This week, the Fox Cities Chamber, along with the Northeast Wisconsin Realtors Association, submitted comments in favor of the City of Neenah amending their zoning code to eliminate the “protest petition” provision. Under the current ordinance, a small group of residents can submit a petition to the city triggering a requirement that three-fourths of the council vote in favor of a zoning change, rather than the normal simple majority. This was most recently used in the Shattuck Middle School redevelopment.
In June lawmakers passed – with overwhelming bipartisan support – a bill to eliminate this provision altogether. However, the bill signed into law by Governor Evers does not go into effect until January 1, 2025. Action by the council would speed up the elimination of the protest petition.
The Plan Commission recommended approval earlier this week and the full council will take it up on July 19th. The Chamber will be there testifying in support of this change. For more information, click here.
Light Work in the Legislature Until Fall
Much like Congress, the legislature takes a pause on full meetings of the houses to return to their respective districts to discuss passage of the recent budget, and attend other events with their constituents. Barring an emergency session, the full legislature will not be voting on bills until September at the earliest.
In the meantime, work in the Capitol does not completely stop. Committees are still holding hearings on legislation, rules, and appointments to get ready for those September floor sessions. To see a schedule of upcoming hearings, click here.
Overall, if the last several sessions are any guide, the legislature will gavel out for good no later than March 2024. Candidates start to get their signatures to get on the ballot for the fall election in April, so the legislature rarely goes beyond early spring.