2009 Wisconsin Acts 376 and 399 went into effect on June 2, 2010, and made some important changes to Wisconsin Statute 236 (subdivision and platting law) with respect to municipalities. One significant change is that, although municipalities can still have ordinances that are more restrictive than Wis. Stat. 236, this power has been considerably reined in. Municipalities may not be more restrictive time limits, deadlines, notice requirements, and may not limit any other protections the statute provides for a subdivider. I suspect this last limit could be interpreted very broadly by a subdivider.
As I mentioned in this blog back in May, Act 399 made one important change, essentially overruling Wood v. City of Madison, 2003 WI 24 which had permitted Madison to deny a subdivision based in part on the proposed use of the land. Land use may still be regulated via normal zoning laws, but cannot be considered in plat approval.
One other important aspect of Act 376 is a nonstatutory provision that an ordinance that is not “consistent” with Act 376 is “does not apply and cannot be enforced.” It would be wise for municipalities to review their subdivision ordinances against the new provisions in Act 376.
A good summary of the changes in the law can be found in “Platting Letter #55 – 2010” from the Wisconsin Department of Administration.