Do some research before buying into “Coordination” ordinances.

The February 10, 2010 edition of the State Bar’s Rotunda Report, which focused on the unauthorized practice of law, had an article on the Coordination concept being sold to local governments in Wisconsin. The gist of it is that if a local government adopts an ordinance with the right magic “coordination” words in it, then it can force other local as well as state and federal agencies and governments to coordinate with the local government on any land use matters. The idea is that this supposedly gives local governments power and essentially a veto over any state or federal agency that has land use authority in the local municipality. This idea was explored and mostly debunked in a thoughtful article by Lee Turonie of the Towns Association in the February 2009 edition of the Wisconsin Towns Association Report. I strongly suggest that any municipality considering a coordination ordinance should study the issue carefully and not just rely on the info presented by the people trying to sell it to you: read Attorney Turonie’s article, and seek the advice of your local attorney before spending the taxpayer’s money buying into this idea. (To the best of my knowledge, Lee’s article is not online, but you can contact the Town’s Association at 715-526-3157).