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Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 20:53

Pair of new ventures gain Town Board approval after protracted refining of zoning restrictions

It has been a winding road, but a pair of conditional-use permits brought before the Saukville Town Board face just one last hurdle.

Town supervisors approved a pair of business proposals last week, introduced to capitalize on the town’s revamped conditional-use permit process for properties with business zoning.

Those approvals included a furniture trim milling operation proposed by Michael Farina for a former metal-stamping shop at 3333 Hwy. 33, and a reception venue proposed by Scott Sieckmann and Matt Kastel for a farmstead property at 3844 Hwy. Y.

Both approvals are still subject to final authorization by the Village of Newburg, because the properties are within that community’s extraterritorial review area.

Public hearings on both proposals were held during a well-attended Plan Commission meeting on Sept. 8. Most of the people who spoke at the hearings were not opposed to either concept, but wanted additional information.

It was Farina’s proposal that pushed town officials in March to rethink the ordinance governing business uses in the township.

Supr. Mike Denzien said despite the manufacturing zoning on the parcel, the town’s zoning code would not allow a mill on the property. That was changed after the Town Board adopted its amended code last month.

Denzien headed the subcommittee that crafted the conditional-use permit approach to business operations.

The new procedure makes it possible to consider business uses on parcels after town officials put suitable restrictions in place.

“It is manufacturing zoning, but prior to last month running a mill was not permitted by our code,” he said.

“Even though we changed the code, we still require a conditional-use permit … so people can’t just fire up an industrial operation without a review by the town. We just want to look at plans to make sure they are not going to be a nuisance.”

When the board was poised to approve the conditional-use permit, Town Chairman Don Hamm jokingly asked Farina if the protracted approval process had soured him on the proposal.

“We have been working on this for a long time. Are you sure you still want to do this?” Hamm asked.

When Farina nodded his head, the board unanimously approved the permit.

Neighbors were much more curious about the plans forwarded by Sieckmann and Kastel to use their 125-acre property to host up to 10 special events a year.

There will be no on-site parking or lodging offered on the property, and music for gatherings such as wedding receptions and corporate events will have to wrap up by 11 p.m.

One of the prominent features of the property is a restored barn, which will have a capacity of handling 100 guests.

“We are very protective of our property. There is a ton of work to maintain the property and at considerable cost,” Kastel said in explaining the justification for the reception business.

There will be no signage for the business, and the property will not be open to public use.

With the restriction included in the permit, Denzien said he was confident “it is not going to be a big circus.”

In approving the permit, town officials said they would review the operation at the end of 2016, or earlier if problems arise.

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