After almost an hour of discussion, the Minocqua Town Board approved a motion on Aug. 20 that recommended approval for a conditional use permit (CUP) from TJ’s Butcher Block with the intent of using parcels of land encompassing the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Road J for short-term seasonal sales.
The CUP encompasses the vacant parcels of land on the north side of the existing TJ’s Butcher Block building between Hwy. J and the new Packing Plant Road.
On Aug. 13, the Minocqua plan commission advanced the CUP to the town board for its consideration along with recommended conditions.
“The idea was they have a vision for a lot of seasonal displays and sales opportunities they might want to take advantage of there,” town chairman Mark Hartzheim said.
Hartzheim said he was confident that between the conditions recommended by the plan commission and input from the town board, they could find something that “works out real well” for the owners while not creating issues for the town.
“What we plan on doing, and what we started this spring into summer, is plant sales. Plant sales and some garden, metal arts and so forth, and that’s about what we started with,” applicant Larry Stenz said. “It kind of grew into something a little bit more than I envisioned, and I wanna grow on that.”
Stenz said they had no intention of building a building, but rather use the property with the existing property they had for seasonal products, displays, and potentially events.
Changes to the CUP
Stenz and Krolczyk proposed a few changes to the conditions outlined in the CUP that they wanted the board to consider.
One of the stipulations of the CUP is the permitting of “up to three” food service vehicles at one time.
Hartzheim said he had spoken to Stenz and Krolczyk shortly after the plan commission meeting.
“They would like the board to consider up to five food service vehicles at a time,” Hartzheim said. “Again, they don’t know if they would even have three, but depending on how things go and the response they have, they’d like to have the ability to have up to five.”
Another such change is with the duration in which outside vendors would be allowed to sell products on the property.
“Any outside vendors other than food service vehicles would be limited to a maximum of four days for the month,” Hartzheim said. “They asked the town to consider a maximum of seven days per month.”
Hartzheim said there were a couple he had added, such as enforcing setbacks from the sidewalk and the suggestion that flea markets, swap meets, and craft fairs wouldn’t be permitted on the property.
As the board considered the CUP application, questions were raised about whether the conditions of the CUP were too restrictive as far as what the owners were and were not allowed to do on the property.
“I think it’s really exciting. I like what you’re saying, it’s just not the usual conditional use permit and there’s a lot of balls in play,” town supervisor Billy Fried said. “I don’t like restricting them to a certain number of days a week and that, but you’re encompassing a lot of variation, I can see why you guys want to try and reign it in.”
Fried asked if the applicants could get a “different type of temporary permit,” as it would allow the town to understand exactly what was being done on the property.
Hartzheim said they had done that already and it was his understanding the county was OK with everything as it was presented.
“We’re trying to identify and limit this and it just seems a little hokey to me,” Fried said. “And I didn’t know if, other than a CUP or a peddler’s permit, there’s a different way to go about it to allow him to do what he wants to do.”
According to Hartzheim, the commission tried to take a path that would allow the applicants to do what they wanted while also providing the town enforcement ability on what activities were allowed.
For CUPs in the past that the board was unsure about, Hartzheim said they included an added stipulation of an annual review by the town in order to give the town a chance to modify the CUP as needed.
“It’s exciting, too, as a community, to have some of these types of venues,” Hartzheim said.
“It just makes more sense to not have that be even limited to seven days,” town supervisor Sue Heil said.
Hartzheim clarified the stipulation was specific to bringing in outside vendors being brought in and the seven-day limit was on a per-vendor basis.
“If it’s all going through TJ’s staff, and their cash register and seller’s permit, there aren’t limitations,” Hartzheim said.
Pulling the CUP
Hartzheim made it clear that many of the stipulations had less to do with concern over how Krolczyk or Stenz would manage the property and more so with providing guidelines to new owners of the property.
“I think we have to avoid the notion that we’re doing this for Tim or Larry, we’re doing this for, this CUP is assigned to those parcels no matter who owns it,” Hartzheim said. “If this is sold, this will apply to the new owners, and we don’t know who that’s going to be if these lots do get sold.”
The board discussed whether selling one parcel from the lot would modify the CUP and to what extent.
Hartzheim said if one parcel was sold it could modify the CUP, but if all were sold together the CUP would transfer to the new owner.
“But you have a built-in review each year, which if it’s legal, can stand up and the county continues it, it gives the town the ability to pull the CUP and resubmit for the new owners,” Fried said. “Correct?”
“That was one of the things I had questions about is how that annual review process works,” town supervisor Bill Stengl said. “I know it sounds like we’ve done that in the past, but have we ever actually reviewed anything on an annual basis?”
Hartzheim said the idea of an annual review was one he thought was an agreement between the owner and the applicant and the town to address issues, and sit down if needed to resolve any issues.
“Isn’t any kind of violation of any of these, we can petition the county to just pull it?” town supervisor John Thompson asked.
Hartzheim said that was correct and there could be enforcement action, even if it didn’t necessarily mean the county would pull the CUP.
All the lots
Fried asked Krolczyk and Stenz if the intent was to use all of the lots, as the county was likely to ask them to show “significant” parking if they were going to have five food trucks.
“And the reason I ask that is the only way I can see this CUP going through is that it’s conditional that the CUP would be given to all the lots you want to use, and the condition will be that if one of those lots were to be sold, the CUP would have to be resubmitted or pulled or something,” Fried said.
Hartzheim said in the event the lots were sold, the owners could still offer the new owner an agreement to continue that use, or the new owners would have to find an alternative.
Stengl said parking was another concern, and parking was “really required” from the TJ’s parcel to make it work.
“I didn’t understand TJ’s parcel having anything to do with this CUP other than needing an agreement to provide sanitary,” Hartzheim said.
Stenz said TJ’s Butcher Block was included in the CUP as they needed it for the parking and bathroom facilities.
“I don’t have a problem including that, but that’s not how I remember discussing it at plan commission, that’s not the lots that are indicated in the application,” Hartzheim said. “It sounds like you’re anticipating it’s included anyway, so if the board feels like the TJ’s parcel needs to be included as well.”
“I really think it has to be,” Stengl said. “For a lot of reasons.”
Krolczyk said he didn’t have any issues with the conditions recommended by the plan commission or the board.
“I think there’s too many conditions, but if he’s OK with it, then I’ll support it,” Fried said. “The only question to the board I have is do we want to include that should any of the lots in this CUP be sold or transferred in ownership, the CUP may have to be resubmitted?”
Hartzheim said that wasn’t a condition, but it was brought up at the plan commission as how the county would look at it.
“If it’s in its entirety, it can transfer, if an individual parcel sells, it would expire the CUP. It could continue and have a CUP, they would just have to re-apply on whatever remnant parcels there are,” Hartzheim said.
After some more discussion, the board moved to recommend the CUP for approval with the recommended conditions and changes.
The board also approved Tuesday:
• A road closure for E. Front St. from Hwy. 51 to the alley behind Earth Goods, W. Chicago St. from Hwy. 51 to Bolgers, and W. Milwaukee St. from Hwy. 51 to the alley behind Polecat & Lace at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27 for Beef-A-Rama set up.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]