State Objecting Authorities

A proposed plat that meets the state definition of a subdivision must be submitted to the Department of Administration who is responsible for forwarding it to other appropriate state and local agencies for review.  The following agencies are authorized to review and may “object” to a plat based on criteria outlined in state statutes and administrative rules:1

  • Department of Administration – all subdivisions are reviewed for compliance with surveying, layout, mapping and plat submittal requirements.
  • Department of Transportation – subdivisions that abut a state trunk or connecting highway are reviewed for public safety issues and the preservation of public interest and investments.
  • County Planning Agency – subdivisions that are not served by public sewers are reviewed for lot size and lot elevation necessary for proper sanitary conditions.2 Subdivisions located in select municipalities are reviewed for conflicts with parks, highways, airports, schools and other planned public developments.3

State agencies may delegate review of any of these matters to a local official. If an objecting authority (or its authorized agent) objects to a plat, the subdivision cannot be approved until the objection has been satisfied.

1Wis. Stat. § 236.12 also lists the Department of Safety and Professional Services as an objecting authority. In July 2000, Wis. Admin. Code, Chs. Comm 83 and 85 (now SPS 383 and 385) were repealed and recreated eliminating the department’s review authority. Local approval of plats may still be conditioned on compliance with these rules.
2This authority was delegated to counties by the Department of Safety and Professional Services.
3Under Wis. Stat. § 236.12(2)(b), county planning agencies that employ a full-time employee and adopt a policy requiring submission of plats are considered objecting authorities.  If no county planning agency exists and the plat abuts a county park, it may be reviewed by the county park commission or park manager.  Counties currently acting as objecting authorities include: Brown, Calumet, Dane, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Juneau, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Oconto, Racine, Rock, St. Croix, Sheboygan, Washington, Waukesha, and Winnebago.


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