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New Lisbon livestock law allows animals

Plan Commission proposal amended on 2-1 vote

Nov. 14, 2012

Town of Lisbon - "When you are making decisions by committee, you often wind up with a three-humped camel."

That is how Town Administrator Jeff Musche summed up nearly 19 months of negotiations over a proposed new ordinance regulating the keeping of livestock in residential neighborhoods in the town.

However, the new zoning code - which passed on a 2 -1 vote Monday night - did not include camels. If you want a camel in the Town of Lisbon (one hump or two) it will have to be approved by the Plan Commission.

But you can keep honeybees and raise chickens on lots of less than one acre, provided you do not live in a platted subdivision.

If you live in a platted subdivision, you must have at least three acres before you can raise livestock or chickens under the ordinance.

By the way, billy goats are out.

Kelly Heinritz butted heads with town officials over the prohibition of billy goats. She suggested there was no rational reason for excluding them.

"The Plan Commission said they didn't want male goats because they had issues," she noted.

"All unneutered male animals have issues," she said, while smiling at the three male town supervisors.

Kelly's daughter Hannah began the debate over livestock and fowl in the town nearly two years ago at an annual town meeting.

The Heinritizes live on five acres near Highway Q and have few livestock restrictions.

But Hannah questioned town officials about the rationale behind a livestock code that limited the number of some animals but not others and prohibited the raising of chickens on lots of less than three acres.

Hannah and her father, Ken, said the newly drafted ordinance was an improvement over the existing ordinance, but they argued it is still too restrictive.

They questioned why the Town of Lisbon, a predominantly rural community, would impose livestock restrictions on nonagricultural lands that are stiffer that the codes in New York, Milwaukee and Madison.

The Heinritizes have argued that there should be objective reasons behind regulating livestock in nonagricultural neighborhoods in the town. They suggested that the limitations should be based on the weight of animals and the amount of manure they produce, rather than subjective concerns voiced by town officials and residents.

The Town Board, on several occasions, had rejected drafts of new ordinances recommended by plan commissioners who argued that some residents objected to allowing their neighbors to raise too many of some species of livestock. A subcommittee spent months of discussion on the draft code presented to the board Monday.

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke explained there were a number of factors that went into the subcommittee decision, and he supported the proposed ordinance change.

However, Supervisors Ryan Lippert and Joe Osterman said they wanted to relax the proposed restrictions on raising chickens on lots of less than on acre in lots not included in a platted subdivision.

"I am the one who hears the most complaints, and there are people who live in subdivisions who do not want chickens next door," Gehrke argued.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: 11 a.m. Nov. 21, 26, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. first and third Saturdays and by appointment, Free www.delafieldartscenter.org.

Organ Concert: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 21, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Oconomowoc Music Club is hosting a concert by renowned organist Dr. Simone Gheller. Refreshments will be served after the concert. Free.

Yuletide Faire: 5-9 p.m. Nov. 21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 22, Prairie Hill Waldorf School, N14-W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee. $4 in advance or $5 at the door for adults and $1 in advance or $2 at the door for children under 15. Features strolling minstrels and costumed characters, puppet shows, storytelling, candle dipping, face painting, children’s craft workshops, children’s holiday shopping, live music, silent auction, children’s book sale, natural toys, 35 vendors, warm food, homemade desserts, candies, nuts and other treats. 

Fashionable Tidings Gala Luncheon: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 22, Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Holiday fashions of local clothiers Paul Bruce Goodman and Liebling Leather. Music by Brusubardis String Ensemble. Lunch includes shrimp scamp and angel hair pasta with vegetables provencale. Wine tasting  and auction. Benefits Waukesha Choral Union. $35. Call (414) 297-9310 for tickets. www.choralunion.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.