MEQUON — After waiting for a study – and, some say,
kicking the can down the road numerous times – the
Mequon Common Council may finally decide if it will
permit a restaurant to be built at the old Logemann
During a meeting that inched toward midnight due to a
long discussion over rezoning for a subdivision,
aldermen had one major item left on their agenda Sept.
12 – acting on recommendations in a study of parking in
the Town Center area.
city received a 110-page-long report in August from the
$58,238 study that it commissioned from Cedarburg-based
Traffic Analysis and Design Inc. After an hour of
discussion then, the council expected to bring the
matter back up at its September meeting and consider
City staff prepared a comprehensive memo that included a
variety of scenarios and parking configurations. They
opened their late-night presentation by suggesting
decisions might be best made at a separate workshop.
Alderman John Wirth immediately suggested tabling any
talk of a workshop and a related closed session about an
offer to purchase the Logemann Center for a restaurant.
He argued aldermen first needed to address “the elephant
in the room” – whether to permit former Alderman John
Leszcynski’s plans for the Backwoods Pub & Grill
“It’s only fair,” Wirth said. He’s kind of been dragged
along since February. I think this has been an awful
process. Shame on us. There comes a time when you have
to make your case – and make a decision.”
After some discussion, aldermen voted unanimously to
table the parking discussion and forgo the planned
Wirth’s motion included a timeline with numerous
deadlines to keep the process moving along:
Staff is to provide Leszcynski and the Common Council a
draft offer by today that the city attorney believes
meets all directions the Common Council has given to
staff. At the same time, staff will provide a written
summary of its position regarding the offer.
Within two weeks of the draft offer, Lesczynski is to
provide a written counter-offer and an update of his
initial presentation showing anticipated changes,
including building size and amenities.
All responses by either party should be delivered to
Common Council members prior to the next Common Council
meeting Oct. 12.
The Common Council will “vote up or down with possible
amendments” Oct. 12 to Lesczynski’s proposal, Wirth
Leszcynski spoke at the beginning of the Sept. 12
parking discussion. He said there was “incompetence and
major bias” in TADI’s study. He claimed it did not
conduct the parking counts
they were requested by the city and, as a result, the
results were skewed.
“There is absolutely no excuse for altering this
taxpayer-funded study,” he said. “What’s been done is a
breach of contract. They didn’t do what they were hired
Bieberitz, president and project manager for TADI,
provided a lengthy response by email when asked to
respond to Lesczynski’s concerns. Beiberitz argued that
the traffic counts did what the city asked and provided
an accurate representation of demand in the Town Center
area under various scenarios.
general, to summarize, the recommendations/findings of
the parking study for the Backwoods Pub & Grill is NOT
based on one particular count day as John L. suggests,
but rather on several days and several hours of parking
counts and traffic counts and on over 20 studies of
restaurants of similar size and use,” Bieberitz wrote.
part, the TADI study concluded there is not enough
parking to accommodate the Backwoods restaurant. It
recommended razing the Logemann Center – a now-shuttered
community center that is west of Mequon City Hall and
the first phase of the Town Center – and reconfiguring
that space and the existing City Hall parking lots to
provide up to 59 more parking spaces.
an email the day after the meeting, Leszcynski told the
News Graphic he believes many aldermen have “a lack of
confidence” in the traffic study.
mayor and city staff think the study is gospel,” he
said. “Most council members find it flawed and highly
biased. That’s why there was very little interest in the
traffic study presentation. Council members are
embarrassed the way this has been dragged out by staff
and they decided to exercise their authority and call
for a vote.”
Alderman Mark Gierl said he believes the Backwoods
restaurant will not need the 111 to 126 parking spaces
TADI has estimated it will require.
“This has gone on way too long. … He only needs 60
parking stalls,” Gierl said. “The Logemann Center
(parking lot) is empty most of the time; there were six
cars parked there at 5:30 tonight. … These numbers are
way off. This is a dysfunctional process to say the
least. Quit wasting his time.”
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