OCONOMOWOC — A business owner’s request to modify an operations plan
sparked concerns this week about traffic, noise and light in an area
residents are trying to keep close to its rural heritage.
went before the Plan Commission on Monday to discuss a proposal to
add on-site parking at The Cupola, a year-old seasonal business that
houses about 75 special events per year. Events housed at The Cupola
are held within a barn at N88W35490 Mapleton Road.
“In order to
keep our business going, we’re going to have to have parking on
site,” said Vecellio, who co-owns The Cupola with wife Stacey.
asking town officials for permission to add 100 parking spaces on
the property — which, he said, would take into account the
200-person capacity in the barn and the assumption there would be
about two persons per vehicle attending events at the venue.
argued the parking accommodations were necessary to keep his
business viable, a number of residents near the property had a
different take on the plans, which would require an amendment to a
conditional- use permit town officials granted the Vecellios.
Waite, who lives on the same street of The Cupola, said she and
neighbors came to the meeting as a sign of solidarity against the
Vecellios’ plans for the property.
“I think it’s
about time the Town of Oconomowoc understands that we support one
another,” Waite said. “This isn’t part of our game plan. Our game
plan is agriculture.”
Not all nearby
residents, however, were against the Vecellios’ plans. Fellow
Mapleton Road resident Sandy Smith said she viewed The Cupola as
positive to the community.
“This is a good
thing for the town,” Smith said. “It’s going to give our kids jobs.”
several other speakers also used the proposed change to the property
as an opportunity to air concerns of existing and potential future
traffic patterns along Mapleton Road, which doubles as Highway CW
and is under the county’s auspices.
Administrator and Planner Jeff Herrmann said most of the features —
including posted speed limits — along the highway are outside the
“We don’t have a
lot of control over that,” Herrmann said. “What you have to know is
you’re on a county highway. We’re not saying your concerns aren’t
valid, but we have no control over it.”
A few speakers
also took aim at the amount of lighting at The Cupola, though
Vecellio countered that it is at the lowest wattage possible.
“We’re trying to
be good neighbors — we really are,” Vecellio said as he addressed
neighbors’ concerns. “We’re trying to take an old barn and turn it
into something beautiful.”
did not take any action at this week’s meeting, opting instead to
have a public hearing and field residents’ concerns for the
Herrmann said a
review of the possible conditional-use application amendment will be
taken up at the Plan Commission’s next meeting March 5.