Farmland Preservation Zoning For Political Subdivisions

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​​Farmland preservation ordinances must be certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

​Farmland preservation zoning districts must follow the requirements found in Chapter 91, Wisconsin Statutes. The ordinances may be more restrictive than state statute.

For information regarding the application process or the materials needed in order to certify a farmland preservation ordinance, see the ordinance application and instructions below. 

Farmland Preservation Ordinance Application and Instructions​​​​​​

All existing ordinances will expire by December 31, 2016, unless their certifications state a different date. A certified ordinance is eligible to be extended for up to two years past the orginal expiration date​ to coordinate with other planning efforts. To request an extension, email DATCPWorkingLands@wi.gov.​​
The following model ordinance are available as a reference for political subdivisions to use when drafting a certifed farmland preservation ordinance. Please note that not every use listed in the model ordinace must be included in order for it to be certified by the department.

Model Zoning Ordinance Not Allowing Nonfarm residences in a FP Zoning District
This model ordinance requires landowners to request a rezone of land out of the farmland preservation district if they want to build a nonfarm residence.

Model Zoning Ordinance Allowing Limited Nonfarm Residences in a FP Zoning District
Under Chapter 91, limited nonfarm residences can be constructed in a farmland preservation zoning district. This model ordinance contains the necessary provisions to issue conditional use permits for these residences and set density and ration restrictions through use of the Base Farm Tract.​​ ​

All jurisdictions with a certified farmland preservation zoning ordinance are required by statute to submit an annual rezone report by March 1st of each year. This report should include a completed rezone report from that lists all of​ properties rezoned out of a farmland preservation zoning district(s) from the previous year and a map identifying these properties. If a jurisdiction did not rezone any land from their certifed district(s) then an email to DATCPWorkinglands@wi.gov stating that fact will fulfill the ​​requirements.

Annual Rezone Report Form

Rezone Report Instructions​​

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Helpful Resources

Farmland Preservation Zoning Talking Points​
Local governments and landowners interested in establishing a farmland preservation zoning district in their municipalities can use these talking points to fuel a discussion on benefits of the program.

List of local jurisdictions with certified farmland preservation zoning ordinances for tax year 2017
​This report includes a list of local jurisdictions with a certified district. Contact your zoning authority if you are unsure whether your land is zoned for farmland preservation.