Golf lodge scores on second shot

Town Board approves rezoning for Sumac Road site
by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – His first shot of his second round was sent into the rough by the Zoning Commission, but golf lodge developer Chris Wold recovered to sink his second shot before the Town Board Tuesday.

Wold, back with a second location for his proposed Tournament Club, won rezoning approval for a 10.45-acre site at W5910 Sumac Rd.

The board rejected the recommendation from the commission, which voted 2-1 against the rezoning request from current property owners Randy and Denise Prange.

It was another rejection for Wold, who was turned down two months ago for his plan at a property on County S south of County Z.

The commission, as they did when they voted against rezoning the County S site, cited concerns over spot zoning in recommending against the Sumac Road site as well.

“I think it’s a great idea, but it’s spot zoning,” Chairman Rick Nick said of Wold’s plans. “We will have to sit up here and listen to people say you did it for him, why not for me. We decided on business (zoning) along (State) 23 and (County) PP.”

He and commission member John Laack voted not to recommend the rezoning after Janice Abraham’s motion to recommend in favor failed to get a second.

But Town Board supervisors Roger Rortvedt and Glenn Kruschke spoke in favor of the rezoning during the public hearing before the Zoning Commission, and the rest of the board agreed with them.

“It’s not the type of business somebody would think of putting where our businesses are located, along (State) 23,” Supervisor Ray Gremminger pointed out.

“This business is ideal for that location,” Supervisor Gene Blindauer added.

He said granting the rezoning would not set a precedent, as each case is considered separately.

“Yes, somebody could ask (for spot zoning), but each of these situations is decided on its own merits. The next person has to prove himself or herself that this is the thing to do for them,” Blindauer explained.

“We don’t have to approve every one we get here,” Rortvedt said of rezoning requests. “Each one is different and we all know that.”

Wold explained that the Sumac Road property – which includes a pond with a swimming beach and an existing residence – would be more suitable for his project than the first proposed location on County S.

In fact, he added, it would allow him to expand his business model to add year-round bookings for non-golfers. The original concept was to create lodging for groups of golfers who would come to play mini-tournaments on the area’s championship-caliber golf courses, which would still be part of Wold’s plan.

Town Chairman Jim Lubach noted that Wold will still have to get a conditional use permit for his lodge after he buys the property and that the board can put any necessary conditions on his operation at that point.

The board granted several other conditional use permits later in the meeting.

David Peterman was given a permit for an art studio and residence in the former Deicher Construction office at 2708 Eastern Ave.

Ken Deicher explained that the building was originally built as a model home, so it is suitable for living quarters as well as office or studio space.

Michels Construction of Brownsville was granted a permit for a temporary batch concrete plant at N6161 Branch Rd.

Tim Frerichs, project manager for Michels, said the plant would be used for the current State 23 road project and would be in operation through Dec. 1 at the latest.

“We are not mining anything from the site,” Frerichs told the board after Lubach noted that the property was a gravel pit at one time. Any materials for the concrete plant would be trucked in, according to Frerichs.

“We are contracted to have (the property) totally restored by the end of the calendar year,” Frerichs assured the board. “Michels is very particular about how they maintain their properties. They have a positive image they would like to maintain.”

James Luloff, owner of JJ Recycling at W5172 County O, was granted an amendment to his conditional use permit to allow him to construct an additional storage building on his property.


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