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Ashwaubenon restricted by state budget addition

By Ben Rodgers
Staff Writer
ASHWAUBENON – A trustee of Ashwaubenon said an 11th hour addition to the state budget will “wreak holy hell” locally.

The comment was made in regard to legislation that allows the village to license short term rentals operating 10
or more days a year.

This is essentially a mandate from the state which will mean the village will have to comply with rentals for
homes people rent out for special events for seven to 28 days.

The change replaces an ordinance passed by the village about a year ago that limited short-term rentals to a
select few properties by Lambeau Field.

It was passed as a way to stop the community from changing due to the spread of short-term rentals.

“This is going to wreak holy hell in this community. Holy hell.” said Ken Bukowski, trustee. “It’s going to be
miserable to regulate.”

The addition to the budget was made anonymously, at the last minute.

“This is an issue that we just found out about. It was handed to us in the back of the budget at the state level,
and it is the state pretty much dictating to us what we can do,” said Mary Kardoskee, village president.

Tony Wachewicz, village attorney, drafted up an ordinance in response to the legislation.

“We’ve been scrambling to put this together and at least get something in place as far as a stop gap measure,”
Wachewicz said.

The ordinance, presented and approved unanimously at the meeting, contains information about the
processing of the license, licensing agents, provisions to comply with paying the room tax, display of the
license, an appeals process and a fee schedule, among other items.

Trustee Mark Williams called for tighter regulations, possibly the addition of a conditional use permit requiring
owner occupation.

“If we’re getting regulated by the state of Wisconsin I would rather over regulate at a local level to prohibit
something the people of Ashwaubenon don’t want,” Williams said.

Wachewicz said that addition would indirectly prohibit the legislation which would allow the ordinance to be
challenged. But he will investigate owner occupation language.

Passing the first draft is a step legally required enroute to a tighter final copy.

Concern was also raised regarding the fact that the legislation was tacked on to the state budget in a way that
allows for the legislator who presented it to remain anonymous.

“In my email to the governor I said ‘That’s what’s wrong with Washington politics and you just brought it to
Madison,’” Kardoskee said.

Trustee Gary Paul said the move is an affront to local governments.

“It’s going to get to the point where they’re not going to need local government anymore and they’ll run it from
the big house in Madison,” Paul said.

The ordinance will be discussed again at a special Village Board meeting at 7 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.
In other business

The village also approved two separate planned unit development overlays for two proposed apartment complexes.
A planned unit overlay, or PUD, requires approval from the board and allows for a building to have its own
zoning district.

The first apartment complex would be on Marvelle Lane and William Charles Court.

The project includes a total of five units housing 67-78 apartments each. The total number would be around
345 units, when all phases of development are complete.

The village originally purchased the properties and cleared the site for redevelopment.

“Integral to this development is a large urban greenspace,” said Steve Shulfer, partner with Sketchworks

The development would offer rooftop gathering areas, outdoor gathering areas, a community center, and an in-
building fitness center.

Apartments would range from studio to three bedroom units, with the majority being one to two bedroom.

Rents are not finalized but would be $750 to $850 for a studio, $1,500 for a two bedroom, and $1,800 for a
three bedroom, according to Bert Slinde, project partner.

Rents would be subject to the view the apartment has of Lambeau Field.

The PUD, which was approved unanimously, would be for the first phase of the project, or the first building.
A final PUD will need to be presented and approved by the village board at a future meeting.

The second PUD was also approved unanimously for the first phase of an apartment project at 791 Morris

The entire four building project would house around 350 apartments when completed.

“Its intent is that is supposed to be very inviting for the public to come in and stay,” said Tim Wolosz, principal
at Engberg Anderson Architects.

This development offers the potential for retail development as well as an outdoor stage for music.

Wolosz said the rent would be competitive with the first project presented but that he was not at liberty to
discuss any specifics.

As with the other project, a final PUD will need to be presented and approved by the village board at a future

This rendering shows a proposed housing development on William Charles Court and Marvelle Lane in Ashwaubenon. The project was discussed at the Tuesday, Sept. 26 meeting.
Image Courtesy of Schulfer Architects
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