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Hartford/Beaver Dam is well known as a community with a good quality of life, small and cohesive neighborhoods.  This deserving reputation is due in part to the Cityís small size, entrepreneurial spirit, civic-minded citizens and activist government. One of the many factors that makes Hartford/Beaver Dam such a great place to live, work and visit is the communityís attention to detail, and respect for itís setting, heritage and quality urban design.

Hartford/Beaver Damís Design Guide strives to protect the cityís unique qualities and strong sense of place by carrying out citywide development and design objectives. 

The purpose of this Design Guide is to help applicants in preparing projects to be reviewed by the the Hartford/Beaver Dam Planning Commission. Through materials such as this, the Hartford/Beaver Dam Joint Planning Commission seeks to make information available well before the final design of a project saving the applicant, and the city, time and money.


Landscaping is much more than window-dressing, an important consideration in the Design Guide. Plants and trees add accent and value to a property, improve air quality, provide wind breaks and shade, and can be used for screening. Planned into a Project Too often landscaping is the last part of a project to be planned and the first to be cut when the project is over budget.  The result can be disastrous for the property as well as the neighborhood. 

Use your landscaping to serve a purpose such as emphasizing a style or design element, screening an object, or defining an area.  Trees in the front yard and greenbelt help frame buildings and add a sense of privacy from the road. Size, placement, color and texture of your plantings should compliment the building and site year round. 

Choosing Appropriate Plants. 

Getting the right plant for the job means faster results, less cost and greater enjoyment. It makes sense to use native species where appropriate Ė given they already enjoy Ohio County's weather and soil conditions. However, remember that cities of Hartford and Beaver Dam are not  rural places, and trees and plants must also be adapted to thrive in an urban environment as well. 

Think ahead to when the plant is full grown. Will it be too large for the area, overpowering its surroundings or lessening itís life-span? Will it tangle with overhead utilities, affect drainage patterns or damage to the foundation? Will it bear fruit that will litter a walkway making it slippery? In addition, understanding blooming cycles will help you choose a collection of plants that will be colorful year-round. 

Finally, consider using plants to meet specific design needs. Consider a hedge or other type of "living. It will keep people and pets out, and you donít have to paint it like a picket or stockade fence! Shrubs can provide an excellent screen for utility meters or foundation walls. Trees can help lower energy bills by providing summer shade and winter windbreaks, and flowers add color and life to almost any site. 

Proper Planting.   

As much of a plant lives under the ground as you see above. Plants need good soil, and an area large enough to support them as they grow. When planting trees especially, place them away from foundation walls and overhead wires, donít plant them too deeply, and avoid smothering the trunk with mulch. Finally, new plants need plenty of moisture to help establish new root systems. 

Planting correctly from the beginning ensures success, and may eliminate the need to turn around and do the job again later down the road.

NOTICE: The Hartford/Beaver Dam Joint Planning Commission encourages use of this site (www.occzoning.com). We hope you find it helpful and convenient. However please be aware of the following. 

The information presented may not include all recent changes. In the case of meeting warnings and agendas, note the last-update date, and call the Joint Planning Commission if you have questions. 

Minutes and other documents that may be available from this site are not Official copies and also may not include all recent changes. Official copies can be obtained by contacting the either the Hartford or Beaver Dam City Hall. 

Zoning information and related resources contained herein provide preliminary answers to basic zoning questions, but does not provide a full review under the Hartford/Beaver Dam Joint Planning ordinance.  While, many zoning questions can be answered with a phone call to the Joint Planning Commission, most zoning and building permit permit applicants, or their representatives, should plan on visiting the Hartford/Beaver Dam Joint Planning Commission office to get proper and complete review of their application.

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