WAUKESHA PLAN COMMISSION
Church, food truck clear initial hurdles
Commission also signs off on Sunset Drive art sculpture

By Cara Spoto

July 12, 2018

WAUKESHA — Plans for a Tex-Mex food truck and a new Lutheran church have received initial backing from the Plan Commission.

Alejandro and Consuelo Ramos recently applied for a temporary use permit from the city that would allow them to park their food truck in the lot of 932 E. Moreland Blvd. between Jefferson and White Rock avenues.

On Wednesday, the commission voted 4-0, recommending approval for the permit, but with a 60-day time limit as opposed to the 120-day period recommended by a city planner.

The couple can reapply for another permit after the 60 days if there aren’t issues with the food truck’s operations, commissioners noted.

There are a lot of factory workers going into work early in the morning in the area, Consuelo Ramos said this week, and the couple is hoping to offer them a fresh alternative to fast-food or gas station breakfasts.

They are requesting to operate the truck, dubbed La Tejamita, between 5 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., but will probably focus on breakfast and lunch hours, at least initially, the couple has said.

The truck has a generator, but Mayor Shawn Reilly encouraged the operators to use power from the now vacant building on the site as much as possible to reduce noise. The couple has already said they won’t operate the generator between 5 and 8 a.m.

The Ramoses don’t plan on moving into the building, but have been in talks with the property owner of 1403 Summit Ave., the site of the former Las Tortugas, about making the now-vacant restaurant home base for the food truck.

During the discussions, Reilly noted that the Common Council will probably need to consider drafting a full-fledged ordinance governing food trucks at some point.

“I am not really opposed to this,” he said of the food truck permit. “But we’re testing it out too.”

If all goes well, the Ramoses said they hope to operating by Aug. 1.
 

Church

Commissioners also gave unanimous support to a preliminary site plan for a $2.8 million church across from Waukesha West High School, but not without some serious discussion regarding traffic concerns.

After meeting for 15 years at Rose Glen Elementary School, Waukesha-based Living Word Lutheran Church has plans to build a 8,500 square-foot building on seven acres on Saylesville Road, just south of Lawrence Road.

According to a staff memo, the ultimate plan is to provide access to the new church via an extension of Donald Drive, a residential road that intersects with Lawrence Road but dead-ends a few yards west of that intersection.

A plan for a subdivision to the southwest of the church property calls for Donald Drive to be extended west to the future West High Drive, a larger road that would intersect with Saylesville Road. Plans for the church call for a permanent entrance from the extended Donald Drive, but, in the meantime, congregants would enter the church via a private drive off the current terminus of Donald Drive.

Without any guarantees on when the new roads would be built, Reilly made a motion to approve the preliminary site plan, noting that the commission would not recommend approval of the final site plan unless commissioners know for sure the extension to Donald Drive would be built.

“If we don’t have a letter from creditors saying the road is going to be put in, I am probably going to say no,” Reilly said. “Lawrence Road is not an access road for a church.”

Living Word’s pastor, the Rev. John Borgwardt, assured commissioners that the church would be having discussions with the developer of the subdivision about the issues.
 

Sculpture

In other business, commissioners recommended approval of a 14-foot metal art sculpture for the entrance of Sunset Crossings shopping center at 120 W. Sunset Drive.

The shopping center was required to install a piece of public art as part of its development agreement with the city, explained part owner Randy Roth, but the owners also were interested in placing an eye-catching piece of art at the site to highlight the center.

The sculpture is expected to consist of an 8-foot-tall base of blackened stainless steel, with a starburst at the top consisting of a sphere with radiating pieces in yellow, orange, purple and blue, and a diameter of about 6 feet, according a staff memo.

The artist behind the creation is Jesse Meyer of Jesse Meyer Studio.