At last night’s City Plan Commission meeting, two agenda items were acted upon. The first had to do with a conditional use permit for a renovation to the stadium at Simmons Field at 7817 Sheridan Road, requested by The Northwoods League. The field is located in the 12th district.
Vern Stenman of the Northwoods League, said that they’ve developed their plans further since the last time he appeared before the commission. They’ve been fine-tuning the plan, and they are ready to bid the work.
Stenman said that Alderperson Steve Bostrom pointed out an inaccuracy in the plan to him. The elevation of the front entry gate was inaccurate. The back entry gate along the right field line should be an attractive entrance. Stedman said that they will make the adjustment, and the rendering will then show accurately.
At tonight’s City Plan Commission meeting, the petition to rezone properties at 7729, 7733, 7741, and 7811 Green Bay Road from RS-1, single-family residential district, and a portion of a property at 7800 – 60th Avenue from M-2, heavy manufacturing district, to B-2, Community Business District, in conformance with Section 10.02 of the Zoning Ordinance was approved.
One of the Meijer representatives presented the plans to the commission. Once the five parcels are rezoned, it would give them a 23-acre parcel of land. The plan is to build a 191,000-square-foot store with a drive-thru pharmacy and garden center. The back of the store would point out towards 77th Street. In addition, a 24,061 convenience store and gas station would also be built off Green Bay Road.
Tax Incremental District (TID) #15 was unanimously approved last night at the City Plan Commission. Three related agenda items were all approved for the property that represents the old KYF Building in Library Park, in downtown Kenosha. The first had to do with designating the district as a blighted area. As explained by Zohrab Khaligian, community development specialist, at least 50% of an area needs to be blighted and in need of rehabilitation, or be an industrial user, in order to be considered as a TID. A video was presented of the inside of the building showing peeling paint, holes in the ceilings, the condition of the single rooms upstairs, etc. Khaligian stated, “This building is no longer feasible to be used as a recreation facility. It will require a lot of money to renovate this building.”
John Fox, a Kenosha resident and downtown business owner, stated that he was against this designation. He stated that the building was in the same condition when it was bought. The owner of the property across the street from the building also spoke against the TID. He said that when he converted his building into apartments 8-1/2 years ago, he invested a lot of money with no help from the city. He said that “the owner knew what he was buying when he bought the building. The ceiling on the third floor was leaking. The city is giving away all this money ($300,000). It’s not fair.”
The Kenosha City Plan Commission met earlier this evening. The first two agenda items had to do with the special exception requests of Walgreen’s, 3805 – 80th Street, to the spacing requirements spelled out in the city’s zoning ordinances. The applicable sections read:
No Class “A” (beer) License shall be located within 2,640 feet of any other city-issued Class “A” License, unless the proposed location held a Class “A” License within the three hundred sixty-five (365) days preceding the application; and
No “Class A” (liquor) License shall be located within 5,280 feet of any other city-issued “Class A” License, unless the proposed location held a “Class A” License within the three hundred sixty-five (365) days preceding the application.
Walgreen’s is requesting both retail beer and liquor licenses. The commission voted 3 to 4 to 1 to deny the exceptions. Those voting for were Alderperson Kevin Mathewson, Ron Stevens, and Mayor Keith Bosman, who is the chairman of the commission. Those voting against were vice chairman and Alderperson Anthony Kennedy, Alderperson Jan Michalski, Kathryn Comstock, and Anderson Lattimore. Robert Hayden abstained from both votes due to one of his family members being employed at Walgreen’s.
Earlier tonight, the City Plan Commission met to discuss the $8 million project for the development of the old Kenosha Youth Foundation (KYF) Building across from Library Park in downtown Kenosha, located at 5800 – 7th Avenue.
Community development specialist Zohrab Khaligian said that $200,000 is being requested in Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) tax credits. The developers will be back in one month (on December 6th) and will hold a formal public hearing, which will be properly noticed.
A joint review board will be set up made up of the four taxing authorities: the city, the county, Gateway, and the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD). It will then go before the Finance Committee and the Common Council in January. For the next 27 years, they will agree to forgo the increased tax revenue from the development until the debt is paid off.
