Kwik Trip clears hurdle for 2nd West Bend location
Common Council approves exceptions for gas station developer

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News

Oct. 18, 2017

Chuck Fellenz of West Bend helps students from Badger Middle School cross Main Street on Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Decorah Road near a vacant building at the intersection in West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Developers proposing to construct a second Kwik Trip location in West Bend have been awarded exceptions that will allow them to construct a second retail and fuel location within the city, fulfilling a requirement that will allow them to move forward with the project.

Members of the Common Council voted to approve a planned unit development overlay district over a community business district during Monday’s meeting, allowing exceptions to developers from zoning requirements when they build another Kwik Trip station at 806 S. Main St.

“Plan Commission held a public hearing,” Business and Development Planner James Reinke said. “There were no comments at the time of the public hearing during Oct. 3. Staff would recommend approval of the ordinance allowing the overlay district for this property.”

A PUD is a tool municipal officials can utilize that permits developers exceptions to zoning requirements in the specific area. In this case, Kwik Trip developers are proposing to modify the setback requirements from the road, reducing it from about 42 feet to slightly less than 11 feet to accommodate vehicle traffic for the site and improve visibility.

They want to expand the driveways to 35 feet, about 7 feet wider than what is permitted in the zoning code.

Developers have also asked for an exception to the open space rule. The zoning code requires 25 percent of open space for commercial developments at the site, about 14 percent of which is green space. The developers’ proposal requests almost 19 percent of green space.

“This was in front of the Plan Commission twice,” Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said. “The first time asked Kwik Trip to do a traffic analysis just to understand what would happen around Badger Middle School, Decorah (Road), Main Street.”

Kwik Trip representatives returned with the analysis results, concluding it would not significantly affect the area residents.

The location presented several issues for Plan Commission members who first considered the proposal, especially Jed Dolnick who had concerns with the exceptions that were proposed.

“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.

He and others had problems with the amount of vehicular traffic at the location, especially when parents were transporting children to Badger. There were also worries about traffic in the afternoon when students from the high school are excused for the day and travel on Decorah to get to their destinations.

In the end, the traffic-analysis study was enough to assuage their anxieties and the measure passed.

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