Conditional use permit revision would clear way for light industry
Earlier this year, Village of Saukville officials showed they were willing to tweak the zoning code for the sake of bringing in a new business.
That scenario came into play when the code was altered to allow a U-Haul rental business to move into a vacant grocery store on East Green Bay Avenue.
Last week, the Plan Commission faced a similar request when a Cedarburg company expressed interest in acquiring the long-vacant Corse Super Bikes building on the east end of Milan Drive.
Jared Feider of Energenecs told the commission his company would like to consolidate operations from Cedarburg and Oostburg at a single site in the former motorcycle dealership.
The company offers engineering and control systems for water and wastewater operations throughout the Midwest. Most of the control panels it assembles use off-the-shelf components.
If the zoning change is approved, the company would assemble electronic components in about a quarter of the new building. According to the company, it currently has 36 employees, but only two of those are full time.
Officials noted that the village currently uses Energenecs panels at its wastewater treatment plant.
However, Village Administrator Dawn Wagner noted that before that move could be approved, the village needs to recraft its zoning ordinance to allow light manufacturing as a conditional use in a B-4 business district.
“Right now, this use could not be considered,” Wagner said.
The draft ordinance change says “assembly, processing and light manufacturing activities that are permitted uses in the M-1 (light manufacturing district)” could be allowed if the Plan Commission determines it would integrate into the overall plan for the business district.
As with any conditional use, the commission would be able to set standards and restrictions on operations before granting a permit.
“It is healthy to look at the zoning code from time to time to see if there are changes we need to consider to allow other uses,” Wagner said. “There are several vacant buildings out there.”
While considering whether a conditional-use option is appropriate, she warned commission members the ordinance change would apply to all properties with B-4 zoning.
Village President Barb Dickmann, who chairs the commission, said the conditional-use approach to opening business zoning to light manufacturing makes sense.
“I would consider this a clean industry without any objectionable by-products,” Dickmann said.
Satisfied that the commission would still have the final say whether a permit should be issued, members recommended that the Village Board consider the ordinance change.
A public hearing would be required before trustees can act on the ordinance. That hearing is expected to be held in October.
Image Information: IF VILLAGE OFFICIALS approve a proposed zoning ordinance change, light manufacturing could be allowed in the long-vacant Corse Super Bikes building on Milan Drive. The motorcycle dealership has been closed since 2009. Photo by Mark Jaeger