At last night’s City Plan Commission meeting, Mayor Keith Bosman announced that he and an entourage of members from the community will travel to Madison on Saturday, June 30, to visit and tour the Madison Mallards stadium and take in a baseball game, all at the expense of the Northwoods Baseball League. They are proposing to assist the city of Kenosha in renovating Simmons Field on Sheridan Road. Click here to read a previous article on this subject: Northwoods League Proposes to Renovate Simmons Field. Madison’s stadium seats 6,000, while Kenosha’s would seat in the neighborhood of 1,700 to 2,000.
At this afternoon’s City Plan Commission meeting, one of the major discussion items were the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood insurance rate maps. The homes that are affected are located in the Strawberry Creek and Leona’s Rolling Meadows subdivisions, on the western end of the city of Kenosha. Mayor Keith Bosman opened the meeting saying that they are trying to get FEMA to understand that the maps are incorrect, and that they wanted to defer the four related items for two weeks while they continued to work with FEMA. Bosman said that a presentation would be made tonight summarizing the key issues, followed by a public hearing. Another public hearing would then be held in two weeks, on May 24th.
- James D. Hawkins and Lena Cooksey reappointed to the Museum Board for terms to expire on May 1, 2015;
- Alderpersons Chris Schwartz and Jan Michalski appointed to the Museum Board for terms to expire on May 1, 2014;
- Robert Griffith appointed to the Mayor’s Youth Commission for a term to expire on November 1, 2012;
The conditional use permit for a 1,920 square foot Dunkin Donuts restaurant with drive-thru to be located at 4028 – 75th Street was approved by the Common Council tonight. John Clark from Dunkin Donuts presented three alternatives:
Alternative #1) The original plan, approved by Dunkin Donuts standards, meets all of the city’s criteria.
Alternative # 2) The City Plan Commission recommended enclosing the entire walk-in cooler with brick all the way up.
Alternative # 3) The third alternative was to brick around the back of the walk-in cooler only half way up.
At tonight’s City Plan Commission meeting, six conditional use permit requests from Adams Outdoor Advertising for off-premises signs were acted upon. Jason Saari, real estate manager for Adams, was present at the meeting and spoke on the requests. He stated that he was happy with all of the staff recommendations, but he had some comments on the sixth request, which he said he’d reserve until that point in the agenda. These requests were the result of a long process culminating in a new sign ordinance for the city. Mayor Keith Bosman stated that “this has been a long process to get to where we are. I’m happy to see it moving forward.”
Richard Schroeder, a specialist from community development and inspections, gave a quick overview. The new ordinance calls for two kinds of signs that require conditional use permits: digital signs, and ones that don’t meet the criteria of the ordinance (such as height or spacing requirements). They are considered exceptions if they don’t meet the criteria spelled out in the ordinance. The ordinance does still place a cap on the number of signs in the city (which is 94). If a new sign is placed, one will need to be removed.
The City Plan Commission met earlier this afternoon, and one of the agenda items was the conditional use permit for a 1,920 s.f. restaurant with a drive-thru lane to be located at 4028 – 75th Street. This is the old Payless Shoe store building. The plan is to raze that building and construct a new building which will house the franchise store.
Mark Schneider and John Clark, representatives from Dunkin Donuts, appeared before the commission and brought samples of the siding and stone material that will be used. There was some discussion about the use of the hardboard backing, and not the styrofoam backing for the stone material. Dunkin Donuts also expressed their desire to only take the stone material up to the windows, but the ordinance reads that the stone material needs to go above the windows. Anita Faraone, Art Landry, and Jessica Olson expressed their desire to have Dunkin Donuts follow the city’s ordinances, and not the typical “cookie cutter” Dunkin Donuts design. Alderperson Anthony Kennedy asked the representatives to bring the mock-up’s and cost estimates to the next Common Council meeting to assist the council members in making their decision.
Currently, agricultural zoned properties are assessed at a much lower agricultural rate. Apparently, there are crops being grown on tracts of land within the city limits of Kenosha that are not zoned agricultural. This proposed ordinance change would open up seven additional tracts of land as agricultural, and would make legal any large tract of land being used for crop production. (A large tract of land was defined as 10 acres or more.) This ordinance change would have provided an opportunity for more people to be in compliance with zoning regulations.