Comprehensive Plan


Goal: Support an adequate range of housing opportunities to meet the needs of existing and future community residents while maintaining a predominantly rural atmosphere.

Objective 1: Maintain the Uniform Dwelling Code process.

Objective 2: Guide new housing development into areas of compatible use.

  • Investigate the development of a subdivision and land use control ordinance specific to the Town of Lenroot.

Objective 3: Encourage development that is in the best interest and appropriate for the Town of Lenroot.

  • Provide property owners with information on proper conservation of property.
  • Encourage sensible down shield night lighting to preserve the “northwoods dark skies.”
  • Promote enforcement of restrictions on unkempt properties. (Junk vehicles, trash, etc.)

Objective 4: Encourage development of housing, including owner and renter occupied units, to accommodate all income levels, ages and special needs including low-income and energy-efficient housing.

  • Support existing Sawyer County Zoning Ordinance definition for description of a mobile home. “Mobile Home” is any structure manufactured or assembled prior to June 15, 1976 and originally designed to be capable of transportation by any motor vehicle upon public highways that does not require substantial onsite fabrication; which is intended for occupancy as a year-round resident. Mobile homes shall not be located in any zone district unless located in a mobile home park.
  • Any mobile home is to be placed on an enclosed foundation.

Objective 5: Support existing programs to improve area housing throughout the town.


Goal: Provide a safe, efficient and cost effective transportation system for the movement of people and goods throughout the town.

Objective 1: Adopt minimum design and construction standards for new roads with which developers shall construct new roads to town standards.

Objective 2: Encourage the development of motorized and non-motorized forms of transportation throughout the town.

Objective 3: Support and coordinate with other jurisdictions in enhancing transit services.

Objective 4: Require developers to bear the costs for improvements or construction of roads, including paving needed to serve a new development.

Objective 5: Continue to prepare and annually update a multi-year transportation improvement plan to identify and prioritize short term needs, long term needs, and funding sources for road upgrades, new roads and other transportation facilities.

  • Conduct an annual public information meeting on road improvements.

Utilities & Facilities

Goal: Maintain and enhance community facilities and services, which contribute to the overall improvement of the township.

Objective 1: Coordinate utility and community facility systems planning with land use, transportation and natural resource planning.

  • Meet with representatives of the local utility companies to seek telecommunication upgrades.
  • Encourage sensible night lighting with proper shielding to avoid excess light pollution of the night sky.

Objective 2: Promote use of existing facilities and encourage development of public facilities, such as parks, public access, open space and trails.

  • Inventory existing facilities and develop a five-year capital improvement plan for facility improvements.
  • Oversee development of multi-use trails where feasible on town land or dedicated easements.
  • Improve, maintain and expand the town cemetery.

Objective 3: Become more involved with public utility companies in planning and development of services impacting Lenroot and the surrounding area, including wireless phone and high speed internet service that are consistent with other comprehensive plan goals and objectives.

  • Encourage underground placement of utility lines.
  • Meet with representatives of local utility companies to discuss future infrastructure development and replacement.

Objective 4: Ensure town facilities are adequate to meet changing needs of the community.

  • Develop a capital improvement plan (CIP) to assist in prioritizing and budgeting for improvements.
  • Work with adjoining townships to explore cost sharing efforts through multi-jurisdictional cooperation.

Ag, Natural & Cultural

Agricultural Resources

Goal: Maintain Agricultural land base for present and future use.

Objective 1: Maintain a 5 to 10 acre minimum parcel size for agricultural lands within the town.

Objective 2: Encourage and support agricultural enterprises within the township.

Cultural Resources

Goal: Preserve and enhance cultural heritage resources, including historical places, sites and landscapes.

Objective 1: Identify the town’s historic and cultural resources.

  • Promote a Lenroot Historical Society.
  • Work with the State and County Historical Societies to identify and preserve our township’s history.
  • Record oral histories of the Town of Lenroot area through the historical society.
  • Evaluate local cultural and historic resources and develop a local landmark program.

Objective 2: Preserve scenic and historic views within the town.

  • Develop a list of registered historical places in the town and identify other potential historical places.
  • Work with private landowners on the preservation of historic buildings.

Objective 3: Encourage the adaptive re-use of historic structures and record their history.

Natural Resources

Goal: Conserve, protect, manage, and enhance the town’s natural resources in order to provide the highest quality of life for the Town of Lenroot’s citizens and visitors.

Objective 1: Protect surface and ground water.

  • Collaboration with organizations such as lake associations to monitor and record water quality.
  • Provide information on the disposal of hazardous materials, such as paint, waste oil, computers, insecticides, etc.
  • Support County Regulation on impervious surfaces to reduce direct runoff.
  • Encourage the county to continue the maintenance program of septic systems and encourage replacement of ineffective systems by property owners.
  • Investigate alternative locations for disposal of human septage in order to avoid land use conflicts.
  • Encourage Best Management Practices (BMP’s) on all lands, including farmland areas.

