future single and two family residential developments.

 

Multi-Family Development (Medium and High Density)

 

The Town had 54 acres of undeveloped land zoned for multi-family housing in 2000. An initial analysis shows that based on a projected density of ten units per acre, 69 additional acres will be developed by 2020. Further analysis shows that portions of the 54 acres have been developed over the past eighteen months or are located in areas that may be unsuitable for multi-family development due to environmental conditions. One of the larger parcels is located near the Tri-County Ice Arena where neighborhood opposition to the development of multi-family housing has been strong. In addition, some multi-family development will occur at a density of less than 10 units per acre.

 

Based on these factors, the Town of Menasha Future Land Use Plan will show more than 69 acres of future multi-family residential development.

 

3.                 Commercial

 

Planners typically use a ratio of the number of residents in a community to the number of acres used for commercial activities to project how many additional acres of land are needed over the next five, ten fifteen and twenty years. This method works best for a “stand alone” type of community that is surrounded by unincorporated and undeveloped municipalities. Because the Town of Menasha is just one of the many municipalities that make up the Fox Cities, this method is not a good predictor of the future need for commercial land uses in the Town.

 

The Town of Menasha has chosen, instead, to use existing development patterns to project where the development and redevelopment of future commercial land uses will occur. The major driver is the transportation pattern followed by industrial and residential land use patterns.

 

4.                 Industrial

 

For the same reasons previously expressed in the section on commercial land use projections, existing commercial, transportation and residential land use patterns were used to project the location of future development and redevelopment opportunities for industrial land use purposes.

 

5.                 Mixed Use Development

 

The Town of Menasha will encourage mixed-use development consisting primarily of combinations of residential and commercial development. This type of development is attractive for people who prefer the convenience of personal shopping needs and/or employment opportunities within close proximity to their residence. It is efficient in terms of providing municipal services and can be used to address the need to develop areas in need of rehabilitation or infill areas. Examples would include residential located on the upper stories of retail or office buildings. In some respects, it is a return to the downtown concept of shopkeepers living above the store.

 


E.                Smart Growth Areas                                                           

 

Please refer to Map 1 in reading the following.

 

1.       Residential

 

In keeping with the Smart Growth concept of compact development, it is projected that areas adjacent to existing subdivisions will be the location of future residential land use. The area north of High Plain Meadows is anticipated to develop in 2003 followed by the area to the west over the next five to ten years. It is projected that the area to the south of Wildlife Heights will develop for residential purposes within the next ten years. Land south of USH 10 between CTH CB and Irish Road is also projected to become the location of single family homes in the next three to five years.

 

The Town of Menasha will encourage residential densities in these areas of up to five residential units per acre for single family and two family development, six to eleven units per acre for medium density residential and twelve units or more for high density residential multi-family development.

 

There are a number of lots in older subdivisions that are available for in-fill development. In addition, there are a few older farmhouses and houses that possibly may be acquired, demolished and replaced with one or more new residential structures.

 

2.       Commercial

 

The development pattern for commercial development on the east side of the Town is predictable because of the lack of vacant land for commercial uses and the transportation system is in place. Most new commercial development will occur along Appleton Road with a majority of it resulting from the transition of residential land uses to commercial.

 

Commercial development on the west side is projected to occur in several areas. The primary focus will be along USH 10, and especially in the Gateway development along West American Drive between Cold Spring Road and Irish Road. The intersections of CTH CB with USH 10, Jacobsen Road, and CTH II are projected to be areas in which commercial development will occur. In-fill commercial is projected to occur along American Drive between CTH BB and East Shady Lane.

 

3.       Industrial

 

There are three major areas on the east side that are projected to continue as industrial areas. They are Valley Road between Appleton Road and Racine Street, the west side of Earl Street north of Appleton Road and the warehousing and distribution facility on Brighton Beach Road.

 

The west side of the Town of Menasha is projected to be anchored by industrial land uses in all four corners. Kimberly Clark is a major land owner in the southeast and southwest sides. Pierce Manufacturing and Great Northern Container are the major players on the northeast side. The northwest side is projected to become home to a new business park located between CTH CB and Irish Road and south of CTH BB. Land west of Irish Road and north of East Shady Lane is projected to develop for industrial uses sometime beyond the 20 year time frame of this plan.

 

Some in-fill development may occur in the southeast and northeast portions of the Town’s west side. The extension of sewer and water along CTH BB west of American Drive will spur additional industrial growth in that area.


 

Insert Map 1 Future Land Use Plan here


Insert Map 2 NDP and NDA here

 

 


III.         Summary of the Planning Process                                    

 

A.                Community Survey                                                             

 

As part of the five (5) year update of the Town of Menasha’s Comprehensive Plan, a scientific survey was conducted to elicit responses on many planning and Smart Growth related issues. A total of 600 surveys were mailed out to Town residents, using a random sample, of which 212 surveys were returned for a 35% response rate. There were an equal number of returns from residents of the east and west side of the Town. A majority of respondents have resided in the town over 10 years and live in a single-family home.

 

Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources

 

Another important planning issue addressed through the survey involved environmental/open space topics. First, the survey strongly showed that the Town values the environment and air/water quality with (96% agreeing or strongly agreeing). Respondents also supported environmental corridors (78% agreeing or strongly agreeing), reserving more open/conservation spaces (72%), and the continuation of trails (81%). Overall, these responses showed a strong support for environmental and open space issues.

 

Transportation

 

A majority of the respondents (55%) feel that railroad crossings do not affect them on a regular basis while 41% feel they do. The respondents were strongly in favor of reconstructing arterials and collector streets as growth mandates, with 90% agreeing. This result supports the Town reconstructing certain roads or construct new roads in order to accommodate increased development and safety concerns. In addition, 58% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed to have more landscaping along major streets.

 

With respect to public transportation, 58% of the respondents are satisfied.  It appears there is a fairly high level of unfamiliarity with public transportation as 31% of the surveys had no response to this issue.

 

Housing

 

The State of Wisconsin’s Smart Growth legislation encourages higher population densities (more housing units per acre of land) by providing potential benefits for communities that implement them. The survey asked if the Town should promote higher densities in areas served by adequate infrastructure in order to prevent sprawl.  The respondents were evenly split with 43% agreeing and 43% disagreeing with the promotion of higher densities. The Town will be holding public hearings at which the impact of different population densities will be discussed.

 

The survey results indicated that the Town has a sufficient amount of rental housing as well as safe and affordable housing densities as evidenced by 73% of the respondents agreeing with these statements. The survey results also show that the Town should work to maintain its current ratio of single-family to multiple-family which is 70% single-family developments (single-family home and mobile homes) as opposed to 30% multiple-family developments (multi-family & duplexes). With the recent expansion of single-family developments, as well as future subdivisions being proposed, it appears this ratio will alter more to the side of single-family as opposed to multi-family.

 

Utilities and Community Facilities

 

While 72% of the respondents supported the reserving of more land for parks and conservation areas, only 49% agreed that every resident should be within walking distance of a park. It should be noted that the Town may require the developers of new subdivisions to dedicate an area for open space or a park.

 

Economic Development

 

The survey results indicated that the Town is growing at a comfortable rate, with 83% of the respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing. The survey also showed support for the attraction of larger corporations (67% agreeing or strongly agreeing), the promotion of private industrial parks (62%), and an increase in commercial retail development with 54% indicating there is a lack of it. From these results, it can be concluded that the Town should continue to promote and regulate development at its current pace.

 

Intergovernmental Cooperation

 

Cooperation with neighboring units of government is important to 83% of the respondents.

 

 

In summary, the survey was a good starting point since it allowed the Town to get a general grasp on how its residents feel about many important Smart Growth related planning issues.

 

 


B.                Major Findings and Recommendations                                  

 

In this section the major findings and recommendations for seven of the nine elements required by the Smart Growth legislation are presented. The major findings and recommendations for the Land Use Element are presented in Chapter II and in Chapter IV for the Implementation Element.

 

Chapter V contains the inventory and analysis that was performed for eight of the nine elements – Issues and Opportunities; Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources; Transportation; Housing; Utilities and Community Facilities; Economic Development; Land Use; and Intergovernmental Cooperation. Please refer to Chapter V for more in-depth information on each of these elements.

 

1.                 Issues and Opportunities

 

The driving force behind the growth of the Town is its proximity to the urban amenities and employment opportunities available in the Fox Cities. The Town is going through the transition from a predominately rural atmosphere to a more urban atmosphere.

 

Population

 

Population growth has remained steady over the past twenty years but is projected to decrease significantly due to a decrease in vacant land that is available for development and due to slowing population growth trends at the state and national level. The population has aged significantly with the median age increasing from 28 to 33 years old over the past ten years. The segment of the population that is over 65 years old continues to increase as percent of the total population, which will have an impact on housing, services and facilities. As the population increases, so does the population density, which means increased demand for public services and planned open space.

 

Households

 

Household size has been declining and is projected to continue to decline. This means more housing units, even if there is no increase in the total population, and potentially a demand for alternatives to the traditional single family home that is dominant in the Town today. The increase in households with unrelated individuals may also have an impact on the style of housing needed in the future.

 

Employment

 

The Town of Menasha experienced good economic conditions during the 1990’s. Unemployment decreased and labor force participation remained stable. The trend toward service versus manufacturing based industry was also observed both in terms of the industry and the type of occupation. While the jobs and occupations held by the residents of the Town of Menasha are not necessarily located in the Town of Menasha, it is clear that manufacturing, and the paper industry in particular, is still very important to the financial wealth of the Town.

