A 1933 attempt to control sprawl?

Those interested in land use planning, in filling, sprawl and density issues should take note.   Outside this courthouse in Rhinelander, WI. I saw a historic sign.

See photos and my thoughts in favor of mixed use zoning.

Sign says, at least in 1991 as I bicycled through.

The Onelda County Zoning Ordinance, adopted May 16, 1933, was the first comprehensive rural zoning ordinance in the United States.  In the early 1930's, most northern Wisconsin counties were in financial difficulties.  The Onelda County board of supervisors resolved the costs of transporting school children, and the construction and maintenance of new roads, by adopting a zoning ordinance prohibiting settlement in remote areas.  The purpose was to promote public health, safety, and welfare, and to regulate, restrict and determine the areas within the county where various activities could be conducted.

The ordinance became a model for other counties in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.  It was a new concept in rural land management.  It demonstrated that careful planning by local people, involving joint decisions with many agencies of the county, state and Federal Governments, is essential for wise use of our natural resources.

Mixed Use Zoning?

April 10 2004 

I have a theory that zoning to separate residential from industrial use is somewhat obsolete.  It came from a time when industry was dirtier.  Modern pollution control means that industry can be a friendlier neighbor, next door.  It can be cleaner than the automobiles needed to drive across the city to work.  Walk to work.  Have the workplace close to home.


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My first bike tour across USA