2024 Legislative Priorities

Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association

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APA-WI is made up of Urban Planners that work in towns, villages, cities, and counties throughout the State of Wisconsin. Planners have long-term vision, are data driven, and provide expert, and actionable insight. Our profession facilitates fiscally responsible development and works to improve the quality of life in our communities through thoughtful land development, fiscal and environmental sustainability, and the intersection of local and regional transportation.

Housing Funding TID (Support)

AB862/SB825: Extend TID Life for Housing Stock Improvement

“Under the bill, a TID's life may be extended for up to three years for housing stock improvement.” Currently, communities are able to extend a TID one year to fund housing activities. APA-WI supports this bill. It allows for expanding local-source funding, local control and decision making on the programs and improvements while expanding much needed housing resources in our state and communities. More information on TID.

Housing Funding General (Collaborate)

We appreciate the legislature’s recent efforts to expand housing resources, such as the four new WHEDA programs funded in the 2023-25 Biennial Budget. The TID housing extension bills are a welcome and much-needed example of expanding local sources of funding. APA-WI suggests that contributors to the housing production ecosystem be welcomed to support the legislature in crafting legislation to create new or expand existing programs to effectively mobilize state resources to address housing production shortfalls. These programs and tools may take a variety of forms, from grants or loans, to resources for planning or infrastructure, and tailor the program to overcome specific barriers of development.

Ideas to explore:

  • Support previously considered expansion of State Housing Tax Credit (HTC) from $42M to $100M and from 6 years to 10 years, which removes competition between communities, reflects the statewide nature of housing need, and allows communities who have supported affordable housing development to get it.
  • Grants to update zoning codes to reduce or right-size regulations, or to create neighborhood plans to envision economic development.
  • Support common-sense statewide zoning legislation related to ADUs.
  • Funding tools to overcome financing challenges or address defect risk related to liability coverage and potential for lawsuits for condominium developments.

Building Codes - Missing Middle (Collaborate)

Our current building code is a barrier to builders, developers, and owners creating housing supply in our communities. Planners are observing first hand the impacts, but also do not necessarily have a direct, vested interest in the update. Modernizing our codes, such as the International Residential Code, preserves health and safety while improving affordability and increasing efficiencies. In 2024, APA-WI will coordinate a variety of stakeholders to discuss this topic and invite Wisconsin legislators to be part of the conversation.

Intergovernmental Cooperation

AB768/SB 691, Urban Towns Bill (Oppose)

Imposing a mandate to require service extensions would eliminate this system of mutual consent that is the basis for all good intergovernmental cooperation. If a town that wants to prevent annexation, there are options available to it under current law. They can enter into a cooperative plan or intergovernmental agreement with the neighboring municipality, or they can incorporate to become a new village or city. Likewise, local governments can already extend water and sewer service beyond their municipal borders with mutual agreement between the two communities. In addition, a provision of this bill would create a new class of “urban towns” that can choose to become exempt from extraterritorial land division statutes exercised by villages and cities to manage inefficient growth and development. APA-WI strongly recommends the Legislature not move forward with the proposed legislation as written for the reasons stated above.

As an alternative, APA-WI recommends creating a reference to existing intergovernmental mediation statutes, such as 66.0307(4m) as a tool for navigating annexation and extraterritorial land division conflicts. This statute is already used and successful in resulting in effective intergovernmental agreements in similar situations.

Active Transportation

Regional Transit Authorities (Support)

APA-WI supports exploration of Regional Transit Authorities (RTA) in the State of Wisconsin. Several communities are currently observing and assessing the need for transportation support beyond municipal boundaries for work, education, shopping, and health care needs. RTA makes sense in smaller cities with surrounding communities and urban areas in that it can provide a sustainable revenue stream to provide regular transportation and allow for long-term planning.


Heather Cleveland, AICP, APA-WI Vice President of Policy and Advocacy and Legislative Committee Chair,via email at heather@greenbicycleco.com or phone 920-287-3661.