By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – The village board voted 5-2 Tuesday, June 23, to deny an appeal sought by Trinks, Inc., on the conditions to construct a new 39,017-square-foot manufacturing building on a vacant lot at 3411 Packerland Dr., between Partnership Drive and West Main Avenue.
Trustees Allison Williams and Mark Williams dissented.
The building plans call for a two-story office fronting Packerland Drive with the shop portion of the building extending to the east with the building and overall site plan designed to allow for future expansion to the north.
The Ashwaubenon Site Plan Review Committee passed a motion June 16 to approve the building with the side facing Packerland Drive on the west having the office, the warehouse portion having flat panels to abide by the village code, the north, east and south sides having panels with concealed fasteners, the east side allowed to have a 3-foot landscape buffer and the north and south sides having the 3-foot masonry wainscot, along with staff conditions.
Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the property is zoned BP-Business Park, where raised rib or standing seam metal wall panels are not permitted to face Packerland Drive, because of having higher standards than property zoned IP-Industrial Park.
Under the village’s site plan review ordinance, Schuette said an appeal of the committee’s decision may be made to the board within 30 days.
“From staff’s standpoint, we do administer the ordinance in a manner that is consistent with the ordinance’s requirements,” he said.
Katherine Treankler, owner of Trinks, Inc., appealed two aspects of the committee’s decision related to requiring flat (non-ribbed) metal wall panels on the front and having to screen roof-mounted mechanical equipment visible from the right-of-way or adjoining properties.
Treankler said changing the building design to meet those requirements would cost another $250,000.
“I do not see how the exposed area changes the overall aesthetics enough to justify the cost,” she said. “I understand the need for an ordinance, but quite frankly my building will add an uplift to the professionalism of the existing buildings, and that ‘flat’ addition will not change the overall look enough for someone going 45 miles per hour down Packerland or anyone viewing it from across the street.”
Treankler said the roof planned for the building is pitched, and she claimed with the roof height someone would have to be a half mile away to notice the cooling units on top.
“The expense to cover the units at that height and pitch is literally close to the cost of the units themselves,” she said.
Treankler said she is looking for an incentive to stay in Ashwaubenon and can’t justify spending an additional $250,000 on a $4.5-$5 million project.
“Quite honestly, if I can’t get the village to work with me, I’m going elsewhere,” she said.
Treankler said Bayland Buildings put together the building plans and understands the site plan review ordinance, “but in this particular case they did not apply (flat panels) to my project, because they just didn’t see the necessity of it.”
She said she hadn’t closed on purchasing the vacant property for Trinks, so she could go across the street and construct the same building in Hobart.
“If I can build it across the street and get away with it, that’s where I’m going to go,” Treankler said.
Board members who opposed the appeal stated they didn’t want to grant Trinks, Inc. an exception, because others would then also want to receive the same.
“We can’t just ignore our ordinances,” said Trustee Ken Bukowski.
Village President Mary Kardoskee said she favored applying the village’s ordinances with consistency.
“If anybody’s come to the site plan meetings, they will know that consistency is huge,” she said. “If you allow somebody in the business park to change some of these ordinances, you’re not going to be consistent and you’ll be changing them.”
Kardoskee said she was not against the project, but wanted to remain consistent with the ordinances.
Trustee Chris Zirbel said Treankler is now facing “sticker shock” when Bayland Buildings should have made her aware of what was required under the village code.