WAUKESHA
Plan Commission gives nod to Panda Express
Traffic mitigation among issues to be addressed

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

July 27, 2017

WAUKESHA — Despite the previous denial of plans to build an iteration of Panda Express, a Chinese food chain restaurant, and a multi-tenant building at Grandview Boulevard and Silvernail Road, the city’s Plan Commission granted final approval for the site Wednesday.

Earlier this year, CFT NV Developments, LLC, the company that owns Panda Express out of Rosemead, Calif., came back with revised plans for the former Weissgerber’s Gasthaus at 2720 N. Grandview Blvd., including landscaping in the parking lot and adjusting medians and turn lanes on Silvernail to better fit what the plan commission and the public wanted.

Last summer, the Plan Commission denied the company’s applications “due to the traffic issues that previously existed and currently exist at the corner where the site is located — on the corner of Grandview Boulevard and Silvernail Road.”

CFT NV Developments then filed a lawsuit against the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals from their denial of the original plans.

That lawsuit is currently on hold, resting on approval of revised plans from the commission, said City Attorney Brian Running.

The suit, filed February in Waukesha County Circuit Court, doesn’t list a monetary amount, but instead seeks a judgment “in an amount to be determined,” according to the filing.

CFT NV Developments argued in their suit that in denying the proposal, the commission “explicitly acknowledged that the traffic problem already exists at that corner and it needs to be solved.” They went on to say that the traffic issues identified by the public would apply to any development proposed for the site.

District 5 Alderman Peter Bartels expressed concern at Wednesday’s meeting that one part of the plan — closing the left-hand turn into the Mobile gas station on Silvernail — would hurt that business. A representative of Panda Express also at the meeting said closing the left turn lane was unnecessary.

The Plan Commission’s approval of a conditional use permit and final site plan is contingent on several issues that have to be resolved by the company, including $250,000 for traffic mitigation and work on the curb and median on Silvernail.

Email: hweikel@conleynet.com