Self-storage advances in town of Grafton

News Graphic Staff

June 13, 2017

GRAFTON — The Town of Grafton Plan Commission last week approved the conditional use permit for a new self-storage business at 1927 Highway W.

The 4-acre parcel was split from a larger lot zoned agricultural; approvals for the property division and the request to rezone the lot to manufacturing were given in June.

At the same meeting, the Plan Commission tabled the conditional use permit, which was submitted by RJ Investments owner Laura Logan.

While town staff said then that the application was technically complete, it did not provide enough details for the Plan Commission to fully gauge the project. Several things – such as landscaping and fencing plans, lighting details and design details – were not fully explained, according town staff.

Those details were provided at the meeting held last Wednesday, and the conditional use permit granted.

The main items discussed were landscaping and the introduction of natural materials into the building plans. The self-storage business is new construction, and as such all buildings and landscaping will be newly done.

“Staff was pleased to see that the landscaping had been addressed,” Town Clerk and Planner Amanda Schaefer said.

The landscaping includes multiple planting areas, with plans for several varieties of trees and bushes around the property and between it and other properties.

While staff commented at the commission meeting that most of the plan was sufficient, there was an area where all the planting were the same low-growing species. Brad Hoeft, a lawyer representing Logan at the meeting, said she was willing to work with staff to make adjustments to landscaping. During the discussion, staff's main suggestions were to add some variety of heights to the planting area.

“We want their building to be seen, but also have some vertical lines for contrast,” Town Engineer Kevin Kimmes said.

The other point most discussed by the commission were natural materials for the exteriors of the storage unit buildings. The original application in June did not have details, but further plans were submitted for this month. Hoeft also brought pictures and samples; the buildings will be constructed with a combination of brick and stone.

While those materials will not cover all the exteriors of all the buildings, it will be used where the buildings are visible from Highway W.

“From a staff perspective, we felt the materials proposed were great,” Schaefer said.

There are several other items that still need to be finalized on the project, including the lighting plan, but staff and the Plan Commission agreed those pieces can be worked out between Logan and staff without stalling the permit application further.

Beyond the conditional use permit, RJ Investments still needs to obtain its building permits. Schaefer said that the project will need to be cleared by the Grafton Fire Department and receive approval for an access permit from Ozaukee County before the building permit is issued.