Rezoning approved for Gehl Foods property
Lots for two homes will be used for production expansion

By By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

June 30, 2017

The exterior of Gehl Foods is seen Thursday morning in Germantown. The Village board recently rezoned property on Main Street to allow Gehl Foods to expand.
John Ehlke/Daily News


Gehl Foods has cleared one hurdle to complete an expansion of its production facility along Main Street in Germantown.

The Village Board recently approved a request to rezone two residential lots, owned by the company, along Main Street adjacent to their production facility to permit expansion. The property was changed from B-3 General Business to M-1 Limited Industrial.

Stacy Cooke, project engineer and who was representing Gehl Foods, said the company plans to constructing five silos soon with possibly an additional five more at a later time.

The plan calls for a 6,180 square-foot expansion in the southwest corner of the facility for up to 10 stainless steel silos and the relocation and widening of the existing east driveway on Main Street to improve the safety equipment accessibility to and around the production facility.

The plan calls for the construction of a fire rated 21-foot wall to enclose the 42-foot high silos.

“These silos are required to support increased production within the facility which will bring in as many as 30 new jobs to the Main Street facility over the next three to five years,” Cooke said.

Cooke told village officials one of the two homes is currently rented.

“The other one, an addition to the back of that home is not in very good condition and we won’t be renting that place out,” she said.

Cooke said it’s also possible sometime in the future the two homes could be torn down and replaced with a small park to keep up the residential appearance of the rest of Main Street.

“But those plans are not firm or definite,” Cooke said.

But the process for the expansion is still not complete as far as the village is concerned.

“They still have to come before the Plan Commission for a site plan review of how that building and the silos are going to look,” Village President Dean Wolter said. “They haven’t submitted a formal plan yet. We know what their plan is, but they haven’t gone through the process with the Plan Commission for that part. This was kind of the first step with the rezoning application and the second step would be for the site plan to be reviewed and approved by the Plan Commission.”

Wolter said Gehl Foods’ business is seeing a large increase.

“Based on the projections on their current increase in business, they’re going to need the additional space for product,” Wolter said. “They’re really expanding out to what is almost a 24-7, 365 days of the year operation over the last several years.”

In other business-related news, village officials have also granted a conditional use permit that would allow the opening of a Rainbow Child Care Center in property owned by First Financial Bank at N112W17060 Mequon Lane in the village.

Rainbow Child Care will provide infant to 12-year-old full-time child day care services. The facility is designed to accommodate up to 116 children with about 15 teachers and staff.