Town of Germantown

Office Website of the Town of Germantown, Juneau County, WI

Board of Appeals Meeting


Town of Germantown Town Hall
N7560 17th Avenue
New Lisbon, WI 53950
October 26, 2016
6:10 p.m.

Present: Chairman Mike Raabe, Members Skip Barton, Erin Voll, Eric Vogele, Ray Feldman, Zoning Administrator Dick Martin, Administrative Assistant Linda Salzwedel
Townspeople present: Donn Zawis, James Olson, Gary Burmesch, Scott Hall, Jack Hall, Jim Murphy

The public hearing was called to order in the Town of Germantown at 6:10 p.m.

Chairman Mike Raabe called the public hearing to order and read the appeal. Zoning Administrator Dick Martin described the infringement that is already in place, and the additional infringement of the variance request.

Gary Burmesch is the owner of the condos closest to the location of the addition to Shipwreck Bay’s kitchen. He said as far as the condo association goes, they are OK with it and will not dispute it. Donn Zawis and James Olson, also of the condo association, agreed with Zawis.

Jim Murphy said that he is not in objection with the addition or anything else there at Shipwreck. His challenge is with the parking. He presented photos of overflow parking all down Shacks Road. He pointed out though that this kind of parking and traffic is not representative of a typical afternoon – just special events and evenings when a band is playing.

Murphy also pointed out that the land west of Shipwreck is the property of C&B investments. Parcel #290121098 is the one Shipwreck Bay is on. Parcels #290121096.1 and 290121097.01 right next to it is also owned by C&B Investments. He said they could easily expand the parking so there is no street parking for overflow. It would be much safer than the current setup.

Board of Appeals member Ray Feldman asked Jack Hall how many parking spaces there are right now. Jack said about 30 right by Shipwreck and 30-40 more in what they call the back parking. So 60-70 altogether.

Mike Raabe asked Administrative Assistant Linda Salzwedel to read the letter from Irv Tessmer – a neighboring land owner who could not attend. In the letter it was stated that he also is concerned about the parking, as well as traffic going through his campground even though there are signs posted telling them they should stay out, and people parking in spots designated for his campers. He says this problem is caused by inadequate parking at Shipwreck.

Jack Hall said that they need a kitchen expansion at Shipwreck Bay very badly. It’s hard to take care of their customers in a timely manner because of the small size of the kitchen. He says it’s difficult to keep up with the customers they have now, as they continue to grow it will become a worse problem.

Murphy says that parking is already a problem, and a kitchen expansion will add to the problem of the parking.

Ray Feldman states three conditions are considered: 1) a hardship has to be established. At Shipwreck Bay the expansion is hemmed in and there is no other way to expand. 2) would it harm the public interest. Public interest would not be harmed; but it would seem to be needed to add parking. 3) Not granting it would create a burden.

Feldman says it would seem to him that the answer is to add a condition to the variance to add parking. There was discussion about parking, how much to add, and where to locate it. Chairman Raabe asked the Halls if they think they need more parking. They said it would be great, but it’s not their decision – they don’t own the property. Dick Martin added that Shacks Road is the 2nd most dangerous spot in the township for snow and plowing, on the hill. He says at the time the hill is taken care of would be a great time to add parking for Shipwreck. Raabe said it’s hard to put a condition on the permit if the owner of the property – Dan Berkos – is not there to speak about it.

Board of Appeals member Eric Vogele said that one thing we could do in the mean time until parking is added is to lower the speed limit. He also commented that it’s a very seasonal environment – he would love the parking to increase but doesn’t feel the expansion is going to affect the parking except that faster kitchen turnaround could get customers in and out faster and actually help with parking.

Raabe asks if maybe the parking should go later to the township as a separate matter. He thinks it would be different if Shipwreck was increasing the seating capacity instead of just the kitchen. Feldman disagrees and says it goes back to if there is a hardship to the public and we have to consider the overall public safety. Jack Hall says regardless of the parking – they need the expansion to take care of the people they have right now. Scott Hall says the builders want to start in 30 days so if there is a holdup on the permit there is no way they can get the kitchen expanded at all. Scott says the business has been expanding for the last three years. He knows there is a parking problem but there have not been any accidents in that time. The addition does not affect parking. They need more room in the kitchen. Feldman suggests holding off on the permit until Berkos will come before the board and he thinks the variance should be granted with a condition to add parking. Eric points out that denying the variance would be a burden on the Halls’ business. Erin Voll asks if we even know if the adjoining land is zoned correctly to accept parking. She doesn’t think adding a condition to the variance right now is right, since we don’t have all the facts. Dick Martin says the town board has not received any complaints about parking at Shipwreck. He says the speed limit could be changed, and the road could be flattened by the township at some point.

Chairman Mike Raabe asks if there are any other questions or statements, then asks for a motion to adjourn the hearing.

A motion was made by Skip Barton, seconded by Eric Vogele to adjourn the public hearing at 7:05 p.m.  Motion carried.