League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  Capitol Buzz 
December 6, 2017
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Developers and Landlords Seek Legislation Limiting Municipal Regulatory Powers and ability to Charge Fees 

Rep. Rob Brooks (R-Saukville) and Sen. Frank Lasee (R-DePere) are introducing two bills limiting municipal regulatory powers and the ability to charge development fees, while significantly increasing the  potential cost to municipalities of exercising eminent domain powers. There may be public hearings on these bills, which have not yet been introduced, next Wednesday and Thursday in both the Senate and Assembly. 

The League opposes both bills. We have been in discussions with the authors and proponents of the bills. Some changes we requested have been made. A few provisions in the bills are even beneficial to municipalities. We are continuing to negotiate with the authors over making additional changes, but in the meantime we oppose the bills. 

The landlords' bill, LRB-2582, limits the ability of municipalities to inspect rental units only upon complaint. (Rep. Brooks is considering amending this provision and we are urging him to do so). The bill makes numerous other changes, including limiting rental inspection fees to  the actual and direct cost of performing the inspection, and prohibiting landlord registration fees. The bill draft is posted on our website, here. 

The Developers' bill, LRB-3663, contains numerous municipal preemptions and limitations, including:

--Prohibiing a municipality from enacting or enforcing an ordinance relating to storm water management unless the ordinance strictly conforms to uniform statewide standards.

--Exempting a property that retains at least 90 percent of storm water from any  new or additional storm water system service charges.

--Prohibiting a municipality from prohibiting persons from working on a private construction project on a weekend.  

The bill also imposes two new unfunded annual reporting mandates on municipalities. The bill draft is posted on our website, here .    

Public Hearings.  We have been informed that the Senate Housing Committee will hold a hearing on both bills on Wednesday, December 13.  The Assembly Housing Committee may hold a public hearing on both bills on Thursday, December 14.  We will report on hearing times and locations as soon as that information becomes available.