 

Income

 

Median and per capita income levels continue to be strong in the Town of Menasha, particularly when compared to nearby incorporated communities. The percent of people below the poverty level decreased between 1990 and 2000, particularly in the 65 year old and older age group.

 

Education

 

The need for education beyond high school is apparent with the increase in the percentage of residents with bachelor or higher degrees and a decrease in the percent with high school degrees.

 

 

Based in the information gathered and analyzed in this element, there are several trends that will need to be monitored by the Town in the next twenty years. They are:

 

Ø       The “graying” of the population

Ø       The decrease in household size

Ø       The change in household structure away from the traditional family structure

Ø       The potential decline of the paper industry

 

 


2.                 Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources

 

In this plan, the Town has confirmed that it is more urban than rural. What this means is that agricultural preservation, while important, is less of a priority than it has been in the past and that preservation of environmental corridors and areas has become a higher priority.

 

Protect Environmental Corridors

 

The Town should adopt zoning, subdivision, and official map standards and maps, which identify and permanently protect environmental corridors within the Town.

 

Quarries

 

The Town has a large number of quarries. The Town should undertake planning for the eventual reclamation of the quarries.

 

Wetlands, Trails and Park and Open Space

 

The Town should also consider the protection of wetlands and woodlands, the construction of trails, and the expansion of parks and open space by the rail trestle crossing at Fritse Park.

 

Fox River Corridor

 

The Town should also work with other Fox Valley jurisdictions to develop a regional vision plan for the Fox River, Little Lake Buttes des Morts and other area waterways.

 

Historic Preservation Ordinance

 

The Town should consider the adoption of a historic preservation ordinance that complies with state requirements to help protect and preserve the old.

 

Urban Design Standards

 

The Town should also protect the new with the adoption of urban design standards for new development that front on the USH 10 extension, West American Drive extension and other planned road extensions.

 

 


3.                 Transportation

 

Long-range transportation system planning is needed to promote logical and efficient community development, foster economic development, and ensure safe and efficient movement of vehicular and non-vehicular traffic. Transportation system planning and land use planning must be coordinated given the complex interrelationships between these two elements of community development. For example, the highest and best land use of a specific parcel is determined by a number of factors including (and perhaps most importantly) its location in relation to major transportation facilities such as highways, transit routes, waterways, rail lines and airports.

 

Transportation system and land use interrelationships are also important from a capital improvement planning perspective. For example, in order to maximize the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of public investments in streets and related infrastructure, it is very important to coordinate land use planning with transportation systems planning. If a community knows which types of land use are proposed for a given area, it can project traffic volumes on streets that serve the area, as well as determine the sewer and water facilities that will be needed to serve the area as it urbanizes. A Comprehensive Plan, an Official Map, a Zoning Ordinance, an Access Control Ordinance, a Subdivision Ordinance and a Capital Improvements Program are some of the community planning tools that are necessary to achieve coordination between transportation system planning and land use planning.

 

Five Year Capital Improvement Plan

 

As a way of planning and prioritizing future transportation improvements, it is recommended that the Town continue to utilize a Capital Improvement Plan that would include transportation projects. The plan identifies the transportation project, a description of the project, the estimated cost and potential funding sources. It should be updated annually as part of the Town’s budget process.

 

Table 2 on page 25 shows an example of this type of plan.


 

Table 2

Example Five Year Transportation Improvement Plan

Project

Description

Funding Sources

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Total Cost

American Drive

Reconstruct American Drive from CTH BB to East Shady Lane as a four lane street with a sidewalk on one side and a multi-purpose trail on the other.

Long Term Financing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal/State Aids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clayton Road

Reconstruct Clayton Road from CTH BB to CTH II as a two lane collector street with sidewalks and multi-purpose trails

Long Term Financing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal/State Aids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish Road

(description)

Long Term Financing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal/State Aids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacobsen Road

(description)

Long Term Financing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal/State Aids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

East Shady Lane

(description)

Long Term Financing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal/State Aids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Town of Menasha

 

NOTE: This is an example of a five year transportation improvement plan and does not necessarily reflect actual or proposed improvements being considered by the Town of Menasha.

 

 


Trails

 

Trails scheduled or proposed for construction on the west side of the Town of Menasha are CTH CB from STH BB to East Shady Lane, East Shady Lane from just east of CTH CB to American Drive, and American Drive and West American Drive (see Map 12).

 

The Town of Menasha is working cooperatively with the City of Menasha on the conversion of the abandoned Little Lake Butte des Morts train trestle (see Map 12). The budget for this project was approved in August 2000, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource (DNR) is negotiating with the Fox Valley and Western Railroad for acquisition of this one-mile bridge. Conversion of this span to a hiking-biking trail is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2003. The Trestle to Trail Project would be a key element in linking trails together in the Fox Cities. This connection would also benefit efforts to extend a trail through the City and Town from the trestle to the Heckrodt Wetland Reserve off State Road 114, on the east side of the City of Menasha. On the west side of the trestle, the pedestrian path will be incorporated into the North Lake Street overpass crossing USH 41, and will connect to the USH 10 pedestrian walkway (south side of the freeway) that extends through the Town to the CTH CB trail. Eventually, this same trail will be extended to the west, following the new freeway through the Towns of Clayton, Winchester and Wolf River.

 

The USH 10 and USH 45 intersection will require a nine-foot high culvert to provide passage under the new four-lane roadway when constructed. Monies are currently being collected to make this critical connection a reality. The Town of Menasha is also planning several joint ventures with the City of Menasha in the east side of the Town to promote pedestrian paths on roads that are shared by both communities. In 2001, the two communities completed the construction of sidewalks on Appleton Road (STH 47). Future Town of Menasha road projects planned in the next five years will typically include underground storm sewer to afford space for a trail.

 

Access Control

 

The Town of Menasha currently does not have a local access control ordinance of its own, relying instead on a combination of the Town’s Site Plan Review process and the Winnebago County Access Control Ordinance that was adopted in August 2000 by the Winnebago County Board. The County’s Access Control Ordinance has a spacing requirement of 600 feet, with a limit of eight access points per mile per side, except for County Road CB, where the minimum spacing requirement is 1,000 feet. This applies to parcels subdivided after the adoption of the ordinance.

 

An access control ordinance can be an effective land use control measure in that it sets forth standards for access to a wide range of potential uses. This tool should be used in the future in combination with zoning and subdivision ordinances to implement the Land Use Element of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The Town should work with Winnebago County to protect the major traffic carriers from being inundated with frequent access points so that traffic can flow freely without interruption.

 

Official Mapping

 

Towns like Menasha that have adopted Village powers have the right to Official Map future roadways. The concept of Official Mapping is to promote the planning and preservation of future arterials and collector roadway corridors. A map showing future streets can be extremely helpful to the long range planning of a town and can alert property owners and developers to the intended route of major streets.

 

Map 9 shows the location of future streets that should be Officially Mapped by the Town of Menasha. In addition to the future streets, there are several streets for which it is recommended that a wider right of way be officially mapped including Clayton Road, Cold Spring Road, Irish Road, Jacobsen Road and East Shady Lane.

 

Revisions to Ordinances

 

The Town should amend Town and County ordinances to include facility requirements for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities.

 

Signage

 

The Town should implement a wayfinding signage system within the Town, which directs travelers to key destinations such as schools, parks, shopping areas, civic buildings and employment centers.

 

Official Mapping

 

The Town should develop an Official Map Ordinance and Map which will identify and protects from development existing and proposed street rights-of-way, bicycle, pedestrian and transit facilities, and other public uses as authorized by Section 62.23 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

 

Levels of Service Standards

 

The Town should consider the adoption of levels of service standards for transportation facilities within the Town of Menasha as outlined in Table 6 on page 58.

 


4.                 Housing

 

How much is enough? That appears to be the dominant question in housing in the Town of Menasha. In the last several years, there has been a significant amount of multi-family housing constructed in the Town. While single family continues to be very active, there is a concern about maintaining a balance between single-family and multi-family residential development. The current ratio of 70% single family and 30% multi-family in the Town of Menasha is typical of the incorporated communities in the Fox Cities.

 

Ratio of Single Family to Multi-Family Development

 

To help maintain the 70%/30% ratio, the Town of Menasha should actively market the availability of undeveloped lots and infill areas suitable for single family housing. The Town should also work with property owners and developers in maintaining an inventory of 60-75 lots available for single-family development. The Town of Menasha should also continue to monitor the vacancy rates of multi-family developments.

 

Housing Rehabilitation Program

 

The Town of Menasha currently does not have a housing rehabilitation program. It is recommended that the Town consider the creation of such a program that would be administered by the Town alone or in cooperation with adjoining municipalities that have housing rehabilitation programs.

 

Promotion of Affordable Housing

 

The Town of Menasha encourages developers to provide a range of housing choices, including housing that is affordable to residents with low and moderate incomes. The Town currently does not have any policies or programs that specifically promote development of low to moderate-income housing. However, the Winnebago County Zoning Ordinance would allow a developer to apply for a Planned Development District to allow variances of traditional setbacks and densities, as a means to encourage the design of a low income housing project.

 

Encouragement of Higher Densities

 

Currently the Town of Menasha has an overall single family housing density of less than three (3) units per acre and an overall multi-family density of approximately seven (7) units per acre. In order to provide services more efficiently and to preserve environmental corridors and open space, it is recommended that the Town encourage single family development with four to five housing units per acre, medium density multi-family development with six to eleven units per acre and high-density multi-family development of twelve units or more per acre.


