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CARPC to discuss legal challenge to Mazomanie decision

By Paul Snyder

The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission on Thursday is expected to begin discussing its legal strategy in an ongoing debate with the village of Mazomanie.

At the core of the dispute is a proposed 200 acre mixed-use project proposed by Cross Plains-based developer Janice Faga. Faga first pitched the project in 2008, but CARPC rejected it because of its proximity to Black Earth Creek and potential water quality problems that could arise during construction.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources then sent the commission a letter saying they failed to provide sufficient reason for rejection. After CARPC rejected the plan again last year and provided more detailed reasoning, the DNR backed the rejections.

So the village went to court to appeal the decision.

“I can’t understand why Dane County is treating us the way they are,” said Village President Lowell Holcomb. “They won’t even listen. I think CARPC’s got to learn to work with us instead of just slamming the door in our face.”

CARPC Chairman Jeff Miller said the commission is in a state of flux, and a successful legal overturning of the decision could limit the commission’s future.

“We have a fractured regional planning commission,” he said. “We have cities and villages that want growth and others that don’t. That kind of divide killed the county’s last regional planning commission, and we’re marching down the same road.”

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