Town files lawsuit against landscaping firm

Civil complaint says that Lake Shore Road company is operating without permit
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Town of Grafton has filed a civil lawsuit against a Lake Shore Road landscaping business for operating without a conditional-use permit after neighbors made multiple complaints about the company.

The complaint, which was filed Nov. 24 in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, alleges that  Spring Trim 4 Seasons has engaged in “stockpiling landscaping equipment, burning of brush, debris and wood, loading and unloading of trucks and the operation of skid loaders and other landscaping equipment.”

In July, the town issued a cease-and-desist notice to owner Nick Behl unless he applied for a conditional-use permit in the agricultural zoning district.

According to the complaint, the business has been continuing its landscaping and snow removal operations since.

Behl told Ozaukee Press he runs his business out of Milwaukee but leases space in Grafton to store equipment and uses about 10 acres for a tree nursery. He said he has since reduced the debris and brush pile and only operates a skid loader on the property.

“It’s frustrating, but I’m not trying to fight the town to use the property. I want to stay in Ozaukee County and I don’t want to move my stuff,” Behl said.

Behl applied for a conditional-use permit in November, but his $1,500 check for a permit fee bounced, town officials said. Behl said it was a miscalculation in his banking account and he has since sent a new check to the town.

Behl said he expects to appear before the Town Plan Commission next month for a public hearing on the permit.

Officials said they are willing to grant the permit but want to make sure all the conditions are met for the agricultural zoning district. “We want to ensure the neighbors’ concerns are resolved,” Town Chairman Lester Bartel said.    

“We like having small businesses in our town, but we need to make sure all the criteria is cleared for them to move forward with their operations.”



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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