Concerns raised over a second Kwik Trip location in West Bend
Decision delayed until traffic patterns at the site can be studied

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News

Sept. 12, 2017

 The former Walgreens on South Main Street is seen Monday morning in West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Residents anticipating a second Kwik Trip for the area must wait a couple more weeks for clarity as company representatives try and address concerns highlighted by officials and residents.

Members of the West Bend’s Plan Commission voted to table a proposed zoning amendment during their Sept. 5 meeting to allow the development of another convenience store location at 806 S. Main Street, opting to delay a decision until the traffic patterns at the location can studied.

Almost from the beginning, guests and commission members voiced their concerns regarding the plan. Among the most vocal is Jed Dolnick.

“When so many exceptions are needed for a proposal, in my experience that can often be a red flag that the proposal doesn’t match the available parcel,” he said.

According to accompanying memo, the company representatives want to reduce the standard 42 feet setback requirement to slightly less than 11 feet. The stated purpose is to accommodate the vehicle circulation pattern needed for use of the space, improve the street views for the development to the south and west.

There is a driveway exception to allow an oversized driveway along Fifth Avenue, increasing it from 28 that is permitted in the zoning code feet to 35 feet.

Kwik Trip representatives also want to increase the available green space, from 13.5 percent to 18.8 percent.

“The setbacks are unique because there aren’t too many properties that have three street-yard setbacks,” Business and Development Planner James Reinke said. “What makes this one unique is that it has two rows on either side and a third side. Most lots are corner lots so you are only dealing with two. This one is at the end of a block so you have three.”

The retail site will be about 7,300 square feet, with a proposed building investment of about $4 million an anticipated to create between 20 and 25 jobs. There will be 20 fueling stations located on five islands. It will be open all day and evening.

Access to the facility will be through a driveway along the south side of the development. A second driveway is proposed 50 south of Decorah Road on Fifth Avenue.

The anticipated peak periods for the location are 102 to 135 vehicles per hour. There will be 28 parking and two barrier free parking stalls. Additional parking is provided at the pumping stations for a total of 50.

There will be 18 feet tall LED light polls to illuminate the site, as well as canopy and building lights. The parking lot and building lights will be equipped with cut-off fixtures.

Several signs are proposed at the north section of location, one is 24 square feet wall sign on the east and west side of building. There will be two ground signs, one is 96 square feet with electronic messaging facing north and south. Another will be 72 square feet for the east and west directions on the northeast corner. A directional sign is planned for the corner of Fifth Avenue and Decorah Road.

Among the biggest concerns is the amount of traffic that will develop with the proposal.

“I don’t know how you engineer your way out of the regular commuter traffic we already have, the intermediate school bus and parent traffic that we already have, then you have traffic going to and from the Kwik Trip,” Dolnick said.

A signal light is difficult to construct. A roundabout is not possible because of limited space and are not pedestrian friendly for students to traverse “This thing in my mind is not a very good idea,” Dolnick said.

Jim White, another Plan Commission member had other concerns.

“There is another, which I consider to be almost as important,” White said. “That is particularly at 3 p.m. when the high school lets off. You have all the traffic coming down from the east. If you have ever tried to say, get out of the Decorah Plaza or the one that is across the street where Main Street Café and everything is, it is extremely difficult to get in there.”

Troy Mleziva, a real estate development manager for Kwik Trip said he views the location one that would serve the neighborhood at the center of the community.

The driveway locations are similar in size to Walgreens that was previously located on the site and that the driveway that exists to the majority of the traffic will be primarily used as an exit, so he doesn’t believe customers would make the sharp left turn into the site that many are concerned with.

“With that being said, traffic is an important part of it,” Mleziva said. “We would be happy to take a look at that as well.”