Condo project raises questions about zoning
Cedarburg’s lack of industrial land becomes an issue

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Staff

Feb. 8, 2018

  Side-by-side condominiums are being proposed for a horizontal parcel between Evergreen Boulevard and the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, north of Pioneer Road in Cedarburg.
Map courtesy of the city of Cedarburg

CEDARBURG — Should the last remaining industrial parcel in Cedarburg be rezoned so that plans can move forward for a higher-end condominium project or should it remain status quo until the city opens up more available land in its new industrial park?

That was the question that took over the discussion at Monday night’s Cedarburg Plan Commission meeting.

Greg James was before the commission for review of his planned 24-to-28-unit condo complex off Evergreen Boulevard north of Pioneer Road, with two-bedroom, two-bath condos likely to be sold for around $300,000. Should the project move forward, it would require a rezoning of the parcel from M-3 Industrial Park to Rd-1 Two-Family Residential.

“Maybe it’s time we consider a different use for this property,” said Commissioner Greg Zimmerschied.

“Maybe so or maybe no,” said Commissioner Mark Burgoyne. “The industrial park on Highway 60 won’t be ready for two to three years. If we had a customer like (Kettle) Moraine Appliances who wanted to rebuild, we would have nothing, no land to sell ... I think it’s a mistake. I suggest we send this to the industrial development committee (Community Development Authority) to see if they think it’s a good idea.”

The property has been for sale for seven years and the current owner, Jim Doornek, has failed to secure a buyer. However, when questioned by Burgoyne, he noted that he had not been using the services of a broker or real estate professional and had the property listed on his own via the internet, which Burgoyne noted was economical, but not likely to get the parcel much exposure.

“The interest we’ve had so far wouldn’t have fit within existing zoning – there’s a fair amount of interest in warehousing, specifically mini warehousing, but that’s specifically excluded (from allowable uses),” Doornek added.

The shape of the parcel – long and narrow – is not completely optimal for industrial development. James’ condo development would require the construction of a private road with a cul de sac at the interior of the parcel to provide access.

“If a developer came in and wanted to buy the lots on Pioneer, all of a sudden you have two or three lots,” said Burgoyne. “It costs money to develop but this is not a dead lot by any means.”

Common Council member Jack Arnett, who happened to be in the audience and is a member of the Community Development Authority, requested further direction on how the Plan Commission wanted the project reviewed.

“If the city doesn’t want to do anything with it, it’s a 30day delay,” said Burgoyne. “I want the city to look at this first to see if it has development potential. If they don’t want it, then let’s change the comprehensive plan. … Our focus is not the individual owner or developer; our focus is the best plan for Cedarburg.”

“Are you suggesting the city should consider buying the property? Condemn the homes on Pioneer Road? Purchase land? Get in the redevelopment business? I really think we need a little more direction on what you want us to consider at the CDA,” said Arnett.

City Planner Jon Censky cautioned the Plan Commission on the turn of the discussion.

“I hesitate that the discussion involves any of these properties to the south as the owners have no idea of what is happening here tonight,” he said.

The commission noted that some of the homes on Pioneer Road are also located in the town of Cedarburg.

However, Burgoyne noted that his interest in the review did extend beyond this particular project.

“We should be thinking of this for other vacant lands in Cedarburg that have been sitting for 20, 30 years,” he said. “We need advice on what your thinking is about this type of situation.”

The James condo project was before the Commission for feedback and no action was taken at the meeting.