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Departments » Planning » Land Use

Land Use Planning
1. What is a Certified Survey Map?

A Certified Survey Map (CSM) is a legal recorded property description created in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 236 and Brown County Ordinances Chapter 21. All CSMs must be created by a registered land surveyor.

How do I determine if my land is suitable for land division?

The Brown County Planning Commission can discuss all potential land division with citizens. Contact staff at (920) 448-6480 or via email at

When is a subdivision plat needed?

A subdivision plat must be created when one of the following conditions are met: 1.) an existing parcel is divided into five or more parcels, or 2.) five or more parcels are created from the same parent parcel within five years.

4. How long does it take for a CSM to be reviewed?

CSMs submitted to Brown County require 21 to 40 days to review. The specific time required depends on the complexity of the area being subdivided. If changes are required, it may take up to one year to record the CSM.

5. How long does it take to complete a subdivision plat?

Since a subdivision plat must be reviewed twice (preliminary and pre-final), time frames for review are longer. Additional engineering studies such as stormwater management plans, flood studies, and erosion control plans are also needed. Subdivision reviews can take up to four years.

6. How many lots can be created with a CSM?

Up to four individual lots can be created with a CSM.

7. Is all land suitable for subdividing?

No. Brown County subdivision regulations regulate development in and near Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and other areas. ESAs include waterways, wetlands, floodways, steep slopes exceeding 12%, and lands adjacent to these areas. Contact the Brown County Planning Commission for advice on land suitability for creating new parcels and development.

8. What is a combination CSM?

A combination CSM is a tool used to combine two or more entire separate parcels or portions of separate parcels into a new tax parcel.

9. What is a retracement CSM?

A retracement CSM reestablishes the existing boundaries of an existing tax parcel in Brown County.

10. What is a subdivision plat?

A subdivision plat is a legal recorded property description created in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 236 and Brown County Ordinances Chapter 21. All subdivision plats must be created by a registered land surveyor.

11. When is a combination CSM required?

Some local municipalities require a combination CSM when a building permit is applied for or if existing buildings on a parcel may be noncompliant with the local zoning code.

12. When is a CSM required?

CSMs must be prepared by a surveyor and reviewed and approved by the local municipality and Brown County Planning Commission when a lot less than 40 acres is created in a Sewer Service Area and less than 10 acres outside of Sewer Service Areas.

13. When is a retracement CSM required?

Retracement CSMs are typically requested by some local municipalities if a landowner is applying for a building permit. A retracement CSM is also ideal for combining several warranty deeds or other legal documents into a single record.

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