A meeting of the City of Kaukauna Plan Commission was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2017, by Chairman Rosin.
Members Present: McGinnis, Oldenburg, Penterman, Rosin, Sundelius.
Also Present: Planning Director Jakel, City Attorney Davidson, Planning/Engineering Tech Holmes, Planning Intern Harp, Clerk/Treasurer Duda, Senior Project Engineer Strelcheck, Media, Interested Citizens.
Absent and Excused: Feldt, Schoenike, VanderSanden.
1. Excuse the Absent. A motion to excuse the absent Commission members was made by Penterman, seconded by McGinnis. All members voted Aye. Motion carried.
2. Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes of the July 13, 2017, meeting was made by McGinnis, seconded by Penterman. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
3. Discussion on Parking Alternatives for Reaume Avenue. Mr. Jakel explained that plans for the reconstruction of Reaume Avenue eliminated on-street and terrace parking causing neighbors to reconsider parking options. The Common Council directed the Plan Commission to look into alternatives and formulate a recommendation. Planning staff considered several alternatives including residents leasing space at the storage facility on Third and Reaume, the possible use of leased parking spaces in the municipally-owned lot on Third Street currently used as parking for Fire Department staff, and possibly expanding space at LaFollette Park for parking during the winter. Mr. Jakel explained that every reaction causes a change in the characteristics of the neighborhood – older homes were not typically designed to accommodate more than two cars. With the increased demand for parking, the possibility of allowing on-street overnight parking on one side of Reaume Avenue could be considered in the winter months. Mr. Jakel explained that preliminary research showed some significant opposition to the terrace parking as far back as 1990. Mr. Sundelius asked why the Board of Public Works did not take appropriate action at that time. Mr. Jakel explained that there has been no evidence of any action in the minutes. Chairman Rosin asked if the current Fire Department parking lot is considered as an alternative, would parking be restricted to Reaume Avenue residents or open to the public. Mr. Jakel explained that priority would be given to Reaume Avenue residents and that boats, trailers, and non-operational vehicles would be prohibited – however Council and department head input would be necessary. Mr. Penterman asked if on-street parking in the winter would alternate sides. Mr. Jakel explained that snow removal and emergency access would be the primary concern and that the parking would likely alternate sides of the street. Mr. McGinnis asked about the number of spaces needed to accommodate the loss of terrace parking. Mr. Jakel explained that it was difficult to determine based on the variables of the rental properties and it appeared that the impact would be limited to four properties. Mr. Sundelius explained that the Recreation Department intended to use the Fire Department parking lot and asked what the benefit to the City was by having to maintain a municipal parking lot for a small number of residents. He suggested possibly selling the lot in that case. Mr. Jakel explained that it is a philosophical issue for elected officials and that other municipal lots are used by private residents in high-density residential areas. There is also the topography of the lots to consider.
Jenny Kitelinger of 311 and 311 ½ Reaume Avenue explained that her property is considered two family due the availability of tenant parking and separate utility meters. She would like to see concrete on the terrace to accommodate parking. With three cars and a one car garage, she is able to configure parking using her driveway and the terrace. If terrace parking is not available, she prefers parking as close to the residence as possible. Jim VanDeraa of 319 Reaume Avenue explained that some residents on Third Street are permitted to park on the terrace despite having adequate off-street facilities available. The Reaume Avenue properties should be grandfathered in and while he appreciates the alternatives presented, on-street parking is not the best option. He explained that if the residents had known that the parking issue was not resolved by ordinance in 1990, they would have been here long ago. He also asked why residents would now opt to lease space when it has been free for so long. Mr. VanDerra explained that he works second shift and would have no guarantee that parking would be available to him and that eliminating the parking at his property will decrease its value. Chris Kitelinger of 311 and 311 ½ Reaume Avenue asked about the letters of opposition from 1990. Mr. Jakel explained that a private resident has the documents but was not able to attend the meeting. Mr. Kitelinger explained that he would prefer on-street parking rather than space in an off-site parking lot.
Mr. Sundelius explained that the Common Council has already determined that terrace parking will be eliminated and directed the Plan Commission to review alternatives. Chairman Rosin explained that more research will be done regarding past action of the Council. Mr. Jakel explained that if no ordinance exists, there is no pre-existing circumstance and it will be up to the Council to make a determination. Mr. Jakel noted that the input of residents is always appreciated and that the Council and Plan Commission now understand their position and concerns. If making additional meetings is difficult, comments can be relayed via email or letter. Mr. Strelcheck answered questions from residents on the specifics of the paving project. A motion to continue researching the minutes of the Council and Plan Commission from 1990 and forward all information on to the Council was made by Sundelius, seconded by Penterman. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Downtown Sidewalk and Street Use Permits. Mr. Jakel explained that the reconstruction of the downtown will create wider sidewalks and increase business display opportunities and pedestrian movement. Mr. Harp explained this his survey of surrounding communities included permit fees, alcohol sales, hours of operation, types of barricades, type of furniture, outdoor advertising and sanitation. Don Dix, owner of Bob’s Inn applauded the City for considering the permit as a way to boost downtown business. Mr. Jakel asked if 10:00 p.m. was a realistic expectation regarding monitoring. Mr. Dix explained that a case by case review would be a better option. Mr. Sundelius explained that any action would require Police Department review and that he favors making the process as easy as possible on businesses. Mr. Sundelius would like to see Mr. Harp give his presentation to the Council as well. Chairman Rosin agreed. Mr. Jakel suggested a hold-harmless clause so the City is not liable. Attorney Davidson explained that the City’s current outdoor alcohol permit does not apply to public spaces so a new procedure would need to be created. A motion to proceed with establishing a recommendation on the downtown sidewalk and street use permit to be presented to the Council, Board of Public Works and/or the Health and Recreation Committee was made by Penterman, seconded by Oldenburg. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Extra Territorial CSM – Town of Kaukauna (Gene Biese). Mr. Jakel explained that the Plan Commission does not typically review extraterritorial CSM’s, however, this may impact the City in the future. One lot is land-locked and while that is not permitted in the City, Outagamie County does. Mr. Sundelius explained that it is difficult to understand Mr. Biese’s reasoning for this layout of the property.
There being no further business to be brought before the Commission, a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:25 was made by Penterman, seconded by Sundelius. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
Julianne Schroeder, Executive Secretary