The Planning Division provides the City Council, Plan Commission and other citizen boards with expertise and recommendations in the areas of city planning, neighborhood support, land use development, zoning, site plan review, subdivision plat review, historic preservation and other land use related issues. The City of Eau Claire's policies and regulations regarding land use and physical development for the community are expressed primarily in the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision Code.
The Eau Claire Plan Commission consists of nine members appointed by the Eau Claire City Council. The Commission advises the City Council on all planning and zoning related issues. The Commission is responsible for preparing and updating the City's Comprehensive Plan. The Plan Commission also reviews all applications for subdivisions (plats), conditional use permits, home occupations, rezoning requests and site plans. Forms for these various Plan Commission reviews can be obtained by contacting the Planning Division.
The City of Eau Claire's Zoning Ordinance establishes land use and building requirements for property within the City to meet the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan. Eau Claire is divided into zoning districts that have regulations governing the use of property, location of buildings, size of buildings, the size of yards and open spaces, parking and other site improvements. The Planning Division administers the Zoning Ordinance and provides staff support for the Eau Claire Plan Commission. Copies of the Zoning Ordinance can be obtained for a fee of $5.00. For access to the City zoning, select http://eauclairecitywi.wgxtreme.com/.
The City's Subdivision Ordinance establishes standards for the division of land into lots for development by encouraging well-planned, efficient and attractive layouts of lots and streets. The City also requires and reviews Certified Survey Maps (CSM's) for lot splits and the creation of new lots. In addition, the City reviews all subdivisions and CSM's which are located outside the City, but within three miles of its corporate limits.
Petitions to annex property to the City are handled by the Planning Division. Prior to submitting a petition to annex property, it is advisable to discuss the proposal with staff. Any property proposed for annexation must meet the following criteria:
- The land must be contiguous to the City and cannot lie within another city or village.
- The annexation will not cause the creation of an island which is not part of the City.
- The proposed annexation is in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.
The City of Eau Claire is the ninth largest City in Wisconsin with an estimated population of over 65,000 persons. The table below shows Eau Claire's growth since 1960.
|YEAR||POPULATION||# OF HOUSING UNITS||AREA IN SQ. MI|
The City has continued to grow throughout this period. Between the years 1980 and 1990, the City's population increased by 5,337 persons. This represents an estimated annual increase of 535 persons over this period or a growth rate of 1.04 percent per year. Between 1990 and 2000, the City saw an increase of 4,848 persons. This represents an annual rate of growth of approximately 485 persons per year. The City experienced an increase of approximately 4,179 persons between 2000 and 2010. Population estimates for the City indicate continued growth.
The State of Wisconsin published revised population estimates for Wisconsin municipalities in the fall of 2013. The State's population estimates for Eau Claire are as follows:
The Planning Division has additional demographic information available for the City of Eau Claire. This includes detailed 2010 U.S. Census statistics available down to the census tract and block level. These Census statistics are also available in the City's Census 2010 Summary for the City.
Finally, the Division also publishes an annual report and map that summarizes development activity for the City. The report summarizes land development activity including: annexations, zoning changes, street construction and utilities construction for each year and compares it to development activity for the two previous years. This annual Development Map and Report is available for $6.00 from the Planning Division and is available in the Development Report.