There are several ways to register to vote. You can visit MyVote to register online or update your existing registration. Otherwise, you can submit your completed voter registration form to the Clerk's office at Village Hall. Bring an ID and proof of residence with you. You may also register at the polls on Election Day.
If your driver's license lists your current address in the Village of Rochester, that will serve as proof of residence. Otherwise, you can use a current utility bill, bank statement, pay stub, or a state-issued license which displays both your name and your address in the Village of Rochester.
The maximum number of adult cats and or dogs per household is four, but no more than three can be adult dogs. To exceed this limit, you must obtain a kennel license. The limitation on cats can be exceeded on agriculturally zoned properties when more than three cats are kept for the purpose of rodent control.
Dogs must be licensed annually by January 31st. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required. Cat licenses are not required, but all cats must be vaccinated for rabies.
You must own a property more than three acres in size. You must also submit an application for review and approval by the Village Board.
On agriculturally zoned properties more than five acres in size, there is no restriction. For any property less than five acres in size, a special exception permit is required.
The Building Inspector, Lee Greivell, is available at (262) 424-6957 or by email at [email protected]
Any new structures must obtain a zoning permit before a building permit. Contact Matt Rademacher, Assistant Administrator/Zoning Administrator, at (262) 534-1183 or by email at [email protected].
Fences and walls are allowed in residential districts in street, side, and rear yards. Permits are not required for residential fences, but there are regulations and considerations to keep in mind before building. View our Guide to Fences and Walls for details.
The Village of Rochester does not provide brush or yard waste collection or drop-off services. In recent years we have piloted a fall leaf pick-up program for select areas within the Village. Residents of these areas will be notified by mail. For all others, leaves can be composted or burned, or you can contact a yard waste disposal service. (Find more tips in this DNR brochure.)
Burning: Permitted burning times are between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. with all fires being extinguished by 8:00 p.m. Fires must be attended at all times. See the Outdoor and Refuse Burning ordinance for more details.
Overnight parking is prohibited on all streets throughout the Village. Overnight parking permits are available for three-month periods for some areas - contact us at 262-534-2431 for more information.
For temporary on-street overnight parking, you must notify the Racine County Sheriff's office (262-534-5166) ahead of time and every day that the exception is needed.
You can report a street light issue directly to WE Energies.
The Rules and By-Laws of the Village Board allow any trustee to place an item for discussion on a Village Board meeting agenda. To initiate a change to an ordinance as a citizen, you will need to get at least one Village Board member to agree to introduce the request for an ordinance change at a Village Board meeting. It is recommended that you put your request in writing and that you be very specific about what you are asking for and the purpose behind your request (i.e., what problem are you trying to address, or what is the intended result of the ordinance change). Once you have thoroughly formulated your request and supporting reasons, the next step would be to reach out to your Village Board members to see if at least one of them is willing to sponsor the request.
After that, the steps are:
- If at least one Village Board member agrees to sponsor the request, they will direct staff to place the request on a Village Board meeting agenda. Please note that any written materials Board members receive are subject to open meeting laws and will be posted online in the Village Board meeting packet for the meeting where the request will be discussed.
- At the scheduled Board meeting, Village Board members will discuss the pros and cons of the request and determine whether or not to refer it to the Ordinance Committee.
- If the request passes this step, the Ordinance Committee will conduct an in-depth analysis, including a review of legal research; discussing the pros and cons of amending or changing the ordinance; discussing its potential impacts on the village as a whole; and potentially reviewing a legal draft of the ordinance amendment. After due consideration, it will then formulate its recommendation for the Village Board to approve or deny the ordinance amendment request.
- If the ordinance amendment does not involve land use, the Ordinance Committee will forward its recommendation and, if applicable, the legal draft of the proposed ordinance amendment to the Village Board in the legal format that is needed to enact the change.
- If the ordinance amendment involves land use (i.e. changes to the zoning code or land division code), it will then be forwarded from the Ordinance Committee to the Plan Commission so that the Plan Commission can also formulate a recommendation for the Village Board to approve or deny the ordinance amendment. Please note that the Village of Rochester zoning code requires the Plan Commission to delay its recommendation on any zoning code changes until a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which an ordinance is first introduced (requiring a minimum of two meetings).
- Depending on statutory requirements, a public hearing may need to be conducted prior to the Village Board taking an action to approve or deny an ordinance amendment. Public hearing notice requirements vary based on subject matter, but can add up to an additional month or two to the timeline.
- Once all procedural requirements are met, the Village Board may take an action to approve or deny an ordinance amendment. A positive vote by the majority of the Village Board means the ordinance amendment passes. A negative vote by the majority of the Village Board means the ordinance amendment fails. (Please note that some ordinance amendments require a 2/3 majority vote).
Considering all the steps that must occur and potential hurdles that can be encountered, the process could take as little as one month or up to six months or more. Most land use ordinances take somewhere between two and three months to move through the approval process.
Please note: If you are seeking an amendment to the zoning code that affects the allowable use of property that you own, you will need to work with the Zoning Administrator to apply for the rezoning, map, or text amendment. An application for this type of ordinance amendment requires advance payment of applicable fees ranging from $850 to $1,000.