Land Development Frequently Asked Questions

Land Development : Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a comprehensive plan? A comprehensive plan provides a long-range guide for a community to effectively address future development and natural resource protection, and sets forth the community’s planning goals and objectives. The comprehensive plan is used in the course of deliberations on local planning issues, particularly with regard to local zoning, subdivision, and official mapping ordinances. In addition, the comprehensive plan is intended to increase intergovernmental cooperation and the general awareness and understanding of planning goals and objectives by residents, landowners, developers, the business community, and other private interests, and among the many units, levels, and agencies of government with land use related responsibilities within the community. Comprehensive plans contain the following nine elements as required by Section 66.1001(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes:

  • Issues and opportunities element
  • Land use element
  • Housing element
  • Transportation element
  • Utilities and community facilities element
  • Agricultural, natural, and cultural resources element
  • Economic development element
  • Intergovernmental cooperation element
  • Implementation element

  A multi-jurisdictional comprehensive planning effort is currently underway by Kenosha County, nine local government partners, UW-Extension, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

2. What is land use plan?

A land use plan is a long-range plan for the desirable use of land in a county, city, village, or town as officially adopted by the local plan commission. The purpose the plan is to serve as a guide in the zoning, and progressive changes in the zoning, of land to meet the future needs of the community in the use of undeveloped land and in the acquisition of rights-of-way or sites for public purposes such as streets, parks, schools, and public buildings.

3. What is a neighborhood plan? A neighborhood plan is the master plan for a particular neighborhood or district that provides specific design standards and guidelines regulating the development and use of the property.  A neighborhood plan is adopted by the local municipality as a part of the land use plan for the city, village, or town and contains public policies relating to a specific neighborhood.

4.  Can I split (subdivide) my land? Whether or not a property is eligible for subdivision requires the analysis of several factors, including land use plan maps, road frontage and access, soil suitability, total acreage, as well as a number of other items.  The Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development would be happy to provide you with more information on the subdivision process.  Please contact the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development at (262) 857-1895 to obtain additional information or visit the Land Development page on our website.

5.   Do I need an appointment if I am going to subdivide my property? No. Appointments are recommended to ensure that a staff member is available to spend adequate time to answer all of your questions.

6.   Do I need an appointment if I am going to open a new business in an existing building that had a business? No. Appointments are recommended to ensure that a staff member is available to spend adequate time to answer all of your questions.

7.   What is a Certified Survey Map? Divides a block, lot or outlot within a recorded CSM or subdivision plat into more than one, but less than five, parcels or building sites, inclusive of the original remnant parcel, without changing the exterior boundaries of said plat or the exterior boundaries of blocks within the plat.

8.   What is a Plat? A map prepared for the purpose of recording a subdivision, major land division, or condominium.  A plat is generally prepared in two phases.  The first phase is the preliminary plat and the second phase is the final plat.

9.   What is a Preliminary Plat? A preliminary plat is a map showing the salient features of a proposed subdivision submitted to an approving authority for purposes of preliminary consideration.  A preliminary plat precisely describes the location and exterior boundaries of the parcel proposed to be divided, and shows the approximate location of lots and other improvements.

10.   What is a Final Plat? A map prepared in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 236 of the Wisconsin State Statutes and the Kenosha County Subdivision Control Ordinance for the purpose of creating a subdivision.  When a final plat has received all approvals and signatures, it is recorded with the Kenosha County Register of Deeds.

11.   I am looking to file for a certified survey map, conditional use permit, subdivision plat or rezoning approval.  How will the filing and meeting attendance process work? Within the unincorporated areas of Kenosha County, keep in mind that many of the aforementioned processes must be heard by your local township andKenosha County.  A petitioner must attend a joint meeting with Town and County staff to discuss the proposal.  The standard rule is that the petitioner applies to the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development first. After filing with the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development, you will then take your receipted application and go directly to your town office to file with the town clerk. Once you have filed at both offices (county and town), you should have a set of meeting dates known for which your attendance will be required. The Kenosha County Land Use Committee will not act on your agenda item until you have received a recommendation from your local town board.  Note:  After the town board meeting is held and a recommendation is made on your agenda item, minutes are automatically forwarded to the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development. From start to finish you can expect the approval process to take approximately four (4) to eight (8) weeks.  Keep in mind that if your item should get tabled at any of the public hearings the timeline will increase.

 Originally from Kenosha County Wisconsin Department of Planning and Development.