Spur 16 violations addressed at Planning Commission meeting

By Laurie Arendt

May 30, 2019

MEQUON – There’s more than a hiccup or two in Shaffer Development’s compliance with the existing developer agreement for the Spur 16 project.

There’s seven to be exact, and those seven formed the basis of a lengthy discussion at a special meeting of Mequon’s Planning Commission Tuesday night.

“We took up the seven items that needed to be reconciled and had been approved with what actually taking place,” said Mequon Mayor John Wirth of the meeting. “Both sides made rather strong arguments about the items … but we need to make sure what was approved matches what is there.”

Spur 16, named after the railroad originally operated at Mequon Road at the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, will include a Public Market with restaurants and shops, townhomes and apartments. St. Paul Fish Co. has already opened its doors for business. Also slated to move in are Beans & Barley, Purple Door Ice Cream, Cafe Corazon, Bavette La Boucherie, Screaming Tuna and more.

The areas of significant concern, according to the staff report, are focused on the Wellness building, the building housing St. Paul Fish Co. and the Public Market space, including:

■ Required awnings have not been installed on the Wellness building

■ The window coverings on the Public Market building

■ Light fixture height and light bases that are out-of-scale At the meeting, Shaffer Development was requesting amendments to those areas of concern, and expressed reasons for the changes. For example, the awnings were not installed on the Wellness building as the project was designed as a sign feature for what was originally a single-tenant building, but has since been turned into a two-tenant building.

As for the changes to the windows on the Public Market building, the developer was requesting a waiver to allow for the installation of opaque spandrel glass over six of the windows, which are blocked by  kitchen facilities and equipment.

Finally, the developer was seeking an amendment to exceed the 20-foot parking lot light requirement. The lights in the parking area are 22 feet.

Alternatives to these issues, as well as the other four, were proposed by city staff.

According to the report, staff were also concerned about a lack of response from Shaffer Development once they were notified of these violations to the developer’s agreement. The report states that staff met with the developer April 15 to “cure existing and anticipated default(s)” so the project could remain on target for the planned opening of the St. Paul Fish Co., which is now open, and the Public Market, which is not yet open. As a development partner, the city does not intend to penalize the tenants or business owners for the non-compliance of the project developer.

Wirth said on Wednesday that he believed that, despite these issues, the project will likely open as scheduled based on the Tuesday discussion, and that progress had been made between the city and Shaffer Development.

The News Graphic tried to reach Shaffer Wednesday before deadline, but was unsuccessful.

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