City of Waukesha's Plan Commission approves town annexations
The site of the formerly proposed Dunkin' Donuts on Sunset causing pushback
The City of Waukesha’s Plan Commission unanimously approved the annexations of two Town of Waukesha properties into the city Wednesday night.
The first was 1.34 acres at S24 W26190 Kensington Drive. This property, labeled as a “town island” since it is almost completely surrounded by the city, was seeking annexation to receive city sewer services.
The second annexation is 6.78 acres of property on the northwest corner of W. Sunset Drive and S. Prairie Ave. at the request of Sunset Prairie, LLC and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Waukesha County, Inc.
At the last Plan Commission meeting, a change in the comprehensive plan and land use plan was changed from industrial to commercial and another part to residential to make it uniform with the business district on Sunset.
While the first annexation didn’t receive pushback, the one at Sunset did from many in the audience.
This is where a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts stalled when it was trying to come to the Town of Waukesha throughout this year.
The development was approved by the Town of Waukesha based on confirmation that there were no restrictions on drive-throughs at this location.
Following a lengthy process, a long-standing ordinance was revealed that restricted drive-throughs at this location.
However, Dunkin' Donuts in July still looked to have the property rezoned to remove the restrictions on restaurants with drive-through lanes and delete the necessity for administrative approval by the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use. But that request was denied.
City of Waukesha Planner Doug Koehler said on Wednesday this property is also a town island completely surrounded by the city. The property, which includes St. Vincent de Paul, was already receiving city and sewer services but would now receive city police, fire and EMS services.
The Plan Commission also approved the rezone of this property to B-5 community business.
Jim Radke, who owns an adjacent coffee shop in the Town of Waukesha (Le Caffe Bistro) and isn’t allowed a drive-through, wasn’t buying this reason for the annexation.
“Let’s not fool ourselves,” Radke said. “It’s to get the drive through. He’s trying to skirt the ordinance to get B-5 zoning, because B-5 allows drive-throughs.”
Radke, who had expressed his concerns to the Town Board earlier this year on safety and traffic concerns in this area on the potential drive-through, reinforced this Wednesday at City Hall. Dunkin’ Donuts had said they wouldn’t build if a drive-through wasn’t allowed.
However, General Capital Group LLP Vice President Stephen Sirkis, the agent for Sunset & Prairie, LLC, the property where Dunkin’ Donuts would have been built, said Wednesday that “there’s been things misrepresented.”
“We don’t have a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Sirkis, only now describing it as a small commercial building.
Dunkin’ Donuts was first brought to the Town of Waukesha in February.
Despite the talk over this particular development and the impacts it could have, a majority of the Plan Commission said that while they heard their concerns, they were only looking and considering the annexation and rezoning request.
City of Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima said he voted on the annexations because “these town islands have been a problem” in providing services.
Commissioner James Hoppe said “if (annexing) eliminates another island I’m all for that.”
The Plan Commission’s annexation recommendation will come before the Common Council at its Nov. 7 meeting.
There will also be a public hearing on the rezone at the Nov. 19 Common Council meeting.
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