The Woodruff Town Board on Jan. 14 approved a motion to approve parking lanes as part of a project proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to improve a stretch of U.S. Highway 47 from Kildeer Road to the Vilas County line in Oneida County in 2022.
While the proposed project primarily affects 11.5 miles of Hwy. 47, the Town of Woodruff will be responsible for paying to maintain parking lanes along the highway from where the parking lane starts around Veterans Parkway to Oak St.
“What we’re buying, if this would go through, we’d buy four blocks of pavement, if you will, for parking lanes,” town chair Mike Timmons said.
That cost, according to Timmons, was projected approximately $35,000, but the price “wasn’t guaranteed.”
Timmons clarified the town would be responsible for the parking lanes, and not the driving lanes.
“It’s a good price and it will assure everything staying the way it is currently,” Timmons said.
While there won’t be any changes to the town’s infrastructure, Timmons said the snowmobile crossing would be moved to “where it belongs” and the project wouldn’t interfere with Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.
“They needed town board blessing to say that we would agree to do the parking lanes the way it is presented,” he said.
The motion to approve the parking lanes as presented passed unanimously.
Tourist Rooming Houses
A letter was sent by Oneida County’s planning and zoning department dated Dec. 26, 2019 to each town in the county for input on behalf of a business in Three Lakes regarding alterations to the county’s short-term rental ordinance.
According to Oneida County ordinance, a single-family residential property cannot be rented out for less than six consecutive days.
“There is a group of people in the Three Lakes area, they go by NLVH, LCC — which is the Northern Lakes Vacation Homes, LLC. — that are asking the county to relax its ordinance to allow weekend rentals,” Timmons said.
According to Timmons, the Three Lakes group wanted to reduce the six-day minimum to allow for two or three-day rentals.
Timmons, who also serves on the county board and the zoning committee, said the committee said it would follow what the towns wanted to do.
“Personally, myself, I recommend we stick with what the county has written, because the single-family designation is to keep your peace and quiet. That you don’t have every two days somebody else different can rent,” he said.
“What would the plus side be to reducing it that low?” town supervisor Andrea Reuland asked.
“If you wanted to rent it out for two nights, the room tax, that money could be gained,” Timmons replied.
He added that Three Lakes representatives said the town was having issues with lodging after the town lost its only motel, the Oneida Village Inn, in a fire the last spring.
“The only housing they have up there right now is single-family homes,” Timmons said.
The topic was brought up at the Minocqua Town Board meeting Jan. 7, where the consensus of the board was not in favor of any changes to the existing county short-term rental ordinance.
“Is there a possibility an exception could be made for Three Lakes, just for the interim?” town supervisor Judy Allen asked.
Timmons said it would be “up to them,” Three Lakes, to “work something out with their own ordinance.”
A motion, made by town supervisor Corky?Sheppard to inform the county of the town’s position that the county ordinance remain as is, passed unanimously.
The board Tuesday also:
• Revisited options for the installation of automatic handicap accessible doors at the town hall.
• Approved a retail “Class B” combination liquor license for Mavericks Restaurante Mexicano at 1021 1st Ave. in Woodruff.
The restaurant is projected to open between the middle to end of February.
Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected].