A meeting of the City of Kaukauna Plan Commission was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2020, by Chairman Penterman.
Members Present: Feldt, Feller, Moore, Penterman, Schoenike, Sundelius, Thiele (left meeting at 5:10 p.m.).
Also Present: Planning Director Jakel, Principal Planner Brunette, Project Engineer Neumeier, Applicants John Brogan and Trevor Frank.
- Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes of the November 5, 2020, meeting was made by Feller, seconded by Moore. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Special Exception Use Report. Brunette explained that the report was the result of a commercial store front being converted to a residential use via Special Exception request which are difficult for municipalities to deny. Ms. Brunette explained that dwellings are permitted in downtown areas in upper or rear spaces of buildings and permitted in front spaces through the Special Exception process. This process is not ideal and forces the hand of municipalities. Ms. Brunette suggested removing the dwellings provision within the CCD – Commercial Core District and limiting high-density multi-family projects larger than three stories. Mr. Sundelius asked if these types of developments are permitted elsewhere through other sections of the code. Mr. Jakel explained that property could be rezoned with a petition however it would need to comply with the comprehensive plan provision. Ms. Brunette suggested updating the section referencing pari-mutuel facilities and regulating the placement of salvage and wrecking yards. Light manufacturing in the form of artisanal small-scale crafting is now desirable however micro-crafting technically is not allowed outside industrial districts. Ms. Brunette suggesting changing the use from accessory to permitted to assist in attracting desirable business to the community. Mr. Schoenike asked how the proposed changes would affect businesses like Goldin Iron and Metal. Mr. Jakel explained that staff worked with the business – which would be considered pre-existing non-conforming – to locate them on the edge of the City. They could continue operations but not expand. Ms. Brunette explained that amending the code would provide better local control. Mr. Sundelius explained that salvage yards do have additional licensing requirements outside of zoning. Ms. Brunette explained that the amendment would be brought before the Plan Commission with the recommendations incorporated.
- Rezone 500 Hendricks Avenue from CCD to RTF. Brunette explained that the property is a former funeral home which is currently for sale – the offer to purchase is contingent on the rezoning. The buyers plan to convert the building into a duplex and remove the carport to improve aesthetics. Ms. Brunette explained that the request is a down-zoning, is a good fit with the surrounding neighborhood, and works with the land use map. The lot size is small and if the structures are damaged, they could only be replaced with a single family unit. If approved, the public hearing on the rezoning would be held in January before the Common Council. A motion to recommend to the Council approval of the rezoning request as presented contingent on the receipt of comments at the public hearing before the Council was made by Schoenike, seconded by Moore. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Island Street Transportation Plat. Neumeier explained that the property – four parcels and temporary easements – was acquired through the WDOT process and the concerns expressed by Kaukauna Utilities on the property have been addressed. Mr. Moore asked about acquisition costs. Mr. Neumeier explained that a fence was located on school district property and the others were owned by Kaukauna Utilities – no cost was involved. Mr. Schoenike asked if the bridge would be wider than the current one. Mr. Neumeier explained that it would be wider with sidewalks on both sides. A motion to recommend approval to the Council of the plat as presented was made by Thiele, seconded by Moore. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- 2021 Commission Meeting Dates. Brunette explained that it would be helpful to staff and Commissioners to schedule meetings in advance – if there were no items, the meeting would be cancelled. Staff would stick to the schedule as closely as possible while working around holidays and conferences. A motion to place the meeting schedule on file was made by Feller, seconded by Thiele. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- 120 East Wisconsin Avenue Renovation Project. Mr. Brogan, owner of the property and Mr. Frank, architect on the project, presented a plan of improvements and expansion to the site which would meld the old and new. Frank explained that prominent elements of the existing architecture would be maintained. Mr. Brogan suggested a possible public-private partnership on the project. Chairman Penterman asked about parking. Mr. Brogan explained that he anticipated less than ten cars at the site which could utilize the on-street or municipal parking lots nearby.
- Executive Session – 120 East Wisconsin Avenue Renovation Project. A motion to adjourn to Executive Session at 5:30 p.m. pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute 19.85(1)(e) to discuss the renovation of 120 East Wisconsin Avenue was made by Moore, seconded by Sundelius. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Open Session – 120 East Wisconsin Avenue Renovation Project. A motion to return to Open Session at 5:35 p.m. was made by Sundelius, seconded by Schoenike. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
There being no further business to be brought before the Commission, a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:40 p.m. was made by Sundelius, seconded by Moore. All members voted aye. Motion carried.
Community Development Coordinator