5.                 Utilities and Community Facilities

 

With the completion of the new Town of Menasha Municipal Complex and capital improvements by the Menasha Utility, the Town is in good shape for the near future to provide needed services to the residents of the Town. There are, however, several areas that should be addressed by the Town.

 

Storm Water Utility District

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha continue to explore the formation of a Storm Water Utility District to better manage storm water and to comply with new state regulations.

 

Capital Improvement Program

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha develop a capital improvement program.

 

Update Park and Open Space Plan

 

The Town of Menasha Five Year Park and Open Space was last update in 1996 for the 1997-2002 time period. A partial updating of the plan occurred in 1999. It is recommended that a new five-year plan be prepared for the 2003-2008 time period.

 

Official Mapping

 

In order to protect them from development, the Town should continue to identify parks and open space facilities, sites for civic buildings and other public uses as authorized by Section 62.23 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

 

Levels of Service Standards

 

The Town should consider the adoption of levels of service standards for utility and recreation facilities within the Town of Menasha as shown in Table 3 on page 54.

 

 

 

 


6.                 Economic Development

 

The construction of USH 10 and CTH CB were two very important steps in attracting economic activity to the Town of Menasha. There are other steps the Town should take to build upon the transportation infrastructure.

 

Existing Business Development

 

There is no higher economic development priority for a municipality than to support the businesses currently located in the community. The Town should continue to call on business leaders and owners to keep the lines of communication open and to identify areas in which the Town may assist.

 

Attraction

 

The Town should continue to actively participate in the Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership. For more information, go to this web site:

 

www.foxcities-marketing.org/index_dev.html

 

Entrepreneurship

 

The Town should utilize the resources at Fox Valley Technical College and the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, in particular the Service Corps of Retired Executives or SCORE. For information on small business and entrepreneurship services at Fox Valley Technical College, go to this web site:

 

www.fvtc.edu/tp2.asp?ID=Small+Business+Entrepreneurship&pix=002

 

For SCORE counseling, go to this web site:

 

www.foxcitieschamber.com/coun&con.htm

 

Infrastructure Investments

 

The Town should pursue the development of a high quality business park. It should evaluate the cost and benefits of partnering with the private sector in the development and marketing of the park.

 

Organizational Capacity

 

The Town should support the creation of a business association that will promote the Town of Menasha’s economic base.

 


7.                 Intergovernmental Cooperation

 

The Town of Menasha has a strong interest in working cooperatively with adjacent municipalities and other local, regional and state public entities. Listed below are several actions the Town should consider taking to encourage cooperation with adjacent municipalities and other units of government.

 

Staff Liaison Program

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha designate a member from each of the departments to act as a liaison with similar departments at each of the adjacent municipalities, Outagamie and Winnebago County and the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The purpose is to identify areas in which municipal services could be provided cooperatively and more efficiently and economically and to coordinate planning efforts.

 

School District Outreach

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha contact the school districts of Appleton, Menasha and Neenah to schedule formal discussions of issues of common interest.

 

Metro Police Force

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha consider holding discussions with adjacent municipalities for the purpose of exploring the formation of a “metro” police force.

 

Idea Exchanges for Planning Commissioners

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha take the lead in contacting other planning commissions in the Fox Cities to determine their interest in meeting to discuss issues of common interest.

 

Boundary Agreements

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha review on an annual basis the border agreements it currently has in place with the cities of Appleton and Menasha. It is also recommended that the Town approach the City of Neenah to discuss a border agreement between the two municipalities.

 

 


C.                Goals, Objectives and Policies                                              

 

In this section of the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Menasha, the goals, objectives, and policies for seven of the nine elements are presented. The goals, objectives and policies for Land Use were presented in the previous chapter and the Implementation goal is presented in the following chapter. Definitions for goals, objective and policies are given below.

 

Goal: An ideal future condition to which the community aspires. It is usually expressed in general terms and is not quantifiable.

Objective: An intermediate step toward attaining a goal that is measurable and attainable.

Policies: Principles of land use design and management of development derived from the goals and aimed specifically at what the town can do to attain the goals. Policies typically use “shall” and “should” in describing actions and are often expressed as specific standards.

 

Goals and objectives are intended to serve as guides for preparing and implementing the recommendations presented in the nine elements of a Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan. The goals, objectives and policies developed for the 1997 Comprehensive Plan with the assistance of Town officials, residents, property owners and other interested persons have been reviewed and revised by community officials and residents on an annual basis. The revised goals, objectives and policies served as the starting point for the preparation of the goals, objectives and policies contained in this plan.

 

As with the 1997 Comprehensive Plan, this Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan incorporated the goals, objectives and policies outlined in the Long Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas to foster implementation of regional objectives via local actions. The plan was prepared by the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (ECWRPC), adopted in February 1996 and, after an update and revisions, adopted again in October 2000. This plan is intended to be consistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the ECWRPC plan.

 

The development of goals and objectives is a key element of the comprehensive community planning process. The goals and objectives are intended to express the basic values, desires and needs of the community with respect to physical development and redevelopment. Further, they contribute to the successful implementation of the Plan after it is adopted by providing guidelines for reviewing new development proposals. Essentially, they define the Town's vision for the future and provide guidance for realizing that vision.

 

The Overall Goal of the Town of Menasha is to encourage an orderly and planned pattern of community growth and development.

 


1.                 Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources

 

Goal

 

To preserve natural features and amenities and conserve natural and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

 

Objectives

 

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 for remediating 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.     Improve or maintain air 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.

 

Policies

 

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.


2.                 Transportation

 

Goal

 

To achieve a safe, convenient, efficient and environmentally sound multi-modal (i.e. pedestrian, bicycle, auto, transit, air, etc.) transportation system that provides personal mobility to all segments of the population and supports the economy of the Town of Menasha and the region.

 

Objectives

 

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.

 


3.                 Housing

 

Goal

 

To provide safe, affordable, quality housing of various types and in various locations to present and future Town residents.

 

Objectives

 

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.

 

Policies

 

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.

 


4.                 Utility and Community Facilities

 

Goals

 

a.     To provide sufficient, high quality public recreation and open space facilities to all residents of the Town of Menasha.

b.     To promote the provision of government services in an efficient, environmentally sound and socially responsible manner.

 

Objectives

 

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.

 

 


5.                 Economic Development

 

Goal

 

To diversify and strengthen the Town of Menasha's local economy.

 

Objectives

 

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.

 

6.                 Intergovernmental Cooperation

 

Goal

 

To promote the provision of government services in a cooperative, efficient, environmentally sound and socially responsible manner.

 

Objectives

 

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.

 

Policies

 

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.

 

 


D.               Smart Growth Goals                                                           

 

During the planning process, the Town of Menasha was required by the Smart Growth legislation to address fourteen goals. These goals are listed below along with references to how they are addressed in this plan.

 

GOAL 1: Promotion of the redevelopment of lands with existing infrastructure and public services and the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing residential, commercial, and industrial structures.

 

All land with existing infrastructure was identified during the examination of the existing land uses in the community. Following this identification, policies were developed to limit development outside of areas with existing infrastructure until these areas are fully developed. Areas with existing infrastructure that are underutilized were also identified and policies developed to encourage their redevelopment.

 

Design standards and building code enforcement will help to develop and maintain residential, commercial and industrial structures.

 

The use of Levels of Service is encouraged in this plan. Once the levels are determined, they will be used to limit new development unless the level of service is maintained.

 

GOAL 2: Encouragement of neighborhood designs that support a range of transportation choices.

 

The 1997 Comprehensive Plan encouraged public transit and pedestrian and bike trails. The 2002 Comprehensive Plan further encourages the use of denser developments and neighborhood designs that allow for transit and intermodal trails to connect to commercial areas and work destinations. Future neighborhood designs will be required to connect to the established and planned trail system. All neighborhoods will be required to incorporate access to existing or planned future mass transit. Various incentives will be explored to further encourage designs that support various transportation choices. Incentives may include density increases and road width reductions. Citizen input in the design process will also be encouraged to ensure support of the developments.

 

GOAL 3: Protection of natural areas, including wetlands, wildlife habitats, lakes, woodlands, open spaces and groundwater resources.

 

These areas have been identified and mapped, where possible. Protection will occur through the future land use map, zoning regulations, site plan review process and other development regulations. The Town will work closely with Winnebago County to modify the zoning districts where and when needed to further protect these natural areas.  Additional zoning district overlays will be encouraged by working with the County to provide this protection. The planned reopening of the Fox River Lock System will further encourage the protection and redevelopment of the riverfront area.

 

GOAL 4: Protection of economically productive areas, including farmland and forests.

 

Remaining farmland and forests were inventoried to ensure that all appropriate areas were identified for potential future protection. A new approach to keeping agricultural land outside of the sewer service area in production has been recommended in this plan.

 

GOAL 5: Encouragement of land uses, densities and regulations that promote efficient development patterns and relatively low municipal, state governmental and utility costs.

 

Residential densities that are higher than existing densities are encouraged in this plan. The plan limits development outside of the sewer service area. The plan examined existing land uses and densities and explored methods of promoting efficient development patterns while still providing land uses acceptable to the citizens. Infill or redevelopment of existing land within the sewer service area is encouraged. The Town’s multi-jurisdictional utility district will be used to further promote efficient development outside of the Town’s municipal boundaries. Existing town development regulations will be reviewed to ensure that they do not discourage efficient land use and , if necessary, new regulations that promote efficient development will be adopted.

