The proposed mixed-used development would include five
condo units with first-floor enclosed 2-stall garages
and a 5,250 square-foot business space at the
PEWAUKEE — Pewaukee Lake’s fishing pier may be on the
line as village officials consider approving a
developer’s request to pay for a boating pier that would
serve the public and tenants living in the proposed $6
million lakefront condominium development.
Grasch, owner of Beachscape Pewaukee LLC, has proposed a
five-unit condo complex with commercial elements on
vacant land located between existing buildings at 161
and 125 W. Wisconsin Ave. in the village. Village Board
members have approved the design of Grasch’s development
as well as $206,000 in tax incremental finance money
that will pay for the project due to the poor soil
quality on the property, said Bob Rhode, Village Board
and Parks and Recreation Committee member.
the developer’s agreement hangs in limbo as board
members and the Parks and Rec department consider pier
location and whether boat parking spots, known as
“slips,” will be dedicated to five condo tenants.
Grasch has told board members he will pay for a $35,000
pier with 12 slips if five slips are reserved for his
tenants, Rhode said. Village President Jeff Knutson said
the pier would be public and while those slips would be
dedicated to the five tenants, the developer would pay
$2,500 a year per slip.
“He’s responsible for five boat slips,” Rhode said.
“We’re not going to be in a situation where we’re
footing the bill for five boat slips.”
Rhode further explained the cost of the pier and revenue
generated by the slips would sustain any maintenance
associated with the pier, making the idea attractive to
the village. The new pier would also allow for more
spaces to those visiting downtown businesses by boat,
which could further boost the local economy, Knutson
Board members have also contemplated ways of making the
swimming area on Pewaukee Lake safer for beachgoers.
Recently, the board restricted the mooring of boats,
which essentially means boaters can no longer beach
their boats. Swimming safety has generated a lot of
concern recently after an incident where a boater backed
into the swimming area, cut a metal cable with a boat
propeller and destroyed a buoy, Rhode said.
While the new pier would provide new slips and better
lakefront access, the caveat is that the public fishing
pier could be eliminated. Both board members and Grasch
have contemplated placing the new pier where the fishing
pier is located and moving it to just south of the dam,
or removing it altogether.
Knutson and Rhode have opposed removing the pier, but
it’s still a possibility, Rhode said. Pier location is
one of many details that will be discussed at a board
meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Village Hall, 235
People fish off the pier on Pewaukee Lake earlier this
Freeman file photo
residents are alarmed by the project, including former
Plan Commission member Charlie Shong, who said giving
special privileges to developers could open the door for
other developers to request the same special treatment.
Shong recalled the blue roof condo development on the
south end of the public beach, which he said took away a
portion of public beach frontage.
“That disappeared, and we never get it back,” Shong
said. “Once they dedicate this to that condo it’s gone.
I don’t have a problem with increasing the boating docks
of the area, but these are private slips and they’re
dedicated to this building.”
Because residents pay taxes for the public beach, having
a new pier should be up to the community, Shong said.
There are also other boaters, Shong added, who are on a
waiting list for boat slips at Laimon Park.
“This is a precedent they’re setting and it’s not easily
going to go away,” Shong said. “That’s the biggest
problem I see, is that this is only the beginning.”
DNR is only going to allow a limited amount of slips to
be put on the lakefront in the park land,” Rhode said.
“There are no future options for putting in additional
boat slips other than the 12 we’re putting into the
Rhode said people can think of this project as a
public-private partnership, similar to Laimon Park, the
boat launch and the slips for the dock at the park.
“That public park was purchased knowing that we would
have the money and interest to pay for that park,” Rhode
said. “We would not have been able to purchase Laimon
Park without that revenue stream coming in.”