Waukesha Plan Commission approves annexations
But Dunkin' Donuts might not be in the works anymore
Dunkin' Donuts worked for months to gain approval to build a store with a drive-through on Sunset Drive in the Town of Waukesha.
However, General Capital Group LLP Vice President Stephen Sirkis, the agent for Sunset & Prairie LLC, which owns land where the shop would have been built, said there no longer is a deal with Dunkin' Donuts.
"We don't have a deal with Dunkin' Donuts," Sirkis said. "We did have a contract with them when we were bringing this before the town. When the previous administration was in place there was a lot of support for the facility, but it became very political in the change of administration."
Regardless of what the property will become, it appears likely that it will be in the City of Waukesha.
That's because the Plan Commission approved the annexation of the 6.78-acre property on the northwest corner of West Sunset Drive and South Prairie Avenue at the request of Sunset Prairie LLC and Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Waukesha County Inc.
The Plan Commission previously changed zoning for the parcel from industrial to commercial and another part to residential to make it uniform with the business district on Sunset.
City of Waukesha Planner Doug Koehler said at the meeting this property is a town island completely surrounded by the city. The property, which includes St. Vincent de Paul, was already receiving city services, and will now receive city police, fire and EMS services.
State officials, Koehler said, have said it is in the public interest to have the property annexed.
"The state recognizes it's not logical to have these islands," said Koehler, adding the islands will ultimately become part of the city over time.
Nearby owner upset
The land changes don't sit well with Jim Radke who owns the adjacent coffee shop, Le Caffe Bistro, in the Town of Waukesha.
Radke has expressed concerns about safety and traffic regarding the Dunkin' Donuts development since it was first proposed in the town in February. Dunkin' was eventually approved by the town in March based on confirmation there were no restrictions on drive-throughs at this location.
However, following a lengthy process, a long-standing ordinance was revealed that restricts drive-throughs on this property.
However, Dunkin' Donuts in July asked to have the property rezoned to remove the restriction.
"We're here for one reason and one reason only ladies and gentlemen," Radke said. "Yes, it's an annexation request and a zoning request. But the applicant came before the Town Board and was denied a drive-through restaurant. He has plans, he has drawings, he supposedly has a tenant. The whole reason for annexing is not to get more city services. Let's not fool ourselves, he has city sewer and water. It's to get the drive through.
"(Sirkis) is trying to skirt the ordinance to get B-5 zoning, because B-5 allows drive-throughs."
A couple other residents expressed the same concerns as Radke. They said putting a restaurant there is fine but not a drive-through.
Mayor Jeff Scrima asked Radke if he's worried about losing money because of a potential nearby development.
"No, not at all," Radke said. "They can build it all they want. I'm concerned about the traffic and safety of the drive-through. Put it in, but don't put the drive through. That entire property including my parcel is not allowed to have a drive-through in there and now all of a sudden because he didn't get his way he wants to come into the city and ask for a concession. So go for it, have it annexed if that's what has to be done. Go for zoning. But leave the restrictions in place."
Sirkis, however, said at the meeting that "there's been things that have been misrepresented" regarding the entire development.
"There's been a lot of misrepresentations and exaggerations," Sirkis said. "At the town, the Radkes likened the proposed store to a pornographic bookstore and so forth. We're simply looking for an opportunity to either develop the outlot or sell it to a user that would put up a small commercial building."
Sirkis said in regard to the traffic concerns, he suggests an additional access be put off Prairie Avenue, "which would help if there is a problem on Sunset."
He added, "We would appreciate the opportunity to convert this vacant lot to a productive community asset."
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.
In addition, 1.34 acres at S24 W26190 Kensington Drive was also approved to be annexed from the town into the city. This property is also labeled an island since it's almost completely surrounded by the city. Annexation was sought to receive city sewer services.
Scrima said he voted on the annexations because "it's harder for us to provide city services when we have islands interspersed along the city."
Commissioner James Hoppe said "if (annexing) eliminates another island I'm all for that."
The Plan Commission's annexation recommendations will come before the Common Council at its Nov. 7 meeting. A public hearing on the rezone is scheduled for the Nov. 19 Common Council meeting.
Radke had a final message for those who will vote on this development.
"Are you all prepared to face the consequences when someone does get injured and are OK with that and someone gets hit by a vehicle because you allowed this to go through and you allowed a B5 ordinance?" Radke asked. "It almost got through the town (because) nobody mentioned the ordinance they already had. It's all about safety."
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Town of Waukesha in search of a new attorney
- Female driver crashes vehicle into Waukesha Memorial Hospital
- Waukesha man faces 10 counts of child porn possession
- Waukesha County will likely oppose arena tax
- Apartment complex proposed
- Waukesha man charged in motorcyclist's death
- Downtown Waukesha's logo could see a makeover
- City of Waukesha will have a new attorney next spring
- City of Waukesha's mayoral race has three candidates so far
- Local dance team tops in the region