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Trimbelle rezoning paves way for more houses

The Pierce County Board voted last week to rezone 242 acres in the Town of Trimbelle to allow residential development.

The land, which is northwest of Ellsworth, is in the village's extraterritorial zone and is subject to the village's subdivision ordinance.

The change in the 227 acres now zoned Primary Agriculture will increase the maximum number of residential lots from 11 to 97. Another 15 acres was zoned General Rural Flexible, and will now also be Agricultural Residential.

According to a county staff report, when the town board endorsed the rezoning, supervisors said it would make sense to have housing sites available from Beldenville to the outskirts of Ellsworth.

Larry Murphy of Murphy Surveying said the different owners made the one rezoning request "to make a broad sweep of that entire area." He said some of the owners are looking at selling because they are getting older and some would like building sites for their children.

The land includes seven parcels with seven different owners. Zoning on all but one parcel is Primary Agriculture, which permits only two houses per 40 acres. The new zoning will allow that land to be divided into 2.5-acre parcels under the town's subdivision ordinance.

According to the staff report, the town has generally not supported creation or expansion of Ag-Residential districts, but due to the character of the land, the new minimum lot size and the location of the parcels in the ETZ, town officials aren't opposing this rezoning.

Land Management Committee Chairman Paul Barkla said this is one of the rare cases in which his committee didn't vote unanimously. He said he and Eric Sanden opposed the rezoning, in part because Trimbelle has no comprehensive zoning plan.

Because it has no plan of its own, Trimbelle is part of the county plan, responded Jeff Holst, a Land Management Committee member who supported the rezoning.

"I believe that all townships have self determination," said Holst. "The county zones for the townships, not to the townships."

"They went through the correct procedures," he added.

If both the village and the town approve the rezoning, he supports their wishes, added Supervisor Greg Kerr.

These landowners were included in the rezoning:

  • James and Vicki Langer, 149 acres.

  • Jason and Trisha McGrath, 15 acres.

  • James and Rebecka Langer, 16 acres.

  • Darren and Lori Place, 9.5 acres.

  • Kenneth and Beverly Prichard, 21 acres.

  • Thomas and Melissa Johnson, 17 acres.

  • David Pluth, 15 acres (had been General Rural Flexible).

    In other action, the board voted to rezone 20 acres in the Town of Ellsworth from Primary Agriculture to General Rural Flexible.

    The change will allow owners Daniel and Kelly Knutson to parcel off the existing house with 12 acres and build a new home on the remaining eight acres.

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