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Developer Gets Support for Minocqua Condominium Project

minocqua-town_of_minocqua.jpg
Town of Minocqua

An Eagle River developer passed a major hurdle Tuesday when the Minocqua plan commission recommended approval of his proposal for an eight-unit multi-family dwelling in Minocqua after he abandoned plans for a hotel there.

Commissioners attached a few conditions to their unanimous recommendation to issue a conditional use permit, which now goes to the town board next month for review. From there, it goes to the Oneida County planning and development committee for a final decision.

Developer Glenn Schiffmann last year proposed building a nine-unit hotel on two parcels that formerly housed Mom’s Laundromat and Bay View Inn along U.S. Highway 51 just north of the downtown. The current property owner is listed as Bayview Inn, LLC., which in turn is owned by Trygve (Trig) Solberg.

The hotel proposal had major pushback from the town board concerned over what supervisors said was insufficient parking, among other concerns. The county also turned down the project when it came before the committee.

Schiffmann told commissioners that his intent is sell individual units under a condominium type of ownership once it’s built.

“The hotel is out the window,” said Schiffmann, referencing the previously failed proposal. “I thought Minocqua could use it, but Minocqua didn’t want it. I walked out of that meeting saying I was never going to do anything with that property. Trig called me and asked me to please take another look at it again. That’s when we decided to put a condominium there.”

His agent for the project, James Rein, Jr., added, “This time it’s one hundred percent condo development.” Concurrent with the CUP application, he’s preparing a condominium plat for the project, which will also come to the town board sometime next month, he said.

The CUP application puts the cost of the project at $2 million. Construction would begin in March or April said Rein, assuming government approvals go smoothly. As proposed, there would be four units with two bedrooms and four units with four bedrooms.

The three level building includes an underground garage for 16 vehicles. The design documents show three parking spaces on the upper level adjacent to U.S. Highway 51. An additional five parking spaces abut the building’s lower level adjacent to Lakeview Drive. The 24 parking spaces meets the county’s requirement of three parking spaces per unit, according to the Oneida planning and zoning office.

County zoning notes that the lower parking does not meet required setbacks, including being within 75 feet of the high water mark of Lake Minocqua. As such, variances would have to be obtained.

Lakeland Sanitary District superintendent Wilbur Peters had no objections to the proposal, although he said the developer would have to install a six-inch water line service to the lot because the building with have a fire suppression sprinkler system.

State Department of Transportation Mark Ratty said the upper level entrance/exit at 20 feet wide was too narrow, adding the single access opening should be at least 24 feet. Nor would they allow any more water runoff going into the road right-of-way, he said.

Mike Meyer, who lives adjacent to the property, voiced no major objections to the new development. He had been adamantly opposed to the hotel project. He did say vehicles on the lower level parking lot should be allowed to intrude into the town road’s right-of-way. Town chairman Mark Hartzheim strongly opposed that suggestion.

Commissioner Tom Church expressed his displeasure with another large building intruding into the view of the lake so close to the downtown. In the end, with a slight hesitation, he also said “yes” to the recommendation.

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