Rezoning passes EL board

by Abby Lynn Harvey of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – Citizens concerned with the potential addition of a helicopter charter service to the village crowded the gallery at Monday evening’s meeting of the Elkhart Lake Board of Trustees.

The charter service, proposed by Ellen Dupuy, would be operated at 610 Aero Dr., located on the south edge of the village.

For the business to operate at this location however the property would need to be rezoned from manufacturing 3 (M3) to manufacturing-2 (M2). Once the property was rezoned Dupuy would be able to apply for a conditional use permit.

“If it passes to go to M2 - if the board decides to take the recommendation - it will give them the opportunity to come to the Planning Commission with a conditional use permit to run their business,” Trustee and Planning Commission member Michael Wolf said. “The conditional use permit can be very very restrictive.”

On the table Monday evening was the rezoning request, which drew a large number of citizens, unhappy with the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the rezoning request be granted.

After nearly a half hour of discussion, the rezoning request was granted, and met with verbal dissension from the crowd.

While initially, in response to public reaction as many citizens spoke at the public hearing held prior to the meeting, it was suggested that the request be sent back to the Planning Commission and returned to the board with a more coherent explanation for their recommendation.

“There’s a big public interest in this and whereas I think there’s a temptation to push forward tonight on making that rezoning decision, I think there is a part of me that says that it wouldn’t hurt to give planning an opportunity to finish what they started,” Trustee Richard Sadiq said. “In my opinion, I don’t feel that I have every piece of information I need.”

Trustee Pam Garton questioned the basis on which the recommendation by the Planning Commission was made. The recommendation, she suggested, did not fit into the village ordinance in relation to granting rezoning requests, citing an ordinance which states rezoning can occur only for public necessity, public convenience, general welfare or good zoning practice.

“I think those are the questions and answers we’re looking for from the Planning Commission,” Garton said.

A vote to return the rezoning request to the Planning Commision failed with a tie vote, trustees Sadiq, Garton and Richard Baumann voting to return it to the commission and Trustees Lynn Shovan, Steve Kapellen and Wolf voting again. Village President Alan Rudnick had recused him from this portion of the meeting.

In a vote to approve the zoning change, Garton and Baumann voted to deny the request while Shovan, Kapellen, Sadiq and Wolf voted to approve the request. The motion passed 4-2.

A request to move the petting zoo for the Downtown Night event into the Village Park was approved. It was also allowed that pony rides could be held on the corner of Lake and Elm Streets. The event will be held Aug. 12.

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