After a over the rezoning of on June 26, a more conciliatory chord was struck Monday night as the Plan Commission recommended rezoning, with conditions to satisfy neighbors' concerns.
Previously, concerns centered around rezoning the one-and-a-half acre parcel to a "downtown revival" business designation, as the property is sandwiched between other residential properties. However, City Planner Jeff Muenkel and plan commissioners explained that rezoning will actually give the city more control over what happens to the parcel.
"We've heard from residents who want the property grandfathered as a residential parcel, but really it's never had a BSO (building, site and operation plan), so rezoning would require that there be one," Muenkel explained. "The BSO basically governs where structures can be placed, including parking areas, and dictates the utmost scrutiny over the property."
Commissioner Geri Jacques agreed, adding: "We have a lot of things in place as a commission, which provide a buffer to ensure the development is in keeping with the overall environment of the neighborhood. The BSO will allow us to review and approve any uses the owner requests."
The property had been zoned residential for about 90 years even though the building DJ's occupies has always been a business, and it predates Muskego's incorporation and codes. Janesville Road construction will mean the building and another home on the property will be razed, and the city has said it cannot grandfather any zoning to a brand new building on the site.
Muenkel also recommended Monday night that the ordinance allowing the rezoning include an amendment spelling out the condition that the business be built close to Janesville Road, with residential properties built toward the lake.
This fell into step with what neighbors were hoping to see.
"We support DJ's right to rebuild, but we're concerned with the entire parcel being zoned business," said Heidi Lindhorst, who has a home on the lake next to the property. "We don't want the noise of the tavern next to us, but we would welcome neighbors."
While some were concerned over the proposed 3,600 square foot size of the new bar and restaurant, others felt the larger size would bring in better business, providing more of a "supper club feel."
Dan Hewitt, who owns the bar, also said it's the part of his business that needs to grow.
"We have people standing against the walls on a Friday night, because the fish fry's pretty good, as some of you know," said Hewitt. "One-third of the size we're proposing (for the new business) is the kitchen, because right now most of your bathrooms are bigger than what our current kitchen is. We'd like to serve more people food — right now we only seat about 30 people — because that's what it's really about."
The Common Council will have a final vote on the ordinance, with the amendment in place, Tuesday night.