 

GOAL 6: Preservation of cultural, historic, and archaeological sites.

 

Information on cultural, historic, and archeological sites was provided by the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Historic Preservation. Preservation will be encouraged by both the identification of these sites and through the development of policies that will encourage their protection. Regulations will be developed following public input to encourage the preservation of these sites. The Town’s Site Plan Review process will review proposed development for the potential need for the preservation of cultural, historic and archaeological sites.

 

GOAL 7: Encouragement of coordination and cooperation among nearby units of government.

 

The Intergovernmental Cooperation Element discusses in detail current examples of coordination and cooperation and the plans for increasing it. A copy of the draft comprehensive plan was provided to surrounding communities for their input. The plan explored the coordination and cooperation among all nearby units of government that will allow the expansion of joint projects. The Town has an established history of coordination and cooperation with nearby units of government. Joint projects already include trails, joint project bidding on street maintenance, equipment sharing, and intergovernmental economic development efforts. Policies have been incorporated into the plan that will encourage and expand the existing joint cooperation and coordination efforts. The plan encourages meeting with surrounding communities on an annual basis to ensure the effective implementation of the plan and to modify policies that have not been effective in promoting cooperation and coordination.

 

GOAL 8: Building of community identity by revitalizing main streets and enforcing design standards.

 

The Town of Menasha is developing a “downtown” with a “main street” thought a public private partnership. This “main street” will incorporate commercial and residential development and tie the uses all together with pedestrian trails creating a new community identity. The Town has developed an identity through signage (Bridging the Fox Cities) and the encouragement of designs unique to this community. Commercial and industrial development and redevelopment is reviewed through a site plan review process that includes a design review to insure the preservation and establishment of community identity. Through the use of the site plan review process, design standards will be enforced on all development and redevelopment projects.

 

GOAL 9: Providing an adequate supply of affordable housing for individuals of all income levels throughout each community.

 

The Town of Menasha presently encourages affordable housing through the development of multiple family housing and lower cost single-family sites. The town also has supported high-end residential development. Projections of housing needs were developed based on demographic data and housing meeting the various projected income levels is encouraged in the amounts that are anticipated to be needed. Developments will also be encouraged that integrate housing with employment opportunities to further reduce overall living costs by reducing transportation costs for residents of these developments.

 

GOAL 10: Providing adequate infrastructure and public services and an adequate supply of developable land to meet existing and future market demand for residential, commercial, and industrial uses.

 

The Town of Menasha has already developed infrastructure for planned future development and has identified areas for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. The plan determined the amount of developable land needed to meet future market demands for development based on population projections and existing land use patterns. Flexibility was built into the plan due to the inaccuracies of small area population projections to ensure that future development can be more closely tailored to development pressures without taxing existing levels of service. Through the annual review and five-year updates of this plan, the Town will work to provide an adequate supply of land with services.

 

GOAL 11: Promoting the expansion or stabilization of the current economic base and the creation of a range of employment opportunities at the state, regional and local levels.

 

The Town of Menasha will continue to be active in calling on existing business and industry and in working with the Fox Cities Regional Economic Partnership in attracting new firms. The Town will also work to provide additional land for a business park. The Town also promotes itself at trade shows, over the Internet and through ads and other promotions. The Town encourages development through the use of innovative funding methods that support new development through the use of a modified TIF process that uses funds from increased land values to support infrastructure installation.  The plan will reinforce and expand existing development policies by providing for adequate land area for various needed economic activities and also protecting existing commercial and industrial land uses through the future land use map and zoning regulations. 

 

GOAL 12: Balancing individual property rights with community interests and goals.

 

The Town of Menasha carefully listened to property owners concerns that new development does not negatively affect existing development. Public hearings on the adoption of the plan provided residents with an opportunity to comment on the impact of recommendations contained in the plan.

 

GOAL 13: Planning and development of land uses that create or preserve varied and unique urban and rural communities.

 

The plan examined existing unique land uses including Little Lake Butte Des Morts, environmental corridors and existing woodlands. It is anticipated that unique development will be proposed along Little Lake Butte Des Morts to capitalize on the planned reopening of the lock system to Green Bay. The developed base of trails and open space was also clearly part of the identified unique characteristics of the community. Policies are included to preserve, enhance, and potentially create unique characteristics of the community.

 

GOAL 14: Providing an integrated, efficient, and economical transportation system that affords mobility, convenience, and safety and that meets the needs of all citizens, including transit–dependent and disabled citizens.

 

All new development will complement the established transportation system including mass transit and pedestrian trails. The plan encourages compact development that will ensure the use of mass transit, and the trail system. The Town of Menasha will continue to work jointly through Valley Transit, a regional transit system to ensure transit for all citizens including transit-dependent and disabled citizens. The Town explored through the development of this plan integration of its transit system with the proposed passenger rail service that is planned in the next few years. The plan promotes, where appropriate, land uses and designs that will support existing and future transportation systems and ensure that the greatest possible efficiency is possible with various transportation systems while still ensuring desirable land uses and creating consistency throughout the plan. The plan incorporates maps that show transit corridors and includes polices that promote all types of transit.

 

 

 

 


E.                Integration of the Elements                                                 

 

During the planning process, care was taken to ensure consistency between the goals, objectives and policies and recommendations contained in each element of the Comprehensive Plan. The Town of Menasha Plan Commission will be responsible for comparing proposals for development that come before it with each element of the Comprehensive Plan. If the review of the development proposal uncovers inconsistencies between the elements, the Plan Commission shall direct the Department of Community Development to analyze and report back on how the inconsistencies may be resolved.

 

The tools for implementation will also be reviewed to ensure consistency of decisions made by Town officials with the Comprehensive Plan goals, objectives, and policies and recommendations.

 

 


IV.           Implementation of the Comprehensive Plan                       

 

A.     Summary                                                                          

 

The Town of Menasha Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan is intended to guide all decisions related to community development in the Town of Menasha. All public and private sector community development related decisions should be made in the context of the Plan’s goals, objectives, policies and recommendations. Specifically, the Plan should be used as a guide when site plans are reviewed, rezonings are proposed, conditional use requests are considered, subdivision plats are reviewed and public utility improvements or extensions are proposed. The Plan should be used to evaluate the impact of proposed development projects on existing land uses, transportation system facilities, utility systems, park and recreation facilities and other municipal services and facilities prior to issuing permits to commence construction, divide land, occupy buildings, etc.

 

This section of the plan identifies the actions for Town of Menasha officials to follow and implement over the next twenty years of the plan. Implementation will take the form of adopting and implementing a number of regulations, ordinances and policies.

 

B.                Goal                                                                                 

 

To establish and maintain a comprehensive, continuous community development system that results in a high-quality built and natural environment.

 


C.                Incorporation                                                                    

 

The Town of Menasha should consider petitioning the State of Wisconsin to incorporate as a village. The primary reason most towns consider incorporation is to protect their borders from annexation by adjoining incorporated municipalities. The Town of Menasha currently has border agreements in place with the City of Appleton and the City of Menasha but not with the City of Neenah. The towns of Grand Chute, Greenville, Harrison and Neenah are the other municipalities who share a common border with the Town of Menasha.

 

Another reason to pursue incorporation is to be able to exercise “home rule” powers. While towns can only exercise those powers specifically granted to it by the state, villages and cities may exercise any power in the public interest that does not conflict with a state statute. The “home rule” powers give a community a much higher degree of local control and exempt it from as much state legislative control as possible. These “home rule” powers are defined generally in Wisconsin State Statutes 66.0101 and specifically in 61.34(1) for Villages.

 

From a planning and land use perspective, the incorporation of the Town of Menasha as a village would mean the ability to annex land in adjacent towns. The incorporated village can exert extraterritorial review over land subdivisions and zoning within 1.5 miles of the border of the incorporated village and would be required to administer shoreland zoning.

 

Incorporation generally means a more unified delivery of land development services as the process is consolidated almost entirely into the village versus being shared with the county. Specifically what this means to the Town of Menasha is that it would be able to develop and adopt its own zoning ordinance and map and no longer have to follow Winnebago County’s zoning ordinance. Zoning decisions would be made by the plan commission and the village board, not the county.

 

From an economic development perspective, a village has the ability to use tax increment financing, which a town does not. This tool is very important in being able to stimulate private sector investment through the use of public funds to provide infrastructure in a “blighted” area of the community. Two of the most common uses of the tool are to encourage the redevelopment of an older area of the community and to develop business and industrial parks. The purpose is to help increase the value of the tax base and to encourage the creation of jobs in the community.

 

A change in government structure would accompany the incorporation. A village would have a seven person board in contrast to the Town’s five member board.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (WDOA) is the administrative agency charged with facilitating the incorporation process, determining the ability of the territory petitioned for incorporation to meet certain minimum statutory standards, and advising the circuit court to either accept or reject the incorporation petition.

 

Generally, incorporation requests that include the entire town in the area to be incorporated are not viewed favorably by the (WDOA). This means that a portion of the current Town of Menasha would become a village and the rest would remain as the Town of Menasha. Determining the boundary line is a difficult challenge and is based on how best to meet the criteria established by the WDOA for incorporation.

 

According to the WDOA, deciding whether or not to attempt incorporation is a decision to be collectively undertaken and financed by citizens residing in the territory under consideration. Citizens need to consider not only whether or not the standards to be initially reviewed by the circuit court can be met, but also whether the territory, level of proposed services and budget, and other relevant issues meet the more difficult statutory standards required to be evaluated by the department.

