Livestock Siting: Local Implementation

Local governments have three basic options if they wish to regulate livestock operations:

​1.  Control land use through zoning districts:

Local governments may use zoning ordinances to create districts that prohibit livestock facilities as a land use. However, they must follow special rules if they exclude livestock facilities in an agricultural zoning district.

Planning and Zoning and the Livestock Facility Siting Law

Guidance on amending exclusive agricultural zoning ordinances

2.  Adopt ordinances that require permits for new and expanded livestock facilities:

​Local governments may adopt licensing or zoning ordinances that require individual permits for new and expanding livestock facilities that exceed 500 animal units. The livestock facility siting law does not require that local governments regulate siting of individual livestock facilities. This is a local decision. If local governments adopt ordinances that require a siting permit, they must follow state standards and procedures when they issue permits for livestock facilities. 

The Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Towns Association and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection worked together to develop model ordinances for regulation through licensing and zoning.

Model licensing ordinance

Model zoning ordinance

3.  Rely on laws other than livestock siting to regulate operations:

Existing State and Local Laws that Apply to Livestock Operations​ 

Submissions to DATCP

For tracking purposes, local governments must submit the following documents to DATCP electronically:

  • A copy of any new or modified ordinance that regulates siting

  • Copies of notice and decisions to grant or deny permit applications

  • Copies of final applications, whether the local permit is granted or denied

  • Copies of final notice or order withdrawing a local approval

Email documents to Christopher.Clayton@wisconsin.gov or Richard.Castelnuovo@wisconsin.gov. For larger documents, notify Chris or Richard that you have placed the documents on DATCP’s ftp site: ftp://ftp.datcp.state.wi.us/TEMP/.  You must open FTP Site in File Explorer, not Internet Explorer or other browser.


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