opinion sought on clinic design
Plan Commission asks for work on exterior
By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff
MEQUON — Developers of a
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin clinic and members of the Mequon
Planning Commission continued to wrangle over the appearance of the
proposed clinic Monday.
After initially rejecting a proposed building design because some
commissioners wanted more brick used, the commission voted
unanimously several minutes later to direct city staff to work with
the developers to reach a compromise that involved more brick on the
exterior of the 42,500-square-foot building planned for the corner
of Mequon Road and Market Street.
After a 90-minute-long discussion, commissioners initially rejected
the building and site plan on a 4-4 vote. Commissioners LeRoy
Bessler, David Fuchs, James Schaeffer and Pat Marchese voted no.
Representatives from the Ryan Companies, the developer of the $10
million CHW clinic, have been before the Planning Commission in
February, March and April. They returned this time with revised
plans that incorporated some elements in the roof design to address
feedback from prior meetings.
“It fits in nicely with some of the other architecture in the area,”
said Jac Zader, Mequon’s assistant director of community
development, as he updated the project for the commissioners.
Commissioners appeared to like the changes in the roof, but several
continued to express concern about the materials used in the design
of the building, particularly a siding material called EIFS. It is
described on an industry website as “a non-load bearing, exterior
wall cladding system that consists of an insulation board attached
either adhesively or mechanically, or both, to the substrate; an
integrally reinforced base coat; and a textured protective finish
Representatives from Ryan said they already had dug into the
contingency budget for the project with the changes in the roof
design. Changing the exterior to all brick would add about $100,000
to the cost, they said.
After the commission rejected the design, Marchese offered an
alternative that would allow staff to work with the developers to
find a compromise that improved the appearance of the building and
would reduce the amount of EIFS used. If staff and the developers
reach agreement, the design plans will not come back to the planning
commission for further action.
Several residents who live in the vicinity of the proposed clinic
spoke during the meeting and voiced concerns about the possibility
of additional water draining onto their property, increased traffic,
the impact of lights in the parking lot and noise from air
Ryan representatives said the clinic property
will be at a slightly lower elevation than surrounding residents and
that water runoff will go into a planned retention pond between the
building and Mequon Road that is designed to accommodate the largest
rainfall in the past 100 years.
Mayor Dan Abendroth said there are no
accommodations for drainage on the now-undeveloped property. He said
the development will “greatly improve the drainage in this
With regard to the noise concerns, Commissioner
Brian Parrish said he also lives in the neighborhood and sympathizes
with the concerns voiced by neighbors. He also noted that the clinic
will be a 9-to-5 operation that will likely have less of an impact
than other potential uses.
“I feel this benefits the community more than
some apartment buildings,” he said.
City staff and Ryan representatives both said
they would prefer to see a traffic signal installed at the
intersection of Mequon Road and Market Street, but said the state
Department of Transportation has rejected requests.
A Ryan representative said their building would
have to expand to five stories and 100,000 square feet before the
DOT would approve the traffic light.
“It’s kind of silly for us to talk about it if
we can’t do anything about it,” Abendroth said.
During the planned discussions about the
materials that will be used on the exterior of the building, city
staff and the Ryan representatives will be joined by Schaeffer, a
planning commission member who also is an architect.
Gary Achterberg can be reached at