 

The WDOA has published the following short list of reports, maps, and statistical information, which will assist it in writing the required determination.

 

Ø       Map or maps showing the boundaries of the territory proposed for incorporation, school, or other special districts, and surrounding communities; topographical, soil, wetland, and transportation maps.

Ø       A description of public works, public safety, administrative functions, or other services desired, or needed to be performed by the proposed village or city, how they will be performed and who will perform them.

Ø       An accurate estimate of the equalized value of the proposed village. A proposed village or city budget, using the state chart of accounts for municipalities as a format.

Ø       A narrative description of historic, economic, or social factors which may demonstrate cohesion and unity of the area, and which tend to establish the community as a village or city, including data concerning shopping and social customs or patterns. (Local groups or clubs, annual organized events, historic celebrations, church groups, etc.)

Ø       A list of businesses and their addresses which are contained within the proposed municipal boundaries. Please describe the type of business, whether it is seasonal or year round, and the number of people employed on a full-time basis.

Ø       Actual or proposed zoning ordinances, including maps together with an explanation of and basis for projected uses. Land use plans and map, or maps showing existing and proposed land use, including residential, commercial and public/community facilities. Please indicate the age of the plan, the last update of the plan, or the proposed time frame to update the current plan.

Ø       A Farmland Preservation plan, erosion control plan, or designated environmental corridors, if enacted, should also be included. A list of all rezones (location, new classification, acres involved) over the past five years. If possible, separate by rezones within the proposed village boundaries. Also include, if possible, a list of rejected rezones, and an explanation for their rejection.

Ø       A list of building permits for the past five years, classified by residential, commercial, manufacturing, or other type of building permit. Separate those issued in the proposed village, if possible.

Ø       Copies of any engineering or planning reports covering all or part of the area proposed for incorporation (i.e. sewer and water facilities, etc.) and information on any other service districts (i.e. lake management districts).

Ø       Information on the level of services available from a contiguous local government, which files a resolution to participate as an intervenor in the incorporation process. Please include a list of all town buildings and town equipment, noting the age of the equipment. Indicate which services the town provides and which the town contracts for.

Ø       Other information such as fire insurance rating, EMS capabilities and coverage, and capital improvement plans to purchase or upgrade town equipment would be appreciated.

Ø       Town "annual reports" for the past five years.

Ø       A description of any impact, financial and otherwise, on the remainder of the town, including supporting data or exhibits.

Ø       A complete list of the existing code of ordinances currently in effect in proposed village and affected town.

Ø       School district enrollment predictions and facility plans in the proposed village or city, affected towns and adjacent municipalities.

 

The timeline for the municipal incorporation process can be lengthy. It is not uncommon for the process to take a year or more.

 

Because the Town of Menasha is rapidly becoming an urban, versus rural, community and because of its desire to exert more local control through the adoption of its own zoning ordinance and map, it is recommended that a study of the feasibility of the incorporation of a portion of the Town of Menasha be completed.

 

 

 


D.               Levels of Services Standards                                                

 

Through the use of Levels of Services Standards, the Town of Menasha will have a framework to use in reviewing and responding to requests for development and redevelopment. It will provide the staff, the Plan Commission and the Town Board with quantifiable standards for the range of services provided by the Town and needed by its residents. The standards will help to ensure that the goals, objectives and policies of this comprehensive plan are achieved.

 

In the spirit of intergovernmental and regional cooperation, the Town of Menasha has looked to work done by the East Central Regional Planning Commission. In the Addendum to the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas (adopted in October 2000), East Central addressed the need to provide certain levels of urban services in urban areas. The recommended levels of services were based on density for residential land uses and on the projected daily wastewater flow for commercial and industrial land uses.

 

According to East Central, development should only occur when the facilities and services are available to support that development. The Town of Menasha supports this concept. In this section, the use of Levels of Services Standards and their applicability to residential, commercial and industrial development in the Town of Menasha is discussed.

 

To assist in the development and application of Levels of Service Standards, East Central divided urban services into four categories:

 

Ø       Infrastructure Services include sanitary sewer, water distribution and storage, storm water handling, and street networks.

Ø       Environmental Services include recreation and parks, and conservation.

Ø       Health and Human Safety Services include law enforcement, fire protection, and emergency medical services.

Ø       Social Services include education, public buildings, and library services.

 

Threshold levels for Infrastructure Services and Environmental Services are listed in Table 3 Residential Density Standards Matrix – Part A and in Table 5 Levels of Services for Commercial and Industrial Development. East Central based the standards in these two tables on the growth management and urban service delivery goals, policies and objectives contained in the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas. The densities in the residential tables were formulated from recent development patterns within the urban planning area.

 

The criteria listed in these two tables are the minimum levels of services that should be provided to development projected at each of the levels. The Town of Menasha may provide, or require, a higher level of service for a particular development if it so desires. It is important for the Town to know that providing a lower level of service than those listed in Part A might result in East Central denying requests for new sewer service allocations in future sewer service plan updates.

 

The suggested levels of Health and Human Safety Services and Social Services developed by East Central are shown in Table 4 Residential Density Standards Matrix – Part B. While the standards in Part A are criteria to be met by new development, the standards in Part B are suggested goals to strive for throughout the community. Part B standards for police, fire, and ambulance are guidelines from national professional organizations, such as AMA and NFPA.

 

In contrast to Part A, sewer service allocations will not be denied by East Central to the Town of Menasha if it does not meet the Part B goals. The Town of Menasha should realize that as it continues to grow and as the characteristics of the residents of the Town changes, more Part B services may be required. East Central recommends that the Town of Menasha review its provision of these services at least once every five years, and make adjustments as needed.

 

The objective of the recommendations is to encourage growth within the urban planning area to develop in a manner consistent with the policies and objectives stated in the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan while maintaining individual community character and identity. In keeping with that objective, the decision as to what level of land use development tier (high, medium or low density) the Town of Menasha wishes to achieve is the decision of the Town. However, East Central notes that the thresholds and standards shown in Tables 3, 4 and 5 are the degree of essential services to be provided.

 

1.                 Residential

 

In the Addendum to the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan, East Central divided residential land uses into three density levels:

 

Ø       High Density is defined as those jurisdictions or portions of a jurisdiction that meet density standards of 3.0 residential units or more per gross acre, provide all essential urban services, and continue to plan new development at the appropriate density levels.

Ø       Medium Density is defined as those jurisdictions or portions of a jurisdictions where the residential density standards range between 1.0 and 2.99 units per acres and where new development is planned at 2.0 or greater.

Ø       Low Density is defined as those jurisdictions or portions of a jurisdiction where the residential density factor is less than 1, where essential urban services are not necessarily provided, and where development is limited.

 

These definitions are different from, and should not be confused with, the definitions given to residential land uses shown on the Future Land Use Map. The Town defines high density residential as 12 or more units per acre, medium density as 6-11 units per acre and low density as 5 units or less per acre.

 

Because all future residential development within the Town of Menasha’s Sewer Service Area is projected to have a density of more than 3 units per acre, the High Density standards from Table’s 3 and 4 should be applied to all proposals for residential development inside the Town’s Sewer Service Area. Future residential development outside of the Town’s Sewer Service Area should be developed in accordance with the Low Density standards shown in Table’s 3 and 4.

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha review each of the levels of services in Table’s 3 and 4 to determine, where needed and/or applicable, the quantifiable standard that is appropriate.


Table 3

Residential Density Standards Matrix – Part A

SERVICES

HIGH DENSITY

MEDIUM DENSITY

LOW DENSITY

Sanitary

Sewer

Full public sewer for all dwelling units

Primarily public sewer

Single family on-site sewer

 

On-site systems in very low density of 1 unit per acre or less

Other housing, full public sewer

Pipe size increases with density

Pipe size increases with density

 

Pipe length decreases with density

Pipe length decreases with density

 

Remain within treatment facility capacity

Remain within treatment facility capacity

Water

Supply

Full public water service for all dwelling units

Primarily public water

Private on-site wells

 

Private wells for very low density of 1 unit per acre or less

Pipe size increases with density

Pipe size increases with density

 

Pipe length decreases with density

Pipe length decreases with density

 

Adequate water pressure and flow to meet standards for fire protection and consumption

Adequate water pressure and fire flow to meet standards for fire protection and consumption

Adequate water pressure and flow to meet standards for fire protection and consumption

Storm Water

Full underground storm drainage system required for all development

Underground and surface mix required for all development

Surface drainage required for dense and commercial development

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

 

Detention and retention as appropriate

Detention and retention as appropriate

Detention and retention as appropriate

 

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Street

Network

Lighting, curb, gutters & sidewalk

Mix of lighting and curb & gutter or alternative effective storm water management

Sparse lighting; no curb, gutter, or sidewalk

Sidewalks or other distinct, maintained pedestrian corridors

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width meets Level C standards for traffic flow

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width meets Level C standards for traffic flow

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width meets Level C standards for traffic flow

Parks and Recreation

10 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents

10 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents

A minimum of one community park at least 10 acres in size

A hierarchy of community and neighborhood parks; residential areas generally are within a half-mile radius of and have safe access to a neighborhood park

A hierarchy of community and neighborhood parks; residential areas generally are within a half-mile radius of and have safe access to a neighborhood park

Source: East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission – Addendum to the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas, adopted October 2000.

