Village of East Troy, Wisconsin

Residents: 4,341

ZoningHub Member Since 2014

The Village of East Troy is nestled in the fertile region of southeastern Wisconsin. Surrounded by quiet lakes and rivers, the Village incorporated in 1900 and has since blossomed into a vibrant community. At the heart of East Troy is the historic Village Square, which is home to a variety of events including the annual East Troy Bluegrass Festival and weekly Thursday night community band concerts during summer months. The Square is also near the Electric Railroad’s train depot, a favorite of locals and tourists alike, operating on the last stretch of the original interurban rail in the state.

The Village of East Troy takes pride in its historic past, but it is also growing to meet the challenges of the future. One of the challenges, also faced by municipalities of every size, is how to direct growth to both benefit residents and the local business community. The Village Board supports sensible growth and hired a consultant a few years ago to write a new zoning code. But simply having a new set of zoning regulations wasn’t enough for East Troy.

“We wanted our new zoning code to be readily accessible and easily understood,” said Eileen Suhm, Village Administrator.

Eileen was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to share some thoughts with us about ZoningHub and how it helped achieve their goals.

Q: How did ZoningHub make your job easier?

I’m often the first person residents and business owners call when they need zoning information. Before ZoningHub, it was difficult to share the zoning code. We had to meet to look at the zoning map, then flip back and forth to various sections of the code book to find out what land uses can be located where. Now, residents can go online and find the information themselves in a matter of minutes. I still get calls, but now I’m able to tell them about our website and help them along if they need help.

Q: What is your favorite part of using ZoningHub?

I know everyone likes the interactive zoning map, a lot, but for me, Pending and Closed Applications help me do my job more efficiently. Before ZoningHub, it was really hard for us to stay on top of development reviews. That’s totally different now for staff and everyone else. Not only that, we were always going to our file cabinets in the back room to research previous development approvals. Now, that information is available online. And, as we continue to add more development records, the value will continue to grow.

Q: What would you like to see implemented into ZoningHub in the future?CivicWebware_IZC-button_180

Several weeks ago the public works director asked me how the Village could keep track of stormwater maintenance agreements and other agreements relating to private development projects. I contacted the folks at ZoningHub to see if they could add something like that. Not surprisingly, they were very accommodating. They are designing and testing the first phase right now. We’re looking forward to testing it and giving them our feedback.

Q: What advice would you give to a community thinking about setting up their own ZoningHub site?

As the Village Administrator, I’m always looking for ways to improve the services we give our constituents. That means trying new things. Although trying something new is always a little scary and may require some additional time, which is hard to find, the benefits prove to be worth the effort. We chose to try something new, and our constituents are glad we invested our time in this effort.

Q: Eileen, what is your favorite part about living and working in the Village of East Troy?

At the heart of the community is our historic Village Square.  The first time I drove through the square 17 years ago there was something about the quaintness and activity on the square that initially drew us to move to the community.  Today I can say the square represents much more than that first glance.  It represents a central area of the community everybody is drawn to, takes pride in and treasures.  Although we are all working together to preserve the historic aspect of the community, I also know there are residents, business owners and civic organizations that are progressive and working together on continuous improvements.  We all play our part in making a difference.  I enjoy living and working in this community because I have had the opportunity become acquainted so many people, learn about the history of the community and most importantly I have the opportunity to contribute to making a difference in the community.