Administrator concludes home business operates within code
Resident complaint said it was potentially violating ordinance

By Brianna Stubler

March 6, 2019

KEWASKUM — Residents in Kewaskum have been bending the rules, or so some locals claim, which brought a couple issues to the table in the Kewaskum Village Board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Village Administrator Matt Heiser said the board took on a quasi-judicial role to settle allegations of a home business. A resident complaint notified the board that an auto graphics manufacturing business was being run from an individual’s home, potentially violating village ordinances.

Heiser concluded the home business was operating within zoning code, after personally examining the business and home.

“Our code allows for home production,” he said, “but they have to satisfy 10 criteria; for example, it has to use less than 25 percent of their floor space.”

He found the business did, in fact, comply with all 10 criteria and explained that to the other board members.

If they had not been in code, Heiser said, they probably would have been asked to desist their business operations, but since they were, no action was taken.

“You’re not required to get a permit if you’re within that criteria, so we don’t have a record of people who are doing that; you’re just allowed to do it,” Heiser said. “We haven’t had anybody try to stretch beyond what those 10 requirements limit them to.”

The person who filed the complaint attended the meeting and reacted to the board’s discussion of the potential violation.

“But they kind of changed their request at the meeting,” Heiser said. “They kind of made it sound like they just wanted to find out what the rules were so they could run their own home business, which was not what the complaint said.”

An actual violation continued the board’s discussion of city ordinances.

A resident built a house violating zoning setbacks, which presents a difficult issue for the board.

“We’re exploring what to do with that,” Heiser said. There are two options he considers viable: the owner can either purchase more land and go through the land division process a second time, which Heiser said would be lengthy, or the owner could apply for a variance, which would be presented before the board of zoning appeals.

“It’s still kind of a tough sell because it’s after the fact and it would be kind of a rough precedent to set,” he said. “They’re pursing some private transfer of land between them and the neighbor that doesn’t involve the village.”