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This Proposal is to assist the town of Cottage Grove plan and implement the proposed Agribusiness Park. This proposal is to implement an element of the adopted 2002 Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Cottage Grove. included the designation of the area north of STH 12-18 and either side of CTH N to be developed as an Agribusiness Park. This highway interchange location affords an opportunity to provide much needed tax base to the Town to replace lands proposed to be annexed to the city of Madison and the village of Cottage Grove. Earlier in 2007 the Town Board adopted a sustainable policy for how the agribusiness area is to be developed and supported. Although, the Town supports typical agricultural operations in much of the Town, this area would be developed to provide the Town and all of Dane County with rural operations dedicated to local food production, agricultural research, facilities supporting agriculture experimentation and sustainable non-agricultural uses. To implement this project the Town has adopted Sustainable Standards for Development. For the implementation phase the town will consider fund raising including establishing a Tax Incremental Finance District to fund the purchase and development of the land in a manner outlined above. This proposal is to plan that implementation.


The area of focus is approximately 200 acres in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of CTH N and STH 12-18. The area is bounded on the south by STH 12-18, on the west by CTH N, on the north by a wetland and on the east by North Star Road. Approximately 40 acres of this land is currently available for development. This acreage has access to CTH N.


The Town has laid the foundation to implement a strategy to turn this plan into reality. First, they have adopted the Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan; second, acreage is available; third, access is availble to the site; the Town has adopted site development standards. Those standards are as follows:



The Natural Step System Conditions and Practices

Develop policies and practices that:


Guiding Objectives

Types of Practices

Eliminate the development’s contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals.

1.  Transit and pedestrian-oriented development.

2.  Development heated and powered by renewable energy.

3.  Incentives for organic and small agricultural operations serving the local area. These operations need minimize phosphorus and petrochemical fertilizers and herbicides.

Demonstrated a minimization on the dependency on persistent chemical and wasteful use of synthetic substances.

1.  Healthy building design.

2.  Construction that reduces or eliminates use of toxic building materials.

3.  Landscape design that uses alternatives to chemical pesticides and herbicides.

4.  Business purchasing guidelines that encourage low- or non-chemical product use.

Eliminate the area’s contribution to encroachment upon nature including land, water, wildlife, soil and ecosystems.

1.  Preserving open space and habitat

2.  Reduce water use and recycling of wash water.

3.  Redevelopment of existing sites and buildings before building new.





Meet human needs fairly and efficiently

1.  Locally based business.

2.  Locally base food production.

3.  Using waste as a resource.

4.  Eco-commercial development.

5.   Participatory community planning and decision making.



The Sustainable Sites with Sustainable Buildings in the agribusiness area east side of CTH N are:


  1. Sustainable Buildings- superior building design and construction. Require LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building standards. LEED standards have environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. In addition each building should be part of a system, that attempts to cross benefit the other buildings. This could include sharing waste heat, waste gray water and other waste materials. It would also include sharing potable water sources, sewage disposal treatment, storm water runoff treatment and containment, parking facilities and other common needs. All materials and energy used at the facility are either renewable or recyclable. Strive to develop zero emissions buildings by utilizing the following key concepts: reduce, reuse, recycle, renewable and rethinking.


    1. Produce ecological sustainable solutions and healthy buildings.
    2. Construct as a dry building beneath a waterproof roof.
    3. Use screws and bolts, but no nails.
    4. Use material with several functions. As an example material that insulates, sound absorbent and load bearing.
    5. Utilize heat recycling and renewal energy.


  1. Sustainable Site- requires informed and thoughtful decision making about every aspect of the site. Site characteristics include layout, topography, hardscape, lighting, plants and any irrigation. Sustainability sites will address issues on two fronts: efficiency for the private landowner and improved quality of the surrounding environment. For each issue, there is a design solution that can maximize conservation potential and sustainability such as:
    1. Water waste- design plantings and any irrigation for efficient water sue.
    2. Water pollution- design slopes and surfaces to minimize storm water runoff, replenish groundwater and use plants to capture water-borne pollutants.
    3. Biodiversity and Invasive Species –establish and protect areas of biological riches through the use of native plants. Resource waste- Select healthy, long-lived plant specimens.
    4. Energy consumption- minimize travel distances for obtaining materials. Design sites that do not require energy intensive maintenance to remain healthy and attractive.
    5. Soil- design so that site work minimizes soil compaction and avoids unnecessary soil compaction during the construction process.
    6. Air- Use plants to capture airborne pollutants, shade summer sun and temper summer heat.


Principals: A. Minimize measures such as excavation and fill. B. Replace constructed areas with green areas on the site such as Green Roofs. C. Retain the site’s Biological Diversity. D. Use knowledgeable consultants and contractors.


  1. Sustainable Businesses. All businesses will practice environmentally focused purchasing policies, including eliminating toxic materials for cleaning or other processes. Utilize furnishings manufactured from natural materials. Avoid toxic materials. Any materials required for the operation must be in a closed system. Reduce needless resource consumption of materials. Eliminate expendables products not recyclable.


In addition to sustainable standards for individual sites the Agribusiness Park will be developed with sustainable standards oriented to the area as a whole. These standards are:


1.      Retain 100% of the storm water on site for agriculture reuse.

2.      Minimize impervious surfaces

3.      Share operational services

4.      Location of composting sites

5.      Location of non-vehicle trails

6.      Location of biological waste sites both animal and vegetable.

7.      Feasibility of geo-thermal use




Further, the planning process will investigate generating energy to support internal operations and for exporting by the utilization of:


1.      Wind power

2.      Active solar

3.      Bio-mass production


Potential location for these energy-generating uses will be identified.



Developer Availability


The firm of Paul Davis Restoration is planning to build its Madison area headquarters on 4 acres of this site. Appropriate zoning has been obtained from Dane County for this use. This proposal will include assisting Paul Davis with siting these and other structures.



Permitted Uses


Uses that will be permitted include:

Roads, park and ride lots, electrical substations, communication infrastructure, other utility facilities, quarries, sand and gravel pits as permitted by state and local law, nurseries, agricultural research and experimental operations, parks, multiple purpose trails,  sustainable agricultural operations including aquaculture, farms raising traditional or specialty crops and animals, truck farms, hot houses,  community supported agriculture (CSAs), organic agriculture operations, and small, intense agriculture operations designed to provide food for local consumption. In addition within 1,320 feet of CTH N any non-residential operation built to and operated to the standards of the Natural Step System Conditions and Practices as adopted by the Town Board.


Citizen Participation


It will be important to gain public, property owner and Town acceptance of the proposed Business Park.  This will be accomplished through a series of presentations and public information meetings that will identify alternative proposals.


Subpages (1): Shullsburg Maps