TOWN OF WAUKESHA -
The Town Board and Plan Commission postponed until July 12 votes on a
conditional use permit for a 50-acre event venue, including a 4,200
square-foot event barn, on the Lilac Acres Farm on S47-W2315 Lawnsdale
The decision came
after a four-hour public hearing that included contentious exchanges
between town officials.
Town Chairman John
Marek accused Supervisor Brian Fischer of being biased against the
Marek ask Town
Attorney John Macy to determine prior to the July 12 vote whether
Fischer could continue participating in the deliberations because of
his actions during the public hearing.
Fischer asked that
Macy research whether the public hearing violated state law.
Town of Waukesha erred in noticing and convening this public hearing
and it cannot continue to discuss, let alone act on, the request of
the petitioner for the conditional use permit,” according to
Fischer argued an
ordinance adopted by the town last year permitting event barns
violated state law because the ordinance was inconsistent with the
town’s comprehensive land use plan.
“You are not a
lawyer and I don’t trust your legal opinions,” Marek retorted.
“You came into
this meeting already having made up our mind that you were against
the hearing be stopped.
that the hearing is required by law and would continue.
Hearing began May
The hearing began
on May 1 when town residents living near the proposed venue voiced
objections about noise, traffic, safety hazards and depreciation of
land values they said the venue would create.
The venue would
include the barn with a dinning room, bar and dance floor and
facilities for catered food.
It would be
available between the hours of 10 a.m. to midnight on Friday and
Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
The events would
be restricted to 150 people.
during the May 10 hearing that because of a new state law - Act 67 -
opponents of the proposal would be required to present “substantial
evidence” that the plans failed to meet town conditional use permit
Macy added that
property owner Kenneth Miller and his representatives would also have
to provide “substantial evidence” that the proposal met the
town’s conditional use requirements.
The public hearing
was adjourned until Thursday to allow both sides to gather more
Thursday night’s hearing, an attorney representing the neighbors
asked the hearing be adjourned so they would have more time to collect
evidence supporting their opposition.
Lauren E. Maddente
said there was evidence local police would be overburdened by the
events and neighborhood streets were not designed to carry the volume
of traffic created by the events.
She said two local
realtors had attested the venue would result in the depreciation of
some property values.
neighbors supported the project.
Ryan Bedford and
Rudy Zeilhofer argued the venue was a preferable alternative to a
40-home subdivision which could be developed on the land.
suggested some of the conditions being imposed on the venue by the
town were “crazy and ludicrous.”
Hammes, representing the Miller family, argued it was unnecessary to
adjourn the hearing to another date.
He said his
clients had presented town officials with “substantial evidence”
that the venue proposal would meet all the town’s conditional use
After the public
hearing was closed shortly after 11 p.m., the commissioners and
supervisors decided to postpone their votes until July 12.