Town approves billboard permit

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Town Board’s focus Tuesday was on the narrow stretch on either side of County O between State 23 and Pleasant View Road.

Two conditional use permit requests, one for an electronic billboard and one for barn storage buildings, took up most of the board’s meeting.

Aaron Pankow and Amy Nichols were granted a permit for a 14 by 48-foot two-sided digital billboard at the northwest corner of the intersection of State 23 and 57.

Nichols assuaged concerns raised by neighbors by explaining that the sign will be Vshaped, with two panels facing the two state highways. People living to the north of the signs would see only the metal structures on the back of the signs, which would not shine on their homes or properties.

Supervisor Gene Blindauer noted that the sign still must be approved by the state.

Basil Buchko, vice-president and general counsel for the Van Horn Automotive Group, presented plans for four storage buildings the group wants to build at W5094 County O, between State 57 and Pleasant View Road.

Van Horn had been before the board last year with a proposal to create a truck parking lot on the site, but Buchko said they had changed their direction toward the four-unit building.

“They’re technically storage buildings, but they’re a little more than that,” Buchko stated.

They will be insulated and heated, with a toilet and sink, according to Buchko. They will be aimed at people looking to store high-end cars or equipment.

“In comparison to the parking lot, we believe this is a higher and better use,” Buchko said.

As with the earlier parking lot proposal, neighbors raised concerns about potential water runoff from the development.

Buchko attempted to reassure them, noting that the new plan will include several additional stormwater retention ponds to buttress the existing pond.

Because the new development would be larger than the parking lot, Buchko noted that drainage plans will have to be approved by the county Planning and Conservation Department and the state Department of Natural Resources before anything can be built.

“We are going to have to see what the DNR and the county have to say about your plans,” Town Chair Warren Luedke agreed.

“The Department of Natural Resources is going to be into this up to their hip waders,” Buchko commented. “They’re not necessarily rubber stamps for what the town does.”

Answering another question from the audience, Buchko said the lighting would be LED and would be directed only on the buildings and no further. The doors for the individual units would face inward on the paved drive on the property, he added.

As for any potential noise or waste issues from users, Buchko noted, “The landlord is ultimately responsible for the environmental quality of their property.”

The board approved the permit contingent on state and county approval of the drainage plans and assurances from Van Horn that noise, lighting, trash and hours of operation issues are addressed.

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