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Why did Three Lakes develop a Comprehensive Plan?

In 1999, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed, and former Governor Tommy Thompson signed into law Act 9 Wisconsin’s Comprehensive Planning Law (§66.1001 Wisconsin Statutes). The law required that every municipality in the state that wished to have a say in land use decisions approve and adopt a comprehensive plan prior to January 1, 2010. In late 2008, the Town of Three Lakes hired OMNNI Associates Inc., an Appleton-based consulting firm, to assist the Town in its continuing effort to develop the Town of Three Lakes Comprehensive Plan.

Purpose of the Plan

The Town of Three Lakes recognized not only the need to comply with the requirements of Wisconsin Statute 66.1001, but also stated the expressed goal of not having to fall under the jurisdiction of the Oneida County plan by virtue of having a unique and specific plan of its own.

The Town saw an opportunity to engage in the first broad-based, holistic, comprehensive long range planning exercise in the town’s long and rich history.

The plan identifies community development needs and is a reflection of the desires of the town’s residents. As part of the overall planning process, a vision statement for the town was created to assist in providing direction in developing this comprehensive plan.

The vision statement for Three Lakes reads: Three Lakes is an exceptionally friendly, alluring Northwoods community that emphasizes quality of life for all generations. We enjoy an unspoiled environment, while creating sustainable economic opportunities in technology, tourism, cultural arts and agriculture. Three Lakes - The Single Best.

The Town of Three Lakes Comprehensive Plan is intended to assist local and county officials implement the goals, objectives and policies outlined herein and to serve as a guide for making future decisions in each of the nine plan elements. The plan will also assist with development and management issues by addressing long-range needs and concerns regarding growth, development and preservation of the community while simultaneously identifying short-term tactical initiatives that can be undertaken now and which are in concert with the overall goals.

The comprehensive plan will assist in:
- identifying areas appropriate for development or preservation;
- recommending types of land uses for specific areas;
- directing housing that can best serve the community; and
- providing detailed objectives and policies to implement the overall plan goals.

This comprehensive plan has been prepared in accordance with Wisconsin's Comprehensive Planning law contained in Wisconsin Statute 66.1001 and is divided into a series of 12 chapters oriented around the nine required elements defined in the law:

1. Issues and Opportunities (Chapters 1, 2 and 3)
2. Housing (Chapter 4)
3. Transportation (Chapter 5)
4. Utilities and Community Facilities (Chapter 6)
5. Agricultural, Natural and Cultural Resources (Chapter 7)
6. Economic Development (Chapter 8)
7. Land Use (Chapters 9 and 10)
8. Intergovernmental Cooperation (Chapter 11)
9. Implementation (Chapter 12)