vacant schoolhouse at Lakefield and Port roads is the
site for a proposed doggy day care center.
Photo by Mark Justesen
GRAFTON — People
gathered at a town of Grafton Plan Commission meeting
Aug. 7 to speak at a public hearing against a
conditional use permit petition for a doggy day care
center at a vacant Grafton schoolhouse.
The 1846 schoolhouse, 1206 Lakefield Road, has been
vacant for a number of years. Town Chairman Lester
Bartel said it was a residence before it became the
Chiselled Grape Winery in 2011. The winery then moved to
Cedarburg in 2013.
“We made no decision on it that night because they want
to go back and look (at it),” Bartel said. “... Quite
frankly it was far in excess in what they planned to do
at any time and it kind of scared some of the neighbors
because of numbers and so on.”
The proposal was made by Bill Schaut, who is from the
town of Grafton.
The idea that was presented was to have the day care
center be able to hold up to 30 dogs. There are some
residential quarters in the building and Bartel said the
plan was for the Schauts to let their son live there as
well, adding that the zoning code allows residential
ownership to live in a business in that district.
William Grunwald, who lives on River Bend Road, attended
the public hearing to speak against the doggy day care
“We have other neighbors near us that have barking dogs
and that is a nuisance in itself and needs to be
reported more,” he said. “I just don’t want to
have any other areas where we’re going to have more
Grunwald said people who attended the meeting said they
did not receive a notice for the public hearing. The
town ordinance requires every property owner within 500
feet of the parameters of the subject property to
receive a written notice of a public hearing.
“That’s been clarified. No mistake was made,” Bartel
said, adding that only one property was within the 500
feet and the owner was notified.
Grunwald referenced a section in an ordinance for the
town of Grafton regarding barking dogs who are a public
nuisance to be in violation of this when two formal
written complaints are filed with the town within a
“I said to everyone present at the meeting that, to me,
you’re doing a disservice to this person requesting to
do this,” Grunwald said, adding that Schaut would be
spending money to create the day care center and then
receive complaints. “I couldn’t see allowing them to
have it in the first place and go through this anguish.”
“Dog ordinances are black and white but the world exists
in various shades of gray,” Bartel said when asked about
this particular section in the ordinance. “When you
investigate a complaint like that you have to look at it
Bartel said Schaut will “tone down” the application to
be more reasonable and return to the commission.
“They’d like to meet with some of the neighbors
personally and talk to them and answer their questions,”