Mequon Update: October 9, 2017

Over the past week, the City has launched a new and improved website. Check it out. If you have questions or comments, please let  me know. The new platform is easily modified. Hopefully, the website will continue to improve to meet the City’s needs.
Mequon has many fine employees. Occasionally, one deserves special mention. Don Curran is retiring after 39 years of service to the City. For many years, Don has served as Director of Parks and Operations. He has found a way to maintain and improve a giant and excellent park system with little funding. Don is a humble guy, but he has quietly made a big contribution to our community. He will be missed.

The City has released some interesting statistics concerning the new subdivisions off of Wauwatosa Road between Mequon Road and Donges Bay Road (Enclave at Mequon Preserve and Highlander Estates). During the first 18 months of those developments (January of 2016 through June of 2017), 44 new single-family homes were built with an average home cost of approximately $342,150 (excluding land costs). More homes have been built since June.

The Appropriations Committee (the Common Council sitting as a budget deliberating committee) will meet on Tuesday, October 16, at 7:00 p.m. This is perhaps the most important thing the Common Council does each year. During this meeting, preliminary decisions will be made concerning spending and taxes for 2018. Then, at the November Common Council meeting, the Common Council further debates the budget, possibly amends it and then formally approves a budget.  A copy of the budget proposed by City staff can be found by clicking here.

Planning Commission

On, Monday, October 9, starting at 7:00 p.m., the Planning Commission will hold a meeting. Highlights include applications for approval of:

  1. A new outdoor dining patio for Zaffiro’s Restaurant at the Marcus North Shore Theater.  The patio would have hanging string lights similar to those at Cafe Hollander.
  2. New lot lines for Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 6031 West Chapel Hill Road, and its adjacent single family home.
  3. Rezoning and reconfiguration of the four-lot subdivision at 14907, 14137, 14155 and 14207 North Birchwood Lane.
  4. Fill for a residence at 12875 Highgate Court.
  5. An addition to the Clark gas station at 10335 North Port Washington Road. The addition would replace the shack behind the building.
  6. A 34,900 square foot addition to Christ Church on the 24.47 acre site at 13460 North Port Washington Road. The addition would be to the south and rear (east) of the existing building. Additionally, Christ Church requests approval of a 1,200 square foot garage. Christ Church anticipates a future 23,000 square foot addition.
  7. A mixed-use development at 6209 West Mequon Road and 11050, 11124 and 11127 North Industrial Avenue. The development is planned with a sit down restaurant, mixed-use retail center, 90 residential apartments, a brewery, a building with retail, office and corporate extended stay apartments and 23 single family homes. The project is estimated to have a value of $50 million. The Planning Commission reviewed this concept in August. There will be at least five more meetings, between the Planning Commission and the Common Council, before this project will be underway (it is possible that one or more of those meetings could be consolidated).
  8. Ordinance amendments for the Town Center and its adjacent Arrival Corridor. The amendments would (a) provide an opportunity for limited numbers of single family homes; (b) create new, somewhat more restrictive, standards for multi-family housing in the Arrival Corridor; and (c) change the zoning for The Reserve and the one property directly east of it from Arrival Corridor to Town Center.

Read more about these items by clicking here.

Committee of the Whole

The Committee of the Whole is nothing more than the Common Council meeting in a more informal manner to discuss an issue. The Committee of the Whole cannot make decisions; instead, items that call for a decision are again addressed at the Common Council.

On Tuesday, October 10, starting at 6:00 p.m., the Committee of the Whole will discuss reports recently received by the City regarding the Police and Fire/Ambulance Departments. The City engaged consultants to review staffing, responsiveness, procedures and equipment in both of these departments. The consultants’ reports are interesting. The consultants were generally complimentary but made some specific recommendations. Click here to learn more.

