The case is 2015AP001258, Golden Sands Dairy LLC v. Town of Saratoga, (Wisconsin Court System).
The 15-page opinion was issued by appellate Judges Lundsten, Higginbotham and Blanchard.
Following is a press release from the prevailing parties representing communities and residents:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarah Botham, Botham, ink.; firstname.lastname@example.org or 608.444.1101
Attorney Paul Kent at Stafford Rosenbaum; email@example.com or 608.259.2665 or
Attorney Remzy Bitar at Arenz, Molter, Macy, Riffle & Larson SC; firstname.lastname@example.org; (262) 548-1340
COURT OF APPEALS SAYS WYSOCKI’S BUILDING PERMITS DO NOT AUTHORIZE USE OF 4,660 ACRES IN TOWN OF SARATOGA FOR LAND-SPREADING MANURE
The Town’s 2012 zoning ordinance governs land use off of the site of the diary buildings.
MADISON, Wis. [April 13, 2017] The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled today in favor of the Town of Saratoga, holding that the vested rights that the Wysocki Family of Companies have in a building permit for seven dairy buildings on 98 acres do not authorize them to use more than 4,660 acres throughout the Town for the application of manure, according to Attorney Remzy Bitar, one of the attorneys representing the Town on the appeal. In so doing, the court overturned a 2015 circuit court ruling in Wysocki’s favor and directed the circuit court to enter summary judgement for the Town. In 2012 the Wysocki Family of Companies proposed the siting of Golden Sands Dairy (GSD), a 5300-cow operation, in the Central Wisconsin Town of Saratoga.
“We are pleased with the Court of Appeals decision, Bitar said. “The circuit court decision was an unprecedented extension of existing vested rights law, which the Court of Appeals refused to adopt.” Today’s decision allows a 2012 Town zoning ordinance that restricts agricultural use because of concerns regarding groundwater contamination, to control the land use for those 4,660 acres. This decision precludes Wysocki from using the property to land-apply 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure generated at GSD.
In an earlier round of cases, the courts held that the Wysocki’s building permit application for seven dairy buildings was valid because the application was filed before the Town completed its zoning ordinance. In the current case, Wysocki argued that building permits for seven buildings automatically allowed Golden Sands Dairy the right to land-apply manure to 4,660 acres throughout the Town and away from the building site. That was rejected by the Court of Appeals which noted that the Wisconsin vested rights law has not applied to parcels separate from the parcels for which the building permit was issued.
“We hope this decision will facilitate a resolution of this on-going dispute,” said Attorney Paul Kent, representing the Town with respect to other issues associated with GSD.