Residents ask officials to intervene to make well-traveled road in Little Kohler less hazardous
Ozaukee County and Town of Fredonia officials have different ideas about how to resolve an ongoing parking problem in the area of the Little Kohler Haus.
The unincorporated community of Little Kohler in the far northwest corner of the county includes a cluster of homes and businesses, and the no-longer-used St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The Little Kohler Haus — which has been a bar for more than 80 years — is the area’s biggest traffic generator. Motorcycles often line up on evenings outside the business.
Neighbors of the bar and restaurant on Highway H have repeatedly complained about the dangerous situation caused by patrons parking on the shoulder of the road near the business.
Because Highway H is a county road, the matter was initially referred to the county’s Traffic Safety Commission.
An analysis prepared for that commission noted that the rural area has no paved shoulders, meaning “any parking along the highway is onto mowed lawns or into the lane of traffic.”
Based on that assessment, county officials originally considered posting “no parking” signs on the north side of Highway H from Kohler Drive to Highway E.
In order to be implemented, the parking rule would need to be approved by the County Board. Because the town does not have its own police department, enforcement would be up to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department.
Town Supr. Jim Stemper, who attended the county meeting, argued against such a sweeping restriction. He owns D&D Auto Body on the south side of the road.
Stemper said the parking problems stem from the success of the bar and the tendency of some patrons to ignore the rights of adjacent property owners.
“It was a little country tavern, but now (owner Dave Cook) can draw 200 to 300 people to an event,” Stemper said.
The bar has inadequate on-site parking to handle that kind of crowd, he said.
Although sensitive to the concerns of neighbors, Supr. Mark Schubert, who owns the Nowhere Pub, said the town should be careful not to criticize the success of a local business.
“You can’t run a guy down for operating his business the way he wants,” Schubert said.
When the Town Board took up the issue last week, a parking compromise was crafted — with the suggestion that a “no parking” zone be created on both sides of Highway H, from Kohler Drive to Valley Heights Drive.
Cook told town officials he found that restriction acceptable.
The recommendation was to be forwarded to the county’s Public Works Committee on Thursday, Feb. 16.