Objective 2: Protect area lakes, rivers, wetlands, streams shorelines, and adjacent riparian areas.

  • Support Sawyer County Shoreland Ordinances.
  • Include in the town web site an informational pamphlet to inform property owners about town resources and services and best use practices for maintaining town character.
  • Cooperate with other units of government on resource protection under shared authority.

Objective 3: Maintain and upgrade public accesses.

  • Work with WDNR to maintain and improve boat landings and public accesses.
  • Participate in planning and development of recreational trails on public lands.

Objective 4: Protect and manage local forested areas.

  • Encourage selective cutting by utilizing the services of a professional forester.
  • Work and cooperate with local land trusts and similar organizations on forest protection, management, and preservation.
  • Encourage the use of BMP’s in forested areas.

Objective 5: Support efforts to enhance recreation uses that are compatible with existing recreational uses on public and private lands within the Town of Lenroot.

Objective 6: Identify and protect unique natural resource areas within the town.

Economic Development

Goal 1: Provide an open and inviting business climate to attract high quality economic development that emphasizes the natural environment of the town.

Goal 2: Continue to support the forest industry and related business.

Goal 3: Promote recreation/tourism as an important economic base for the future of the community.

Objective 1: Discourage the fragmentation of forestlands in order to maintain productive manageable forests.

Objective 2: Ensure that future commercial and industrial development is compatible with the northwoods character of our town.

  • Keep commercial development centralized on main transportation corridors and adjacent to existing commercial development where possible.
  • Adopt standards for commercial development reflecting a northwoods character.
  • Develop a sign ordinance compatible with the northwoods character.

Objective 3: Attract and retain quality business and industries that improve the employment and personal income base of the town.

  • Focus economic development activities on the recreation and service industries.
  • Develop a focus group to explore potential business or manufacturing industries desirable to the community.
  • Investigate available federal, state, and private grants for economic development activities.
  • New industrial activity should be limited to those areas designated for such use on the Future Land Use Map in order to minimize adverse impacts upon surrounding land use.
  • Review and support opportunities for recreational trails within the town.

Intergovernmental Cooperation

Goal: Establish mutually beneficial cooperative relationships with adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions.

Objective 1: Share community facilities where possible.

  • Inventory equipment and services of adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions.
  • Develop formal agreements when sharing and developing services.

Objective 2: Achieve cooperation and coordination with adjacent towns with respect to comprehensive planning and land use controls.

Objective 3: Coordinate with other jurisdictions on multi-jurisdictional applications.

  • Seek funds for housing rehabilitation in coordination with other jurisdictions.

Objective 4: Develop partnerships with adjoining jurisdictions in determining future land use.

  • Work with Sawyer County zoning on issues.
  • Coordinate activities with adjoining jurisdictions.

Land Use

“Northwoods Character” Throughout the Town of Lenroot Comprehensive Plan, the term “northwoods character” appears several times. The Town of Lenroot Comprehensive Planning Committee has adopted a definition of northwoods character. The definition of “northwoods character” is defined as: “A combination of natural and manmade features that portray the traditional form and preserve the traditional function of the northwoods landscape. In the Town of Lenroot, northwoods character is manifested in a backdrop of forests and fields, natural features such as creeks, lakes, and wetlands, and structures such as churches, cabins, and homes. These physical features support traditional northwoods activities such as farming, logging, and outdoor recreation that have been practiced for generations in the Town. Homes in the northwoods are either scattered at low densities or clustered together in small communities surrounded by open space.”

Goal: A coordinated, planned development pattern consistent with the northwoods character of the community.

Objective 1: Minimize the conversion of forest land for other purposes.

  • Require development standards for areas denoted as “Forestry Residential” on the town’s “Future Land Use Map” for one residence per 5 acres.

Objective 2: Direct new development in and around areas of existing development.

  • Work with local property owners and developers to encourage development in areas where services are already provided.
  • Amend existing county subdivision ordinance and create a land use ordinance specific to the Town of Lenroot.

Objective 3: Participate in a proactive manner with adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions regarding planning activities.

  • Meet with the Towns of Cable, Spider Lake, and Hayward to discuss future planning activities and developments that may impact all communities.

Objective 4: Develop a policy on land acquisition management and sale of town lands.

  • Inventory all lands owned by the town.

Objective 5: Provide continual public review and public-based amendatory process to the comprehensive plan.

  • Conduct a review of the comprehensive plan at least every five years.
  • Utilize the plan commission to inform the town board on recommended changes needed within the comprehensive plan as the land use patterns or trends begin to emerge.