Boundary-line duplex development plans questioned before Rhine Town Board

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

RHINE - A request at September’s Town Board meeting by Joseph Bronoski for the board to be aware of a possible upcoming housing development that straddles the town of Plymouth and the town of Rhine brought citizen Paul Boocher to the microphone for public comments of a general nature at the Nov. 7 meeting.

Questioning under which classification the development of 11 stand-alone duplexes should be considered, Boocher identified that the boundary of the town bisect the design of the building project. With the complications that could arise, Boocher, who is not against the project, believes there should be an interest in joint communication between the towns.

Boocher noted concerns about the project relating from proper designation of land use (in both townships) to an increase of use in the current sewage system.

“It would be wise to have a meeting of both towns. If this developer wants more cooperation, the towns should work jointly, not separate. It seems like it should not be allowed to move forward with no oversight. I don’t want to stop the project, just have it be done in the proper manner,” Boocher said.

Rhine Town Chairman Ron Platz indicated that the project is still in the development phase and that it is the responsibility of the developer to put the pieces of the project together properly.

“Why would we say no? The final decision is up to the individual town boards. The developer is the one who has to pursue it. The vast majority of the project is in town of Plymouth. The developer is the one who has to get his ducks in a row,” Platz said.

Tom Werner of Crystal Lake Crushed Stone was present to address the board regarding the two-year extension of his current conditional use permit for his business.

The business produces ready mix stone for cement mixing. Werner brought along a business associate should any additional explanation be required.

The gravel pit, which supplies the natural product to mix cement, is one of the lowest spots in Sheboygan County.

“I didn’t know you could go that far below ground level in Sheboygan County,” Platz said, which drew a few chuckles.

The request is similar to what Werner requested two years ago. However, there was a question about timing relating to business conducted on the weekends.There is a 2 p.m. weekend noise limitation currently.

Supervisor Frank Zimmerman said that if there is excessive noise expected beyond that time, a call to the town chairman beyond that time could or would be approved on a case by case basis. Werner agreed.

“You jump the right hoops,” Zimmerman said.

“Nobody likes surprises,” Werner responded.

A large elaborately etched stone sign that was recently erected without a building permit at the entrance of a Garton Road property was determined to be in violation of multiple state laws and local ordinances. The most notable local issue is that the sign sits in the right of way, which could impede snow plowing or other road-related concerns.

Louis Prange, who had the sign erected with a four-foot concrete underground foundation, was present to hear the board’s recommendations on what he needs to do to rectify the placement of the stone sign. With the temperatures dipping and heading for snowfall, time is of the essence. The board wanted an understanding of what Prange will do within the next few weeks — not months.

Options are to move it inland from the center, which will require a building permit and excavators, all at a cost to the sign’s owner. Another option is to present the case to the town’s Board of Appeals to request a variance in the ordinance, which provides no guarantee of local approval because the state has to approve it as well.

“I wasn’t aware I had to do all this to put up a sign. I used what [information] I read online. It was my mistake to not get a surveyor,” Prange said. “I just forgot what township I was in, that’s all. I’m at the mercy of getting an excavator in.”

In allowing Prange to determine what he needs to do, Zimmerman noted the weather. “In 60 days it will be froze up tight. If there are issues, give Chairman Ron a call,” he said.

“If you give me your word that you will move it and you work on it. Keep me posted on what’s going on,” Platz said.

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