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Caledonia will no longer require commercial, industrial and recreational properties to have a minimum of 40 percent green space, but village officials say that won’t mean developers will have a green light to blacktop all properties.

The village board passed the ordinance in a 6 to 0 vote repealing the ordinance at its meeting on Monday. Village board member Lee Wishau was not at the meeting.

At the plan commission meeting last week, about 30 residents opposed repealing the ordinance in its entirety because they wanted to maintain the village’s rural openness and felt that commercial properties would have too much impermeable surface. They argued that having more impermeable surfaces would the lead to more storm water runoff and water quality issues, which would require the village to pay for more infrastructure costs..

However, village staff reminded the public that the village’s water quality, stormwater runoff, setback and landscaping ordinances would remain. The village’s water quality and stormwater runoff ordinances are more stringent that the state’s requirements.

Under the ordinance, industrial developments are no longer required to have 40 percent green space. However, developments would still need to meet architectural, drainage, design and landscaping requirements. The ordinance applies to all properties zoned industrial in the village, some of which had not been able to be developed because of the current ordinance.

The village also approved an ordinance requiring them to post signs on properties throughout the village in the village right-of-way notifying residents when public hearings are to be held on rezoning, conditional use permit applications, and planned unit development applications.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.