Common Council

On Tuesday, October 10, starting at 7:30 p.m., the Common Council will hold its October monthly meeting. It looks like another long meeting. Highlights include:
Four Public Hearings. Mequon has a long and proud tradition of allowing the public to comment on all matters in open session before the Common Council and its boards, commissions and committees; however, public hearings are required by law for certain ordinances and provide a specific opportunity for the public to give input.

  • Rezoning for a 32-unit, side-by-side condominium project at 12431 North Green Bay Road and the parcel immediately to the west.
  • Zoning code change allowing two-acre residential Planned Unit Developments.
  • Rezoning of the four residential properties along the west side of Granville Road just north of County Line Road from Rural Industrial to Residential.
  • Edits to the ordinances governing the architectural board, the board of appeals and landmarks.

All of these items are scheduled for consideration and potential final action later in the meeting.

Other Items. The Common Council will consider:

  1. An emerald ash borer policy.
  2. A potential sale of the Logemann property.
  3. Comprehensive modifications of the ordinances that govern the City’s boards, commissions and committees.  The Public Welfare Committee has worked on these changes for the past 15 months.  Proposed changes were forwarded to each of the City’s boards, commissions and committees for their input. The Public Welfare Committee adopted almost all of the recommendations from these bodies.
  4. A three-year extension of the Revolving Loan Fund loan made to the Bartolotta Restaurant Group. The loan was made a little over three years ago and was originally in the amount of $150,000. Payments have been made as required. The current balance owed is about $88,100.
  5. Exemption of WE Energies from the ordinances’ requirement that it pay the sum of $22,700 into the City’s green infrastructure fund. WE Energies removed some specimen trees, with City permission, in the process of replacing the gas main in the west side of the City. Ordinarily, a fee would be payable to the City’s fund; however, the ordinances allow exemption for utility projects where the exemption is appropriate and the project is for the public good.
  6. Engagement of a consultant to assist in establishing a capital asset management plan. The Common Council budgeted $25,000 for this purpose in the annual budget. As originally proposed by staff, the budgeted amount would provide a plan covering buildings, roads and major equipment. Now the $25,000 will only cover buildings, and the other components of the plan will possibly be addressed by future contracts.
  7. Participation in the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewage District’s Green Infrastructure Fund. Previously, the City could not opt out. It now can.
  8. A closed session to provide a personnel evaluation of the City Attorney. I expect that the Common Council will reconvene into open session to consider a possible extension of the City Attorney’s contract.

Read more about these items by clicking here.

City Committees

I am the aldermanic representative to the Planning Commission and Chair of Public Welfare Committee. All Common Council members serve on the Appropriates Committee, the Sewer Utility District Commission and the Water Utility Commission. In addition to my own committees, I will try to report on items of significance being considered by other committees.
The Public Welfare Committee will not be meeting on Tuesday at its normal time due to the Committee of the Whole meeting described above.
Public Works Committee (Tuesday, October 10, at 5:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Public Works Committee will consider:

  1. The WE Energies exemption described above as Common Council Item #5.
  2. The consulting agreement described above as Common Council Item #6.
  3. The MMSD green infrastructure program participation described above as Common Council Item #7.

Finance–Personnel Committee (Tuesday, October 10, at 5:45 p.m.). Click here to learn more. In addition to its normal tasks of approving liquor licenses and payment vouchers, the Finance-Personnel Committee will review the Bartolotta’s Revolving Loan Fund extension described above as Common Council Item #4.

Architectural Board (Monday, October 9, at 6:30 p.m.). Click here to learn more. The Architectural Board will consider five new homes, eight additions or other residential construction projects and modifications to three homes previously before the Board.  Applicants come from Districts 1 through 5 and 7.

Other Upcoming Meetings

  1. The Public Safety Committee will hold its October meeting on Monday, October 16, at 6:00 p.m. An agenda has not yet been published.
  2. The Public Welfare Committee might meet later in the month.

Of course, please provide comments to me or to any elected official regarding these matters or any other City-related issue.

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