A meeting of the City of Kaukauna Plan Commission was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020, by Chairman Penterman. This meeting was held via teleconference.
Members Present: Coenen, Feldt, Moore, Oldenburg, Penterman, Schoenike, Sundelius, Thiele.
Also Present: Planning Director Jakel, Principal Planner Brunette, Project Engineer Neumeier, Assistant Fire Chief Foss, Alderman Kohne, Applicant Dennis Jochman of JBL Investments.
- Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2019, meeting was made by Moore, seconded by Feldt. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Municipal Branding Initiative Update. Brunette explained that working with Guide Studios has been a positive experience so far and that the community in participating in the process. The consultant has received 800 responses to their online survey – where they would have typically only received half that many – and meetings with focus groups have been held. Ms. Brunette explained that the project is about one month behind schedule due to the pandemic but we are on track to roll out the brand this fall. Ms. Brunette explained that the project is already funded and staff is working to see it through these difficult times. Ms. Thiele explained that she was impressed by the number of responses and asked if there was a way to break them down by location. Ms. Brunette explained that the survey was open to both residents and non-residents and that she would share the survey results when they are received.
- Grignon Park Stream Bank Restoration Project Grant Application. Neumeier explained that the Plan Commission acts as the City’s Stormwater Advisory Board and staff is looking for a letter of support for the Urban Non-Point Source and Storm Water Constriction grant from the WDNR. Mr. Moore asked about the work to be done. Mr. Neumeier explained that rip-rap will be placed and work will be done to restore the bank. Mr. Coenen asked if the stream was considered a navigable waterway. Mr. Neumeier explained that the WDNR as determined that it is – making the project grant eligible. A motion to direct staff to draft a letter of support for the grant application on behalf of the Plan Commission was made by Coenen, seconded by Schoenike. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Three Lot CSM – JBL Real Estate Investments. Mr. Jakel explained that the property is part of the Blue Stem Meadows development and the CSM would maintain the existing house and replat the remaining property. The lots would exceed the minimum requirements for single family homes. Sundelius asked if hooking up to sewer and water services would be required. Mr. Jakel explained that they would and that process is already underway. A motion to recommend to the Council approval of the CSM as presented was made by Feldt, seconded by Sundelius. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Annexation Petition – Rapide Croche Hydro Plant. Jakel explained that the petition includes the park and other improvements to the site. The property is in close proximity to the City and can be serviced by City Police and Fire. Assistant Fire Chief Foss explained that the Fire Department has no objection to the annexation as their ambulance already covers the area. Mr. Sundelius asked if Kaukauna Utilities had plans to maintain the area. Mr. Feldt explained that the park is part of their FERC license mandates. A motion to recommend to the Council approval of the petition to annex 35.037 acres of property at the Rapide Croche Hydro Plant from the Town of Buchanan was made by Moore, seconded by Thiele. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Intent to Annex Nickel’s Farm. Jakel explained that the City has contracted with Robert E. Lee Associates for developing a plan for residential and recreation space along with mitigation of the wetlands. Mr. Jakel explained that annexation can occur at our leisure however we need to address adjoining property owners and existing homes. Mr. Jakel explained that the Plan Commission could consider annexing a portion of the property for single family residential use with rezoning not a requirement for the initial expansion. Mr. Jakel explained that the highest and best use of the property is single family residential while still protecting the existing property and preserving its use. Mr. Jakel suggested a petition to annex 1/3 of the property by a unanimous petition which would bring the item back to Plan Commission and before the Council for public comment. Mr. Jakel explained that Mr. Nickel’s does not want to annex the property he owns but he understands and appreciates the City’s intended use. Mr. Nickel will be notified of all meetings regarding the annexation. Mr. Jakel explained that the lot line could be close to the existing vineyard and may require a lease or easement agreement. Mr. Sundelius explained that it is impractical to annex property we don’t own as there are examples of development occurring around property owners to the detriment of infrastructure. Mr. Feldt asked if existing property owners could stop the annexation. Mr. Jakel explained that they could not – if the City follows all procedures under state statutes although it is never wise to assume what a court may decide. Mr. Moore asked about current property taxes. Mr. Jakel explained that the property is taxed as agricultural land currently and would remain exempt – typically a very low rate. A motion to recommend to the Council to proceed with the annexation process was made by Schoenike, seconded by Oldenburg. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
There being no further business to be brought before the Commission, a motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:45 p.m. was made by Oldenburg, seconded by Moore. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
Community Development Coordinator