Adell reviews violation of ordinance — and ordinance in violation

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — The Village Board met Wednesday for its regular monthly meeting and two topics dominated the evening: A resident’s possible violation of the zoning ordinance and the zoning ordinance’s violation of new legislation.

A change in Wisconsin law no longer allows a municipality to halt the sale of a property on the basis that it does not comply with the section of the zoning ordinance dealing with discharging clear water into the sewer system. This had been brought to the board’s attention at its July meeting.

Now, Director of Public Works Shawn Bigelow read and discussed proposed revisions to several paragraphs of the ordinance. The board unanimously approved the revised section.

Bigelow and Building Inspector Walter Grotelueschen had looked into an alleged ordinance violation on the part of Adam and Stephanie Kostuch.

“Walt went through our ordinance,” Bigelow told the board. “He found they are in violation of the ordinance, but not to the extent that we had thought.”

Bigelow elaborated: “At the curb, our ordinance states [the driveway width] can be 35 feet. But then at the property line, it has to narrow down to no more than 26 feet [wide]. At this point, he’s 36 feet, straight all the way.”

The board viewed a photo of the driveway. Trustees asked several questions for clarification. “I think it’s pointless—” Bigelow started to say, when several trustees made comments at once.

Bigelow said, “I do think we should send him a copy of the ordinance,” to let the Kostuches know they are in violation.

Board members generally conceded there was a violation, but that it was not a serious one. And if the village would consider it serious, the property owner could become compliant by simply making a cut in the driveway’s concrete. One section would then be considered the driveway, 26 feet wide at the property line; the remaining 10-foot wide area could be called a patio, parking space, or anything other than a driveway.

But Trustee Jane Schneider thought there should be some consequence. “He was told not to do it, and he did it,” she said.

“Let’s just table this,” Village President Andrew Schmitt said. Schmitt said there had been a conversation between Kostuch, Grotelueschen, and then-Constable Jeff Kreutzinger, prior to construction of the driveway. Schmitt and others on the board expressed a desire to consult with Grotelueschen or even have him attend September’s board meeting.

After some months of work, the village’s master tree list was presented by Trustee Kim Peterson. The list keeps track of the trees the village is responsible for. Bigelow had also contributed to completion of this list.

Bigelow’s report on public works included some equipment that needed repair; repairs made to the village’s orange truck (the one board members had thought might be sold, based on the decision at July’s meeting to pursue contracting with Sheboygan County to do the village’s snow removal); the village’s lawn mower is broken; Dennis Hartwig’s upcoming participation in classes for wastewater.

Bigelow said installation of the new water main is scheduled to start Aug. 22. “They said they should have it done by Labor Day,” he said. When that evoked light laughter, Bigelow said, “Edgewood and Wisconsin Street will be done before Labor Day. The County will come in after Labor Day and start the road [repavement] project.”

Schmitt said the financial report on the Onion River Wastewater Commission was available to anyone wishing to review it. He said it revealed nothing out of the ordinary. The board voted unanimously to accept the report.

Clerk/Treasurer Kelly Rathke reported that 59 residents voted at the Aug. 9 primary election.

The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 14.

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