 


Table 4

Residential Density Standards Matrix – Part B

SERVICES

HIGH DENSITY

MEDIUM DENSITY

LOW DENSITY

Police

Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 7 minutes; under 4 minutes for Code 1 and 2 calls.

Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 10 minutes; under 5 min. for Code 1 and 2 calls.

Adequate number of officers to provide an average response time of 15 minutes; under 6 min. for Code 1 & 2 calls.

Fire

Full time staff and chief. Average response time: 4 min

Partly on call staff. Average response time: 6 min

All on call staff. No full time staff. Average response time: 8 min

Ambulance

Fractile time response for 90% of calls: First responders arrive within 4 minutes, backup arrives in less than 8 minutes.

Fractile time response for 90% of calls: First responders arrive within 4 minutes, backup arrives in less than 10 minutes.

Fractile time response for 90% of calls: First responders arrive within 4 minutes, backup arrives in less than 12 minutes.

Schools

Plan for adequate capacity to absorb projected development

Plan for adequate capacity to absorb projected development

Plan for adequate capacity to absorb projected development

General Government

Central municipal building; specialized departments; full-time staff.

Central municipal building; fewer specialized departments; full-time and/or part-time staff

Central municipal building; few specialized departments; part-time staff

Library

18.3 service hours per week per 1,000 residents; 3.61 books per capita

18.3 service hours per week per 1,000 residents; 3.61 books per capita

18.3 service hours per week per 1,000 residents; 3.61 books per capita

Solid Waste

Weekly curbside by municipality

Weekly curbside by municipality or resident delivers to landfill

Weekly curbside by municipality or resident delivers to landfill

Source: East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission – Addendum to the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas, adopted October 2000.

 

 

 

 

 


2.                 Commercial and Industrial

 

East Central has divided the levels of industrial and commercial development into three levels of services categories:

 

Ø       Category A includes industrial and commercial development that has a projected daily wastewater flow rate of 10,000 or more gallons. Establishments in this category can be expected to employ large numbers of people, generate considerable automobile and/or pedestrian traffic, require a high level of infrastructure development, and may place considerable demands on government services such as police and fire protection. Examples include, but are not limited to, warehouses, industrial parks, and shopping malls.

Ø       Category B includes industrial and commercial development that has a projected daily wastewater flow rate of less than 10,000 gallons. Establishments in this category still may generate considerable automobile and/or pedestrian traffic, but do not require the same level of infrastructure development as Category A businesses. Examples include, but are not limited to, furniture stores and neighborhood grocery stores.

Ø       Category C includes industrial and commercial development that requires no additional infrastructure beyond what would be expected in a low density environment. A low density commercial and industrial environment includes areas that have low traffic volumes, sparse development, and are located further away from medium and high density areas of development. Examples include, but are not limited to, home occupations and bed and breakfast establishments as defined in ILHR 51.01, mini-warehouses, landfills, and resource production and extraction.

 

Based on the assumption that all future commercial and industrial development will occur with the Town’s Sewer Service Area, it is recommended that the Category A standards be applied to all future new commercial and industrial development in the Town of Menasha, regardless of the development’s projected daily wastewater flow (see Table 5).

 

It is also recommended that existing commercial and industrial areas be reviewed and a determination made as to the category that is most appropriate for further development and redevelopment of existing commercial and industrial development. It is possible there may be areas where any one of the three will be the most appropriate.

 


Table 5

Levels Of Services For Commercial And Industrial Development

SERVICES

CATEGORY A

CATEGORY B

CATEGORY C

 

Street

Network

Lighting, curb, gutters

Mix of lighting, curb, & gutter

Sparse lighting; no curb or gutter

 

Safe distinctive provision for pedestrian and bicycle access

Safe distinctive provision for pedestrian and bicycle access

No sidewalks

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width increase with density

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width related to density

Right of Way (ROW) and pavement width relative to density

Storm Water

Fully engineered storm drainage system required for all development

Underground and surface mix required for all development

Surface Drainage

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

Pipe sizing as for sewer and water

 

Detention and retention as appropriate

Detention and retention as appropriate

Detention and retention as appropriate

 

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Adequate to carry peak flow per design storm

Sanitary

Sewer

Full public sewer for all development

Primarily public sewer

On site systems

 

On-site systems for low daily waste water flow rates

Pipe size increases with density

Pipe size increases with density

 

Pipe length decreases with density

Pipe length decreases with density

 

Remain within treatment facility capacity

Remain within treatment facility capacity

Water Supply

Full public water service for all development

Primarily public water; water assessment required for establishments not on public water.

Private on site wells; water assessment for heavy users

Pipe size increases with density

Pipe size increases with density

 

Pipe length decreases with density

Pipe length decreases with density

 

Adequate water pressure and fire flow to meet standards for fire protection.

Adequate water pressure and fire flow to meet standards for fire protection.

Adequate water pressure and fire flow to meet standards for fire protection.

Source: East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission – Addendum to the Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas, adopted October 2000.

 

 

 


3.                 Transportation

 

One of the objectives in the Transportation Element calls for the establishment of levels of service for all roads with the Town of Menasha. Street and highway levels of service are typically broken down into the six categories shown below in Table 6. These standards can be used by the Town of Menasha to evaluate traffic operating conditions and identify congestion.

 

Table 6

Level Of Service For Traffic Flow

Level of Service

Characteristics

 

A

Free traffic flow. Under these conditions, transportation system users are virtually unaffected by other users and travel safety and comfort are very high.

 

B

Stable traffic flow. These conditions allow system users a significant amount of freedom to choose their own speeds, but a slight amount of interaction with others is common. Travel safety and comfort are also high.

 

C

Stable yet restricted traffic flow. Under these conditions, the amount of interaction with other transportation system users becomes significant and the general level of comfort and convenience begins to decline.

 

D

High-density traffic flows, lower speeds, and restricted maneuverability. These conditions generally create uncomfortable and inconvenient traveling conditions; however, traffic flow is typically stable.

 

E

Unstable traffic flow and volumes that are at or slightly above capacity. Under these conditions, system users experience poor comfort and convenience levels, and accident exposure is increased.

 

F

Forced flow, traffic queues, and stop-and-go situations. Under these conditions, the amount of traffic that is present on a facility exceeds the amount that can be served, which creates the problems mentioned above. System users will typically experience low comfort and convenience, poor travel times, and high accident exposure.

Source: East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission – Long-Range Transportation/Land Use Plan for the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac Urban Areas, adopted July 1997.

 

Typically, Level of Service C is the minimum desirable level of service for a major roadway such as an arterial or collector. Whether or not an arterial or collector is at that level depends on a number of factors that may include the following:

 

Ø       Capacity (the width and number of lanes)

Ø       Average speed on the street

Ø       Number of turns (is the street straight or does it curve)

Ø       Number of access points (driveways and side streets)

Ø       Level of visibility (is the road hilly or flat)

Ø       Adjacent land uses (open agricultural or dense commercial)

 

Capacity and average speed are linked and are the two most commonly used factors in determining the level of service category. For example, a two lane street with a higher speed limit may provide for a smoother traffic flow than a four lane street with a lower speed limit.

 

Observation (subjective) and traffic counts (objective) should both be considered when determining the need for improvements to the street system. Generally speaking, the typical capacity of a collector street is 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles per day. As a point of comparison, the capacity for CTH CB is 20,000 vehicles per day on the four lane segment south of East Shady Lane and 12,000 vehicles per day on the two lane segment between East Shady Lane and CTH BB.

 

It is recommended that the Town of Menasha collect traffic count data for and schedule regular observations of traffic flow for the following streets that have been classified as collectors and for which the Town has construction and maintenance responsibility:

 

Ø       Irish Road

Ø       Cold Spring Road

Ø       East Shady Lane

Ø       Jacobsen Road

 

Based on the quantitative and qualitative data, a determination can then be made as to what level of service is currently characteristic of each of the four collectors. The analysis should also include the other factors identified above. The next step is to determine what improvements need to be made, if any, for each of the four collectors to be categorized as Level of Service C.

 

 


E.                Programs and Actions                                                         

 

1.                 Adoption of the Plan

 

The Town of Menasha should formally adopt the Plan in accordance with Section 62.23 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The process includes holding a public hearing before the Planning Commission, after which the Commission adopts the Plan by resolution and certifies its recommendation to the Town Board, which in turn adopts the Plan.

 

2.                 Zoning Ordinance

 

The Town of Menasha is presently zoned under the Winnebago County Zoning Ordinance. To implement the goals, objectives and policies and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, the Town should work closely with the Winnebago County Zoning Department in reviewing the Town-County Zoning Ordinance and the Town Zoning Map so that they are consistent with the recommendations of the Town’s Future Land Use Plan.

 

The Town of Menasha has a strong desire to adopt its own zoning ordinance and map. The Town continues to transition from a rural town functioning as a bedroom community to adjacent incorporated municipalities to an urban community in its own right. As a result, there are unique development challenges that are better addressed through and with a Town zoning ordinance and map.

 

Several discussions have already been held with Winnebago County. These discussions should continue.

 

3.                 Official Maps

 

State Statutes Chapter 62.23 provide that the Plan Commission shall maintain an official map of the municipality that shows both present and proposed future roads, parks, and public facilities. The law limits compensation to private property owners who may construct buildings on designated future streets or public areas.

 

The Town of Menasha should adopt an Official Map Ordinance and Map to identify future collector and arterial type road corridors and to secure access at key points on existing streets, as shown on the Town’s Future Land Use Plan.

