The development of unimproved real property requires considerable knowledge, expertise and practical experience in order to achieve successful development. Invariably, the developer will have to obtain a number of regulatory approvals. The primary approvals are zoning authorization and land division. In Wisconsin, obtaining such approvals can be a challenge.

If the development is in a town, regulatory approvals may involve not only the town, but the county and an adjoining municipality that has extra-territorial zoning and/or plat approval authority. Zoning requires authorization that will allow for the proposed use. With respect to land division, there will either have to be a certified survey map or a plat. When creating four or less lots, a developer can use certified survey maps; a developer will need to use plats for all other circumstances.

The process of land division requires a submittal to a number of committees/governmental bodies who can require, as a condition of approval, that the developer construct infrastructure, dedicate lands for public purposes and pay fees in lieu of dedication, among other conditions. Routinely, written development agreements are required in connection with land divisions to ensure that the developer performs the outlined tasks in a condition of approval. In most instances, the developer will need to post some sort of surety, securing the developer’s performance under the development agreement.

Axley platting & CSM attorneys have experience in all phases of the foregoing. We frequently represent municipalities and developers, too. As a result of our experience, we know the issues and concerns of the parties. Further, we know how to address and resolve those issues to the satisfaction of both parties.

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