County Board Oks rezone in Diamond Bluff

Posted 2/1/22

Pierce County to get 7 new plow trucks ELLSWORTH – At its Tuesday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Pierce County Board voted 15-1 to rezone a 13.95-acre parcel in the town of Diamond Bluff from agricultural …

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County Board Oks rezone in Diamond Bluff


Pierce County to get 7

new plow trucks

ELLSWORTH – At its Tuesday, Jan. 25 meeting, the Pierce County Board voted 15-1 to rezone a 13.95-acre parcel in the town of Diamond Bluff from agricultural residential to industrial, a decision with which at least one supervisor did not agree.

The parcel, which is located on the west side of County Road OO and is about 200 yards from State Highway 35, belongs to the Chad & Sarah Stone Trust. The land is currently forested with a steep bluff on the northern side. The plan is to use the parcel for a warehouse/storage facility.

Supervisor Michael Kahlow (River Falls), who voted against the rezoning, said he couldn’t support it due to the vague plans presented as far as land use.

Board Chair Jeff Holst explained that the Stones own 120 acres on top of the bluff that they plan to turn into large residential lots, a sort of private compound.

“The land (the 13.95-acre parcel below) is buildable and not really suited for anything else, due to its proximity to a solid waste facility (PIG),” Holst said. “I believe it’s a good use of the land.”

When Supervisor Mel Pittman (Plum City) asked if the trees on the bluff face will be preserved, Holst commented that the rezoning is a “simple rezone” already adjacent to an industrial use.

“I can understand his (Kahlow’s) concerns, but I find yours interesting … I’ll leave it at that,” Holst said. “It’s not like he’s going to open a rock-climbing facility or gravel pit.”

Land Management Director Andy Pichotta reassured the supervisors that if the bluff were to be disturbed in any way, the Stones would have to work with Land Conservation.

The board also approved 16-0 rezoning 0.831 acres from general rural to commercial in the town of Isabelle for John Grabrick of Big Dog Daddy’s Roadhouse. The parcel is part of a 5.45-acre parcel that held a commercial bar and grill for many years, previously known as The Hideaway. Grabrick bought the property on Nov. 16, 2012 and renamed the bar Big Dog Daddy’s Roadhouse.

After a bad wind and hail storm, the building burned down on June 13, 2021. Grabrick is planning to rebuild the establishment, but that area is not zone commercial. This is likely due to a mapping error from the 1990s, a Land Management memo stated. The rezoning will make the bar compliant and provide Grabrick with more options in the future.

Other business

•The board approved the Highway Department’s purchase of seven 2024 Freightliner 114SD trucks with Monroe plow equipment for the price of $1,792,136. The amount financed will be $1,736,378 at 2.58% for five years. Highway Commissioner Chad Johnson said the low bid came from River States Truck & Trailer.

“These trucks are likely to hit the ground in a year-and-a-half,” Johnson said.

The Highway Department has been combing through bids since July and feels this is the “best bang for the buck.” A major change will be switching to stainless dump bodies and spreader equipment, which should significantly increase the equipment’s life span and reduce maintenance needs, Johnson added.

•The board voted 14-0 to approve a statemandated public health and nutrition specialist position at a cost of $87,096 annually. Supervisors Pittman and Jeff Bjork abstained from the vote. The funds will initially come from COVID-19 workforce development, WIC and American Rescue Plan Act COVID recovery grand funds from the state government. Funds from a retiring WIC clerk position will be used to fund the position when grant funds run out. That position is currently funded 90-98% by grants.

•The board approved an ordinance to amend Chapter 240 (Zoning), Article II (zoning districts; use regulations) and Article IV (particular use requirements) of the Pierce County Code. These items pertain to accessory residences and solar energy systems.