 

4.                 Sign Ordinances

 

The Town of Menasha should review its sign ordinance to determine if any changes are needed to assist in the implementation of this plan. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation regulates signage on state highways.

 

5.                 Erosion and Storm Water Control Ordinance

 

The Town of Menasha’s Subdivision Control Ordinance/Planned Unit Development specifies erosion, drainage and storm water requirements. The Town Engineer reviews and analyzes drainage on all plats.

 

The Town should continue to consider the formation of a storm water management district as discussed on page 137.

 

6.                 Historic Preservation Ordinance

 

While the Town of Menasha does not have a historic preservation ordinance, the Town of Menasha Board resolves to support all property owners who seek to preserve historical buildings.

 

7.                 Site Plan Regulations

 

The Town has a site plan review process. It should be reviewed to ensure it is compatible with the goals, objectives, policies and recommendations of this plan.

 

8.                 Design Review Ordinances

 

The Town is considering drafting language that will be more specific as to the building and landscaping requirements the Town is seeking from developers who are submitting applications for the B-4 and B-5 Zoning Districts. With this language, it is hoped that the minimum level of design will be clearer and facilitate the review process.

 

9.                 Landscaping Ordinance

 

The Town recently developed and adopted an ordinance on landscaping.

 

10.            Lighting Ordinance

 

The Town is currently researching the feasibility of an ordinance that can equitably and fairly address the issue of outdoor lighting and its impact on neighboring properties.

 

11.            Communications Tower Ordinance

 

The Town is currently considering developing a communications tower ordinance.

 

 

 

 

12.            Building Codes

 

Building codes in the Town of Menasha are enforced through the Building Inspector and follow all applicable local, state and federal standards.

 

13.            Mechanical Codes

 

Mechanical codes in the Town of Menasha are enforced through the Building Inspector and follow all applicable local, state and federal standards.

 

14.            Housing Codes

 

Housing codes in the Town of Menasha are enforced through the Building Inspector and follow all applicable local, state and federal standards.

 

15.            Sanitary Codes

 

Sanitary codes in the Town of Menasha are enforced through the Building Inspector and follow all applicable local, state and federal standards.

 

16.            Subdivision Ordinances

 

The Town of Menasha will be revising its Subdivision Control and Planned Unit Development Ordinance in 2003.

 

17.            Non-Metallic Mining Reclamation

 

The Town adopted this ordinance in 2000.

 

18.            Capital Improvement Program

 

A capital improvements program is a financial planning tool used by local units of government to map out a spending strategy. The typical capital improvements program usually outlines a five or six year spending plan for major equipment purchases (fire truck, computer system, etc.) and capital outlays (street reconstruction, debt refinancing, etc.) that will require major public expenditures of $10,000 or more. The capital improvements program (CIP) will prioritize the various expenditures or projects, provide cost estimates, and identify the funding source or sources (tax levy, grants, fees, etc.) necessary to accomplish the project.

 

As the Town of Menasha continues to grow and develop over the next 20 years, there will be a need for capital expenditures to provide additional services or equipment. This can best be accomplished through the continued use of the Town’s CIP to implement the goals, objectives and policies and recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan. The CIP should be reviewed and updated annually by the Town Board.

 

19.            Impact Fees

 

The Town of Menasha, like other local units of government, needs to look at alternative funding sources as challenges to the traditional sources are made. One source that the Town is considering is impact fees.

 

According to Wisconsin State Statutes 66.0617, impact fees are defined as “. . . cash contributions, contributions of land or interests in land or any other items of value that are imposed on a developer by a political subdivision” to pay for capital improvements within the community that are necessary to service or accommodate the new development.

 

Before a municipality can enact an impact fee ordinance, it must prepare a needs assessment for the public facilities which will be paid for in part by the impact fee. According to 66.0617, the assessment shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

 

Ø       An inventory of existing public facilities, including an identification of any existing deficiencies in the quantity or quality of those public facilities, for which it is anticipated that an impact fee may be imposed.

Ø       An identification of the new public facilities, or improvements or expansions of existing public facilities, that will be required because of land development for which it is anticipated that impact fees may be imposed. This identification shall be based on explicitly identified service areas and service standards.

Ø       A detailed estimate of the capital costs of providing the new public facilities or the improvements or expansions in existing public facilities including an estimate of the effect of recovering these capital costs through impact fees on the availability of affordable housing within the political subdivision.

 

To ensure fairness, impact fees can only be assessed (1) for capital improvements that are a direct consequence of the new development and (2) in an amount not to exceed the proportionate share required to serve the new development. In other words, a developer cannot be required to pay a disproportionate share of improvements that also benefit other persons (i.e., a bridge on the other side of town). This is spelled out in the standards in ss. 66.0617 where is states that impact fees:

 

Ø       Shall bear a rational relationship to the need for new, expanded or improved public facilities that are required to serve land development.

Ø       May not exceed the proportionate share of the capital costs that are required to serve land development, as compared to existing uses of land within the political subdivision.

Ø       Shall be based upon actual capital costs or reasonable estimates of capital costs for new, expanded or improved public facilities.

Ø       Shall be reduced to compensate for other capital costs imposed by the political subdivision with respect to land development to provide or pay for public facilities, including special assessments, special charges, land dedications or fees in lieu of land dedications or any other items of value.

Ø       Shall be reduced to compensate for moneys received from the federal or state government specifically to provide or pay for the public facilities for which the impact fees are imposed.

Ø       May not include amounts necessary to address existing deficiencies in public facilities.

Ø       Shall be payable by the developer to the political subdivision, either in full or in installment payments that are approved by the political subdivision, before a building permit may be issued or other required approval may be given by the political subdivision.

 

The Town should research the use of impact fees to determine their applicability in relieving the property tax burden on the residents of the Town.

 

F.                Measurement of Progress                                                    

 

The Town of Menasha Plan Commission will provide a written report at the Town’s Annual Meeting on the progress made in addressing the goals, objectives and policies and implementing the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan.

 

G.               Plan Update Process                                                           

 

The Town of Menasha Plan Commission will undertake an in-depth review of the Comprehensive Plan in five years and a complete update in ten years. The process to adopt the update Comprehensive Plan is the same process used to adopt the original Plan.

 

The Town of Menasha may receive a development proposal that is in serious conflict with a goal, objective or policy or recommendation of the adopted Comprehensive Plan. If it is clear that the conflict should be addressed, an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan should be considered prior to or concurrent with the review of the development proposal. This amendment process should only occur once or twice each year, since more frequent amendments to the Comprehensive Plan will make it essentially meaningless as a planning tool because it can be changed at any time despite the effect of the proposed action on the general well-being of the community.

 

 

 


V.               Inventory and Analysis                                                   

 

A.                Issues and Opportunities                                                    

 

1.                 Community History

 

The Town of Menasha, Wisconsin, is located in Winnebago County, covers approximately 12 square miles. The Town’s identify, “Bridging The Fox Cities” reflects the fact that the Town is located on both the east and west sides of Little Lake Buttes des Morts (part of the Fox River) and is connected by the Roland Kampo Bridge on State Highway 441. The Town is bordered by the City of Menasha to the east; the Town of Neenah and the City of Neenah to the south; the Town of Clayton to the west; and the towns of Greenville and Grand Chute, and the City of Appleton, to the north. The Town of Menasha is located in Winnebago County, which along with Outagamie and Calumet counties, makes up the Appleton-Neenah-Oshkosh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The MSA had a total population of 358,365 in 2000 compared to 313,121 in 1990 for an increase of 13.1%. In comparison, Winnebago County grew 11.7% between 1990 and 2000.

 

Rapid population growth and housing development characterized the Town of Menasha during the 1970’s and 80’s and to a lesser extent in the 1990’s. The driving force behind the Town of Menasha’s growth has always been its proximity to the urban amenities and employment available in the Fox Cities. In recent years, transportation improvements, the increase in the retail, commercial and industrial operations, and steadily increasing residential growth throughout the Fox Cities has maintained the Town’s trend toward urbanization.

 

Early residential growth in the town’s surrounding the incorporated municipalities of the Fox Cities was mainly large-lot “country homes” and “hobby farms.” As the municipalities of the Fox Cities became more urbanized, so did the towns around them. The Town of Menasha was one of the first to become urbanized, and is still among the leaders. Because the Town is far from being “built-out,” and choice developable land remains, urbanization will surely continue. The challenge for the Town of Menasha is to be prepared to manage and serve new growth and redevelopment opportunities as the transition from rural to urban continues.

 


2.                 Population Characteristics

 

The Town’s population in 2000 was 15,858 for an increase of more than 525% since 1950. Growth in each of the last two decades has been almost 15%, but the greatest growth was in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. The Town of Menasha was the first town surrounding the Fox Cities to see significant residential growth and continues to outpace population growth in Winnebago County (see Table 7).

 

Table 7

Population Change Comparison, 1950 - 2000

 

Town of

Menasha

Town of

Neenah

Town of

Grand Chute

City of

Menasha

Winnebago

County

1950

3,007

2,045

5,948

12,385

91,103

1960

5,480

2,273

5,035

14,647

107,128

1970

8,682

2,942

7,089

14,836

129,946

1980

12,226

2,864

9,529

14,748

131,772

1990

13,975

2,691

14,490

14,711

140,320

2000

15,858

2,657

18,392

16,331

156,763

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

1950 to 1960

82.2%

11.1%

-15.3%

18.3%

17.6%

1960 to 1970

58.4%

29.4%

40.8%

1.3%

21.3%

1970 to 1980

40.8%

-2.7%

34.4%

-0.6%

1.4%

1980 to 1990

14.3%

-6.0%

52.1%

-0.3%

6.5%

1990 to 2000

13.5%

-1.3%

26.9%

11.0%

11.7%

Source: Wisconsin Department of Administration

 

The Town of Menasha’s population is predicted to see increases at a single-digit rate over a ten year period, considerably slower than the double-digit increases the Town has experienced during each of the last four decades (see Table 8).

