Basis for Approval

Approval of preliminary or final plats may only be conditioned on the following factors:1

  • Compliance with a local ordinance in place when the plat was submitted.
  • Consistency with an adopted comprehensive plan, master plan or official map.2
  • Installation of public improvements or financial guarantees necessary to ensure installation.3
  • Payment by the developer for alterations to utilities that fall within the public right-of-way.
  • Creation of easements for solar or wind energy access.
  • Rules of the Department of Transportation (Trans 233) related to subdivisions that abut a state trunk or connecting highway.
  • Rules of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (SPS 385) related to lot size and lot elevation necessary for proper sanitary conditions if not served by public sewers.
  • Other requirements described in Wis. Stat. Ch. 236.

A local government may not reject a plat unless it conflicts with an existing local ordinance, plan, official map, statute or rule.  In the case where state statutes, administrative rules or local ordinances conflict, the plat must comply with the most restrictive requirement.4

1Wis. Stat. § 236.13.
2State ex rel. Columbia Corp. v. Town of Pacific, 92 Wis. 2d 767, 286 N.W.2d 252 (1979). Lake City Corp. v. City of Mequon, 207 Wis. 2d. 156, 58 N.W.2d 100 (1997).
3A town, city or village must adopt a local ordinance requiring public improvements.  Cities and villages may not require public improvements in an extraterritorial area.  Pederson v. Town of Windsor, 191 Wis. 2d 664, 530 N.W.2d 427 (Ct. App. 1996).  Counties do not have authority to require public improvements.  Rogers Dev. v. Rock County Planning and Dev. Committee, 2003 WI App 113, 265 Wis. 2d 214, 666 N.W.2d 504, 02-0017.
4Wis. Stat. § 236.13(4) and 61 Atty. Gen. 289.


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