A drawing submitted
to the Cedarburg Plan Commission offers an example of a
possible design for development at the corner of
Washington Avenue and Mill Street, though there is no
formal proposal for this building.
CEDARBURG — The process of creating a new development is
one with many steps and many discussions. The latest
revisions to Greg Zimmerschied’s planned project on the
corner of Mill Street and Washington Avenue in
Cedarburg’s tax incremental financing district No. 3 was
a prime example of this at Monday’s Plan Commission
Zimmerschied recused himself from the process due to
being a member of the Plan Commission and was
represented by his architect, Don Stauss. He was seeking
a certificate of appropriateness for the first of three
proposed buildings on the lot.
Plans for the project were originally brought before the
Plan Commission in June 2018, and while the Plan
Commission believed the certificate should be issued,
they did ask that Zimmerschied modify his building plans
so the proposed structures looked less like historical
replicas and more like new construction in a
historic district, which is in keeping with state of
“In this process, we’ve actually made the building a
little bigger; it’s a little wider and we lost a little
onsite parking, but we are still within the guidelines
when you include offsite parking,” said Stauss.
“How much parking did we lose?” asked Mayor and Plan
Commission Chairman Mike O’Keefe.
“Three spots – two plus one next to the ADA spot,” said
The plan now includes 20 onsite parking spaces and 50
on-street spaces, which are located within 250 feet of
the proposed project. The 50 spaces represent 83 percent
of available onsite parking in the area.
The new plans submitted for the primary building in the
project call for a twostory building, complete with a
first-floor patio and a second-floor deck. The building
will be constructed with restaurant capabilities, and at
a previous city meeting, Zimmerschied noted that the
second floor space would fill an existing need in
Cedarburg for event space.
Plan commissioners expressed some concern with the
proposed parking, even though the project fully conforms
to city requirements.
“The majority of parking is offsite, which is permitted
by code,” noted City Planner Jon Censky. “We have to
really pay attention when the other (planned) buildings
come before us, and the type of intended use.”
“Can you say no to a restaurant … God forbid that they
are successful,” Commissioner Sig Straumanis said, a bit
“We need to prioritize here,” agreed Commissioner Adam
Voltz. “If parking becomes problematic at times,
hopefully that means we have successful businesses
The parcel on Mill
Street bordered by Washington Avenue and Hanover Street
slated for three buildings, with a mix of potential
Plan Commissioners discussed the fact that there is
parking in downtown Cedarburg, including a large,
currently privately owned industrial lot on Western
Avenue a block away, the Partnership Bank building lot
across the street and the Cultural Center lot a block
away, though that parking is for their patrons.
Additionally, staff noted that there were a number of
vacant parcels in and around the downtown area that
could ultimately be acquired and developed into parking
lots in the future.
Commissioner Heather Cain noted that while there may be
available parking farther away, that may deter some
patrons from using it, and they may simply pull into the
bank lot after hours as an alternative. She also raised
the idea of turning the parking on Mill Street into
angle parking in hopes that it would add a few more
spaces, though Censky said that would also require
making it a one-way street.
“If parking is not allowed there, there will be
ramifications from the bank,” noted Commissioner Pat
Thome. “We do have a variety of parking available
downtown; I think we need something like this.”
Zimmerschied noted that he felt parking was not an issue
the majority of the time in downtown Cedarburg and that
there are already established, successful businesses
downtown with little to no parking.
“Look at the Stilt House and how many people they seat
in the summer,” he said as an example. “They have zero
Commissioners also discussed that the Stilt House also
is in close proximity to the public lot near City Hall,
and that some people had grown accustomed to dropping
off passengers in front of the Stilt House and then the
driver finding a parking spot after the fact.
However, Zimmerschied also said that, as the developer,
his plans are slightly flexible for the project. He
noted that the priority building of the three proposed
faced Washington Avenue, and that was the one before the
Plan Commission on Monday.
“I don’t want to get into a situation where parking is
an issue,” he said. “Things have changed a little bit
for me (as the developer) already. I actually thought I
had a tenant for the smaller building and that didn’t
Under a tax incremental financing district, money that
would have been paid in property taxes to the city and
other taxing districts goes back to pay for the
improvements in the district. While the language in the
TIF district No. 3 developer’s agreement requires
Zimmerschied to create a development with an equalized
value of $950,000, it is not specific as to how he
should do it.
“It doesn’t say anything about the number of buildings,”
he said, noting that eliminating a building would
increase the number of onsite parking spots on the
parcel. “If parking really does seem to be an issue,
maybe we just don’t do that building.”
Plan Commissioners felt that flexibility and a
willingness to modify the plans would be a good approach
and unanimously approved the request for the certificate
of appropriateness, with Zimmerschied abstaining from