After fielding a litany of concerns from nearby residents, an
Oconomowoc panel has tabled its review of a proposed gas station and
convenience store near the city’s easterly gateway off Highway 16.
Store, an Iowa-based company, is making a push into Southeastern
Wisconsin with plans of opening scores of stores across multiple
counties. The Oconomowoc location is proposed for the northeast
corner of East Wisconsin Avenue and Lapham Street.
Commission on Wednesday discussed, but took no action, on a proposed
zoning amendment for the 1.26-acre parcel. Commissioners also held
off on issuing a recommendation for a conditional-use permit, which
would be needed since fuel pumps are part of the operations plan.
During a public
hearing, commissioners heard a range of concerns from residents.
Several questioned the need for an additional gas and convenience
store in an area where a number of similar establishments dot the
Ryan Swanson, a
Casey’s representative, spoke of the company’s plans and said he
believed the retailer offered a service that is not in the immediate
“Casey’s is a
little bit different,” Swanson said. “It’s a larger store (compared
to other convenience stores), and we offer fresh, made-to-order
food, including breakfasts and baked goods.”
about traffic, property values
had concerns of traffic impact, aesthetics and how the development
could impact property values — particularly for homes in the
“I have grave
concerns about entering and exiting my community,” resident Rita
Beckman told commissioners.
None of the
residents attending supported Casey’s plans, but officials within
City Hall are backing the company’s proposal.
construction,” Jason Gallo, city planner and zoning administrator,
said. “It will add to the tax base of the community.”
deliberations, Mayor Dave Nold, who chairs the Plan Commission, said
he did not believe the appointed body should take up Casey’s request
at this time because of a larger-scale issue up for review next
Council at its Jan. 16 meeting is slated to hold a second, and
final, reading of an ordinance aimed at strengthening building
design guidelines for future developments along East Wisconsin
Avenue, from the Highway 67 bypass, west to Concord Road.
Casey’s is planning to build on falls within the area of scrutiny.
“At this time, I
think we’re a little ahead of the game,” Nold said.
deliberations, Gallo and several commissioners frequently pointed
out a gas station already is permissible on the parcel, based on the
general business zoning classification for the area. Outright
denying a gas station at the site could open the city up to a
this is not something we can legislate,” commissioner John Gross
said. “It’s up to the free market to decide. We have no choice on
that. We cannot just say, ‘No more gas stations.’” City officials
can, however, place parameters on the company’s business plan,
including architectural details, hours of operation, landscaping,
lighting and environmental safeguards.
Council is not scheduled to review Casey’s plans at this Tuesday’s
meeting. However, officials will still hold a public hearing, as
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