Hillside development proposed near Port marina

Council asked to sell strip of land for Jackson St. project that would include nine homes, larger retaining wall
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington aldermen on Tuesday asked the Plan Commission to consider designating a strip of land on East Jackson Street as surplus, opening it up for a townhouse development.

John Lanser and Mike Schmit, who own property on the north side of East Jackson Street, asked the Common Council to sell them a five-foot-wide strip of land.

That strip of land west of the bike trail is needed so windows could be installed on the east side of the townhouses, City Administrator Mark Grams said.

Lanser, who owns the Jackson East hair salon building at 306 E. Jackson St., said he wants to build nine townhouse units on the property.

To do that, he said, he would remove the existing retaining wall, dig into the hillside and create a much larger retaining wall behind the development.

He is acquiring property from Schmit, who said he plans to purchase the easternmost townhouse, to facilitate the development.

The development would not interfere with the stairs that lead to the Light Station, Lanser said, nor with the bike path.

Lanser told the council that each of the townhouses would be individual buildings, and each would be sold as houses, not condominiums.

Ald. Mike Gasper asked if he could build one garage for the entire development instead of having individual garages that front Jackson Street since individual structures would virtually eliminate on-street parking on the north side of the street.

He also asked that Lanser consider making the facade of each townhouse look unique, which would help retain the character of the area. 

The townhouses, which would replace the Jackson East building, would be three stories tall with rooftop units, according to a plan presented Tuesday. 

Even if the city sells the strip of land, Grams said, there would be about 15 feet between the bike trail and the edge of the property.

The building proposal, Grams said, is in “its infancy” but in order for Lanser and Schmit to proceed, they need to know if the city is willing to sell them the land.

Any sale should be predicated on the actual development of the Jackson Street property, he added.

The plan for the townhouses will be reviewed by the Design Review Board Tuesday, Aug. 13, and the Plan Commission on Thursday, Aug. 15.

The Plan Commission would need to declare the strip of land surplus in order for the city to move ahead with the sale.


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