 

Table 8

Population Projections, 2000 - 2020

 

Town of Menasha

Town of Neenah

Town of Grand Chute

Town of Greenville

City of Menasha

City of Appleton

Winnebago County

Outagamie County

Actual 2000

15,858

2,657

18,392

6,844

16,331

70,087

156,763

160,971

2005

16,985

2,647

19,725

7,340

16,494

70,788

164,436

165,317

2010

17,579

2,550

20,810

7,744

16,429

71,496

166,739

168,954

2015

18,138

2,429

21,997

8,185

16,510

71,782

168,620

172,333

2020

18,651

2,305

23,235

8,641

16,445

71,989

170,029

175,501

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000 to 2005

7.1%

-0.4%

7.2%

7.2%

1.0%

1.0%

4.9%

2.7%

2005 to 2010

3.5%

-3.7%

5.5%

5.5%

-0.4%

1.0%

1.4%

2.2%

2010 to 2015

3.2%

-4.7%

5.7%

5.7%

0.5%

0.4%

1.1%

2.0%

2015 to 2050

2.8%

-5.1%

5.6%

5.6%

-0.4%

0.3%

0.8%

1.8%

Sources: U.S. Census; Wisconsin Department of Administration, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and Martenson & Eisele, Inc.

The median age of the residents reveals significant aging of the population in the last twenty years. Table 9 shows the median age rose more than five years from 1980 to 1990 and another four years from 1990 to 2000. This same trend is evident throughout Wisconsin and the United States due to the aging of the “Baby Boomers.” The percentage of the population that is older than 65 is steadily increasing, and has not yet peaked. As a result, there will be a growing need for housing, services, and facilities that meet their needs.

 

Table 9

Age Composition, 1980 - 2000

 

1980

1990

2000

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Total

12,226

100%

13,975

100%

15,858

100%

Age < 5 Years

978

8%

1,059

8%

971

6%

5 to 17

2,934

24%

2,552

18%

2,864

18%

18 to 64

7,580

62%

9,093

65%

10,272

65%

Age > 64 Years

734

6%

1,271

9%

1,751

11%

Median Age

27.7

 

32.9

 

36.9

 

Source: U.S. Census

 


Table 10 shows in greater detail the movement between 1990 and 2000 of the Baby Boomer generation and the Baby Boomer echo (children of the Baby Boomers) in the Town of Menasha and Winnebago County.

 

Table 10

Population Age and Sex, 1990 & 2000

 

Town of Menasha

Winnebago County

1990

2000

1990

2000

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

TOTAL

13,975

100.0

15,858

100.0

140,320

100.0

156,763

100.0

Male

6,959

49.8

7,912

49.9

68,699

49.0

78,149

49.9

Female

7,016

50.2

7,946

50.1

71,621

51.0

78,614

50.1

Age <5

1,059

7.6

971

6.1

9,815

7.0

9,364

6.0

5 to 9

1,075

7.7

1,063

6.7

10,060

7.2

10,395

6.6

10 to 14

989

7.1

1,106

7.0

8,935

6.4

11,001

7.1

15 to 19

797

5.7

1,102

7.0

10,098

7.2

12,194

7.8

20 to 24

898

6.4

1,044

6.6

12,754

9.1

12,882

8.2

25 to 34

2,724

19.5

2,129

13.4

24,583

17.5

21,459

13.7

35 to 44

2,367

16.9

2,785

17.6

20,759

14.8

26,136

16.7

45 to 54

1,679

12.0

2,357

14.9

13,816

9.8

20,832

13.3

55 to 59

620

4.4

820

5.2

5,902

4.2

7,060

4.5

60 to 64

496

3.5

730

4.6

5,775

4.1

5,777

3.7

65 to 74

768

5.5

961

6.1

9,717

6.9

9,862

6.3

75 to 84

379

2.7

578

3.6

6,148

4.4

6,997

4.5

Over 85

124

0.9

212

1.3

2,158

1.5

2,804

1.8

Median Age

32.2

 

36.9

 

33.4

 

35.4

 

Age <17

3,611

25.8

3,835

24.2

33,797

24.1

37,343

23.8

Age >17

10,364

74.2

12,023

75.8

106,523

75.9

119,420

76.2

Age >64

1,271

9.1

1,751

11.0

18,023

12.8

19,663

12.5

Source: U.S. Census

 

The trend in population density as shown in Table 11 is typical of urbanizing towns. As the population grows and land area is lost due to annexations, the population density will increase. This means increased pressure for public services and the need for planned open space.

 

Table 11

Population Density, 1970 - 2000

 

 

Population

Square Miles

In Town

Persons Per

Square Mile

Percent

Change

1970

8,682

Est. 12.6

689

 

1980

12,226

Est. 12.6

970

40.1

1990

13,975

12.6

1,109

14.3

2000

15,858

12.1

1,310

18.1

Source: U.S. Census and Town of Menasha

 

 


3.                 Household Characteristics

 

Table 12 illustrates how household size has been significantly declining in the Town of Menasha and in the surrounding region. The average number of persons per household in the Town of Menasha in 2000 was 2.47 people. This is 4% lower than the average of 2.57 persons per household in the other seven jurisdictions included in Table 6.

 

This decline in household size is occurring throughout the state and nation. It has been largely attributed to an increase in the number of single- and two-person households caused by a higher divorce rate and an aging population. The trend toward smaller household size has slowed down over the past ten years.

 

Table 12

Household Size, 1980 - 2000

 

Town of Menasha

Town of Neenah

Town of Grand Chute

Town of Greenville

City of Menasha

City of Appleton

Winnebago County

Outagamie County

1980

2.90

3.22

2.88

3.41

2.64

2.72

2.70

2.96

1990

2.59

2.77

2.59

3.04

2.46

2.57

2.64

2.78

2000

2.47

2.72

2.38

2.97

2.35

2.52

2.43

2.61

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980 to 1990

-10.7%

-14.0%

-10.0%

-10.9%

-6.8%

-5.5%

-2.2%

-6.1%

1990 to 2000

-4.6%

-1.8%

-8.1%

-2.3%

-4.5%

-1.9%

-8.0%

-6.1%

Source: U.S. Census

 


The trend toward a smaller household size is confirmed in Table 13. The number of households with one person, two persons or six or more person increased between 1990 and 2000 while the households with three, four or five persons continued to decline as a percentage of the total number of households. This trend would indicate a need for housing alternatives to the traditional single-family housing development that is dominant in the Town of Menasha.

 

Table 13

Persons Per Household, 1990 & 2000

 

Town of Menasha

1990

2000

Household Size

No.

%

No.

%

Total Households

5,351

100.0

6,298

100.0

1 Person

1,151

21.5

1529

24.3

2 Persons

1,850

34.6

2347

37.3

3 Persons

966

18.1

1014

16.1

4 Persons

945

17.7

923

14.7

5 Persons

326

6.1

348

5.5

6 or More Persons

113

2.1

137

2.2

Total Persons

13,975

 

15,858

 

Persons/Household

2.61

 

2.52

 

 

Winnebago County

1990

2000

Household Size

No.

%

No.

%

Total Households

53,216

100.0

61,157

100.0

1 Person

13,351

25.1

16,850

27.6

2 Persons

18,228

34.3

21,803

35.7

3 Persons

8,829

16.6

9,325

15.2

4 Persons

8,293

15.6

8,356

13.7

5 Persons

3,197

6.0

3,331

5.5

6 or More Persons

921

1.7

1,492

2.4

Total Persons

140,320

 

156,763

 

Persons/Household

2.64

 

2.56

 

Source: U.S. Census

 

 

 

 

 


4.                 Employment Characteristics

 

The total civilian labor force grew at a faster rate in the Town of Menasha between 1990 and 2000 compared to Winnebago County, as did the male labor force (see Table 14). The female labor force, however, grew faster in the County than it did in the Town. In all three categories - total, male and female - the unemployment rate decreased from 1990 to 2000 reflecting the economic growth experienced by the area during the 1990’s. Since 2000, the rate has increased.

 

The labor force participation rate increased slightly between 1990 and 2000 in both the Town and the County, due primarily to an increase in the participation rate by females. In 1990 the Town had a significantly higher female participation rate as compared to the County. This rate was much closer in 2000 due to the increase in the percentage of total population 65 years and older in the Town of Menasha as compared to Winnebago County. In 2000 a larger percentage of the female work force in the Town of Menasha was over 65 compared to 1990.

 

Table 14

Labor Force Participation, 1990 & 2000

 

Town of Menasha

Winnebago County

1990

2000

Change

1990

2000

Change

Total Civilian Labor Force

7,668

9,071

18.3%

73,551

85,820

16.7%

Employed

7,329

8,792

20.0%

70,401

82,666

17.4%

Unemployment Rate

4.4%

3.1%

-30.4%

4.3%

3.7%

-14.2%

Male Civilian Labor Force

4,089

4,881

19.4%

39,716

45,073

13.5%

Employed

3,881

4,726

21.8%

37,946