Truck parking lot OK’d despite protests

Residents unhappy but village says yes to plan for semitrailers on former Tecumseh plant site

THE GRAFTON PLAN COMMISSION approved a plan that will allow semitrailer parking on the north side of the former Tecumseh Products Co. plant, which is now owned by Phoenix Investors. The parking lot is shown on the left side of the aerial map. The decision was made despite the concerns of local residents.
Ozaukee Press Staff

About a dozen people living along Ninth Avenue in Grafton voiced their concerns at a village Plan Commission meeting last week about a proposal to add a semitrailer parking lot across the street from their residences.

“We’ll have to be there 24 hours a day looking at them,” resident Lorraine Stencel said. “This will not beautify our neighborhood.” 

The commission held a public hearing during its Tuesday, July 23, meeting to consider a site plan for 41 additional parking spaces at the northeast corner of 900 North St., on the site of the former Tecumseh Products Co. manufacturing plant.

The property owner, Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors, currently has three tenants in the building and is considering adding one more.

In June, the commission held a public hearing and approved a partial site plan, but tabled taking action on the parking lot because it requested the property owner to consider placing the parking lot on the south side of the property. 

Phoenix provided a site plan illustrating the parking lot on the south side, but determined it is not feasible because it would disrupt parking and access for one of its existing tenants. 

Officials also said it would block the view of a recently renovated south façade on North Street, and the south lot would only accommodate one-third of the parking stalls originally proposed on the north side, engineering manager John Peret said.

“It’s already congested as it is. With the new tenant we see coming in soon, it’s going to be tough to even fit the trucks back there,” Peret said. 

Community Development Director Jessica Wolff said semitrailers are not allowed on Eighth Avenue, and there is no available space for a parking lot on the east side. 

Residents said the semitrailer parking lot would be more appropriate for a business park. They also said they are concerned about noise, lights at night and the safety of children living in the area.

Wolff said the proposed parking lot is consistent with the intent of the property’s industrial-zoning district. She also said trucks are not allowed to idle at night.

She also recommended that a six-foot tall fence or berm be added to the perimeter of the parking lot to prevent headlights and noise from affecting the residents.

The future tenant was not named at the meeting, but Wolff said they will have to be approved for a conditional-use permit by the commission.

The commission unanimously approved the site plan. 

Village President Jim Brunnquell said that if there are any complaints by the residents after the new tenant occupies the site, the commission will consider taking action.    

“Some of this is going to be a compromise,” Brunnquell said.

Tecumseh closed its Grafton facility in 2009. Phoenix Investors acquired the 341,000-square-foot building in 2016. 



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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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