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Minocqua Tosses Hotel Issue Back to County

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WIKIMEDIA COMMONS FREEKEE
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MINOCQUA – The matter of a conditional use permit for a proposed nine-unit hotel in Minocqua now heads back to Oneida County planning and development committee after the Minocqua Town Board unanimously recommended that the county deny the request.

Town chair Mark Hartzheim started Tuesday’s discussion by noting that the matter has been before the town board and its plan commission a total of six times. Each time it’s been voted down, primarily over parking concerns. The county took up the permit earlier, but sent it back to the town without a decision.

The board on majority votes said the permit did not meet all of the nine standards the county uses in considering such permits. Supervisor Bill Stengl had mixed feelings on his vote, saying the two vacant parcels are eyesores and that the proposed hotel would benefit the community.

The town board says it still wants to meet with the county panel on the permit application to include an on-site visit. Eagle River developer Glenn Schiffmann wants to build the hotel on two parcels that once held Mom’s Laundromat and Bay View Inn. The site is adjacent to U.S. Highway 51, just north of the downtown.

The board has asked the developer to come back with a scaled down version of his project to allow more parking space. But he has refused because, he says, it would not make the project financially worthwhile.

It appears that the developer’s agent has resolved most issues of inadequate and nonconforming parking spaces, along with intrusion on the right-of-way of Lakeview Drive. Jim Rein, Jr., of Wilderness Surveying, said the parking conforms with county code and that the entrance and exit onto Highway 51 satisfies state Department of Transportation’s requirements.

However, Hartzheim contends the upper parking lot is so restricted that guests arriving with trailers would have to back out against U.S. Highway 51 traffic. The same situation holds true for the lower lot, he adds, with the result of guests with trailers having to back up a considerable distance.

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