Town approves biz incubator zoning

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – A rezoning request detoured into a discussion of what constitutes “appropriate” landscaping before finally winning approval from the Town Board Tuesday.

Basil Buchko, representing W5172 LLC, appeared before the Zoning Commission and the board requesting rezoning from industrial to B-2 highway business for the parcel at W5172 County O.

“It is intended to develop the property consistent with the B-2 zoning and also consistent with the surrounding businesses. We want to develop the property (as) what amounts to a business incubator,” Buchko explained.

He said the developers plan to convert the existing pole shed building on the property into a large item storage facility for things like cars and boats.

A new building, to be located closer to the highway, would provide several spaces for potential or new businesses to use as storage and/or work space to grow the business.

When Buchko listed service providers such as plumbers as one potential client for the incubator building, Zoning Commission members questioned whether that would fit under the B-2 zoning class. Uses such as plumbing are listed under B-1 zoning, but not B-2.

“We’re almost crossing over two zoning classifications here,” commission chair Jan Abraham commented.

Buchko contended that the B-2 zoning allows uses allowed in B-1 as well as those listed further in B-2. Town Attorney Jim Hughes was not present at the meeting to clear up the issue.

Both the commission and Buchko did agree that any potential renter of the incubator spaces would have to come to the Town Board for a conditional use permit for their planned use of the space.

The rezoning request had been reviewed and approved by the joint town-city review committee, as the property lies within the city’s extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction.

But Abraham noted that the city representative at the meeting had requested that the rezoning be conditioned on the developers providing “adequate landscaping to enhance curb appeal,” according to the meeting minutes.

Buchko expressed reservations about that stipulation, noting that what might be considered appropriate by one person might not be by another.

He also pointed out that the town has final jurisdiction over the use and site plan for the property.

“I would like to do what the town wants,” Buchko stated. “I’m willing to place my trust in the town.”

The board agreed, leaving the landscaping requirement as part of the approval but deferring until actual site plan approval deciding what landscaping would be “appropriate.” The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Roger Rortvedt saying he was opposed to including the landscaping requirement in the rezoning.

“I think landscaping’s an open issue and not up to us right now. We have to follow up on that at the appropriate time,” Supervisor Glenn Kruschke summed up.

A conditional use permit amendment for Road America to construct another restroom facility at the track won board approval.

Road America officials explained that the new restroom will be located in the paddock area to meet increased demand due to larger attendance at RA events.


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