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Rezoning denied for church mixed-use building

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – The village board denied a request from Green Bay Community Church to rezone property it owns next to a roundabout along Cardinal Lane from R-2 Residential Single-Family Duplex by Subdivision to B-1 Business.

Board members agreed Monday, Sept. 28, with a recommendation made a week earlier by the village’s plan commission, which held a public hearing and heard from neighbors objecting to having business zoning in a residential area.

The rezoning application called for the development of a two- or three-story mixed-use building on the property to raise revenue to help support the church’s mission.

As proposed, the building would have been divided between a first-floor commercial tenant and upper floors of residential housing.

Village President Burt McIntyre informs the Howard village board Monday, Sept. 28, about why the Plan Commission recommended denying a rezoning request by Green Bay Community Church. Kevin Boneske Photo

Village President Burt McIntyre, who also chairs the commission, said the rezoning request was a “very unique situation.”

“This was going to be probably leased…out to other businesses,” he said. “The church would not occupy the building.”

Community Development Director Dave Wiese said the church did not bring forward a specific proposal for a mixed-use building with commercial use below and living quarters above.

“They were looking to get the zoning approved to move forward, so they could start to market it and work on details,” he said.

McIntyre said a lot of commission members voted against the rezoning because they had “little idea what (the mixed-use building) actually was going to be.”

“They decided to vote in favor of caution, rather than go ahead and approve it, because once you approved it, there was the concern that you can’t get back to where it was…,” he said.

McIntyre said the building would have been taxable with the church not occupying it.

“I thought if it was tax-exempt, that would kind of be an unfair situation over other businesses, but that’s not true,” he said.

Trustee Ray Suennen said all of the residents who contacted him were against the rezoning.

“To have a three-story building, and to have a commercial building, in the middle of a residential area… is not consistent on the east side (of Cardinal Lane),” he said.

Green Bay Community Church requested rezoning to B-1 Business for property it owns off a roundabout on Cardinal Lane in the Village of Howard. Submitted Illustration

McIntyre said denying the request to rezone the property to B-1 won’t prevent the church from “coming back and doing this again, and maybe giving it a little bit more thought in terms of what it is they want to do and what they care to share with us.”

Residential rezoning

In other action, the board approved a commission recommendation to rezone four parcels with approximately 74 acres to R-1 Residential Single Family and Planned Development District to allow for the development of 169 single-family residential lots along Shawano Avenue.

The site is the planned route of a new village sanitary sewer line currently under construction to serve the County VV/State Highway 29 interchange project.

Trustee Craig McAllister cast the lone dissenting vote with Trustee Maria Lasecki abstaining to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

McAllister said he opposed the rezoning because he doesn’t like the density of the plan and the amount utility payers are subsidizing the project.

He also previously voted against the project’s development agreement the village entered into with Wade Micoley.

Other approvals

The board approved a series of commission recommendations as part of its consent agenda, which included:

• A request from Johnny Junk for a salvage yard license at 2201 Badgerland Drive.

• A request from River City Realtors to rezone a 30.3-acre parcel between Shawano Avenue and Evergreen Avenue to R-1 Residential Single Family with a preliminary plat of the Crescent Hills Subdivision to allow for the development of approximately 44 single-family lots.

• Approve a request from Duquaine Development for a conditional use amendment to construct four buildings instead of five for a 92-unit multi-family complex located off Elmwood Court.

• Approved an ordinance amendment removing crushed stone or gravel as an equivalent hard surface allowable for off-street parking in residential areas.

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