Bayfield County Zoning Committee signs off on some Telemark requests

By CLAIRE DUQUETTE Editor, Ashland Daily Press

Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 11:10 AM CDT

WASHBURN - The Bayfield County Planning and Zoning Committee signed off Thursday on a series of relatively noncontroversial proposals to amend the Town of Cable comprehensive plan (and subsequently the county comprehensive plan) in a way that would enable a group interested in purchasing the Telemark Resort to move forward.

However, the committee still has to chew through some requests that may prove more difficult to enact.

The committee heard 12 proposals made by Telemark Partners LLC, the group looking to purchase the Telemark Resort from the Telemark Interval Owners Association. The Town of Cable Board approved all 12 resolutions in February.

According to a packet prepared by Marc Putman of Putman Planning and Design, the Hudson firm hired by Telemark Partners to help facilitate the Telemark project, the requests were made in an "ongoing effort to restore proper Telemark Resort entitlements, land use and zoning freedoms ... necessary to restore a more positive environment for investment in Telemark Resort."

The changes mark some of the first made to Cable's comprehensive plan and as a result, to the Bayfield County comprehensive plan adopted in December 2009.

One of the changes - and the only one that affects the whole county - is a change in language that affects development on steep slopes with a grade of 18 percent or more. Rather than saying development in such areas should be "prohibited," it will now say that development can only take place with staff review to ensure the best management practices are met, noting there could be a requirement for a plan to include stormwater runoff and erosion control.

The rest of the 10 items only apply to the Town of Cable and/or Telemark land and any other future land acquisitions by Telemark in the Town of Cable.

Some of those items, as presented by Putman, were of a "housekeeping" nature, such as a request that county zoning maps be updated to reflect changes in the Cable comprehensive plan in a timely fashion.

One of the items with more substance was creating a "village mixed use" designation for the Telemark property, a designation that will have nearly 100 allowable uses, from trout fishing and backpacking to cell towers and shooting ranges to machine shops.

The "village mixed use" designation would allow Telemark the potential to develop into a complete resort community, Putman said.

It is a designation that would be unique in the county and unique to Telemark.

The committee Thursday acknowledged that the Town of Cable had amended its comprehensive plan to create the "village mixed use" designation, however, Telemark Partners must still petition the county to amend its zoning ordinance to create the new designation. The additional step must be taken with the county because it requires changing the text in the county zoning rules.

Putman indicated that the group planned to make such a petition in time for the item to be part of the county business in April.

Likewise, a request by Telemark properties to create an overlay district requires a petition to the county.

The resolution that is likely to be the most controversial is a request that "all subsequent proposed regulations over which the county board may have influence or control must either be consistent with, and not disruptive to Telemark's entitlement, or compensation will be provided to Telemark owners."

Both County Zoning Administrator Karl Kastrosky and Jack Carlson, the county's corporate counsel "agreed it would not be in county's best interest to adopt such a resolution."

Putman asserted that it was possible that years down the road an elected body could take action that would harm Telemark's investment and it needed such protection.

That item, too, will be considered at a future meeting.

Another, more important item is this item: "Currently, delays in finalizing the funding components of the purchase agreement are being addressed by Telemark Partners, LLC. Once the funding components are in place a closing date will be set. At this date a sale closing date has not been confirmed. Due to the confidential nature of the financial components no further information is available at this time."

End of the article.

The following is a comment by Gary Crandall:

Due to confidentiality agreements we can not provide much detail on the funding components or what has caused the delays. We can confirm that we have a specific timeline for resolving the delay, that we are operating beyond our planned date using TIOA funds to remain open, that operational funding support is part of those funding components and that we can not hang on forever.

Telemark Condominiums

15315 Nordmor Road, Box 609, Cable, WI 54821
East from Cable, WI, on County Road M to Telemark Road
phone (715) 798-3999 fax (715) 798-3995

For more information contact Telemark at
Webmaster John Shepherd