Village, Continental reach agreement that ends legal fight, allows construction of east-side drive-through restaurant
The Village of Grafton and a developer have reached a settlement that paves the way for construction of a drive-through McDonald’s restaurant on the community’s east side.
The agreement, which was approved Monday by the Village Board, ends a months-long legal dispute between the village and Continental Grafton over the project.
“Under terms of the agreement, the village will issue building permits for the restaurant, and both Continental and the village will dismiss all legal claims related to the matter,” a joint news release issued Tuesday states.
Continental represents Kilian Management Services, which plans to build a franchise-operated restaurant north of Highway 60 on the last vacant parcel in the Grafton Commons shopping center.
Although the village’s Plan Commission approved a site plan and permit request for the project in March, the Village Board subsequently denied a rezoning request that village officials said was needed for the project.
Village officials also denied a conditional-use permit for the restaurant, citing a long-standing ordinance that prohibits drive-through restaurants in the C-4 freeway interchange business district.
In addition to appealing the Village Board’s decision, Continental filed a lawsuit contending the Plan Commission’s approval was sufficient for the project to proceed.
Last month, Continental prevailed in a hearing presided over by Neal Nettesheim, a former presiding judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, who ruled that the commission’s March decision “was final and binding, and the village was barred from reconsidering the matter.”
The agreement calls for the village to issue a building permit for the project within two days after receiving payments totaling $17,684 from Continental for building, impact and sewerage fees. Continental is also required to pay the village $7,437 for an occupancy permit for the restaurant.
The agreement further stipulates that the village and Continental will be solely responsible for their own legal fees in the dispute and that both sides agree “to refrain from making any unilateral statements about this matter to any media outlet.”
“Village and Continental officials said they are pleased to have resolved this matter in a way that is mutually satisfactory and look forward to bringing this new business to Grafton,” the news release states.
The new restaurant will be owned and operated by Steve Kilian Jr., who will continue to own and operate Grafton’s only other McDonald’s on Falls Road.
Construction of the new restaurant, which will be on a 1.85-acre parcel east of Kohler Credit Union, is expected to begin this fall. Plans call for a 4,459-square-foot restaurant that will have a drive-through with dual ordering stations, indoor seating for 68 customers, an outdoor patio and parking on the west, south and east sides of the property.
After discussing the proposed settlement in closed session Monday, the Village Board voted 6-1 to approve the agreement. Trustee Lisa Harbeck cast the dissenting vote.