GERMANTOWN — A
proposed tourism business touted as preserving Germantown’s
agricultural heritage is moving forward in the village, despite a
group of residents’ concerns about long-term impacts on the
After holding a
public hearing, the Village Board on Monday voted unanimously in
favor of issuing applicants Scott and Georgene Sommer a
conditional-use permit for a small-scale restaurant and brewery in
what is being described by the couple as “an agri-tourism
coined Old Germantown, is eyed on an agricultural parcel at W148
Pleasant View Drive.
“This plan has
been kicked around for 30 years,” Scott Sommer said as he addressed
his plans with the board. “We’ve given this a lot of thought. This
is one of the last of the large plots of large farms (in
But the scope
of the Sommers’ plans for the property drew concerns from some of
the residents living in the vicinity of the property.
who has lived along Pleasant View Drive the past 25 years, said the
immediate area has changed over time, and he said he was concerned
further changes could be afoot if Old Germantown’s plans come to
“I have many
questions and concerns with what I think is a very bad idea,”
Pfingsten said. “I feel that this type of commercial development
should not be approved at this time.”
Not all of the
surrounding property owners, however, were opposed to what the
Sommers have in the works.
immediate neighbor, and I’m not against it,” resident Ken Ziebell
said. He further stated speeding has been an ongoing concern and
expressed hope Old Germantown could assist in better controlling
traffic in the area.
plans the Sommers sent the village, Old Germantown will offer a farm
kitchen and café, small batch brewery and sausage-making facilities
residents expressed concerns with the brewing aspect of the business
plan and inquired if a full-fledged bar would be on premises.
“It’s not going
to be a bar,” Scott Sommer said, in response to the concerns. “It’s
not going to have bar hours.”
Although it is
being promoted as a tourism-type establishment, Scott Sommer said he
did not envision Old Germantown bringing in large numbers of people.
Business would be seasonal, he said, with peak visitors likely in
the late summer and early autumn months.
will feature 35 parking stalls, and the restaurant will have maximum
seating capacity of 50 persons at any given time.
the Village Board, in a narrow 5-4 vote, approved rezoning a
107-acre site from an agricultural to single-family residential
designation. Top Leaf Development has proposed a 42-lot subdivision.
The area under
scrutiny is south of Freistadt Road, north of Elm Lane and west of
fielded concerns from several nearby residents, who had reservations
about traffic patterns and similar issues.
deliberations, Trustee Terri Kaminski was among the elected
officials to share concerns about the scope of the development. As
proposed, Kaminski said she believed it was too dense.
many homes,” Kaminski said. “I think 42 is too many.”