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DJ's Gets Rezoning Recommendation, With Assurances

Plan Commission addresses neighbors' concerns over lake living environment, and recommends downtown revival zoning for pub and residence that will be razed for Janesville Road construction.

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.

Matt Johnson July 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM
While I agree with having a restaurant overlooking the lake, the area near DJ's would not be good for that. It would intrude on homes located there. The best places to have such a restuarant would be where the park would have been located or Scheubring Bay off Lannon.
DK July 10, 2012 at 08:52 PM
While this "compromise" might seem reasonable, it is just another example of the city and its officials placating the lake residents. City officials always listen to the very vocal and organized lake residents. It makes you wonder who really runs the city.
Muskego Held Hostage July 10, 2012 at 08:55 PM
As an acquaintance of the late Andy Bozhardt (re: Boshardts lane) I'm sure he would have loved to have a fish fry near the lake he grew up on. I love the designation of "downtown revivial". It will help all of us left in in our downtown keep the feeling we all like, a combo of business and residence in the area just like the "old" days. Let's try to extend this feeling from Lannon to Racine.
The Anti-Alinsky July 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
MHH, 6000 voters have already said NO to any sort of change to the lake!
The Anti-Alinsky July 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Yes, I know it is really 3600, but if MEG forgot how to count, so can I!

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