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Elk Mound denies request for zoning change to build duplex

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  —  Based on a recommendation from the Elk Mound Plan Commission, the Elk Mound Village Board has denied a request for a zoning change from single-family residential to two-family residential on Jersey Lane.

The Elk Mound Plan Commission met prior to the village board June 1 to consider the request from Gene Caron, a developer who has spoken to the village board several times in the past two months about constructing a housing development in Elk Mound.

The request for a zoning change was for Lot 301 on the north side of Jersey Lane.

Along with Caron, Len Schreiber of Cedar Corporation, and co-developer Mike Ruwowski also attended the plan commission meeting.

While the south side of Jersey Lane has duplexes and four-plexes, the north side of Jersey Lane contains single-family homes.

One resident of the north side of Jersey Lane, who did not identify himself, presented a petition to the plan commission signed by six residents in the area indicating their opposition to a duplex.

A duplex would increase traffic on Jersey Lane, and duplexes tend to attract “riffraff” who rent, the man said.

“We build a quality building, a nice place for families to live,” Caron said, noting that he lives in the middle of seven such homes that he has built.

“(The other residents) are not riffraff,” he said.

Andy Peterson, chair of the plan commission and Elk Mound village president, said he had done some research about Caron’s developments.

“They are good quality from what I have seen. They have a good quality product,” he said.

Each side of the duplex in the Caron development would rent from $1,100 to $1,300 per month.

The higher rent, as opposed to duplexes that would rent for $800 per month, means that families will live there and not riffraff, Caron said.

Deb Creaser-Kipp, plan commission member, said she had toured homes in the Caron development south of Elk Mound on county Highway H.

“They are very high end. I was very impressed with it and would not be afraid to have one next to my house,” she said.

Terry Stamm, plan commission member, a trustee on the village board and the retired director of public works, said he has never been in favor of mixing zoning.

“It would be the only duplex on that side (of Jersey Lane),” he said.

Pat Hahn, village clerk-treasurer, noted that across the road from Lot 301, there are four-plexes to the east and duplexes to the west.

A motion to approve the request for a zoning change for 301 Jersey Lane  from Residential-1 to Residential-3 died for the lack of a second.

A motion to deny the request for a zoning change was approved on a vote of six “yes” to one “no.”

Peterson voted against denying the request for a zoning change.

In addition to Peterson, Stamm, and Creaser-Kipp, plan commission members are Carol Heimstead, Greg Kipp, Marilyn Lutzen and Mike Tietz.

The Elk Mound Village Board unanimously approved a motion to deny the request for a zoning change.

In addition to Peterson, Stamm and Kipp, trustees on the village board are Brenda Carpenter, Tom Gilbert, Rebecca Livingston and Tony Schrantz.

A joint meeting of the Elk Mound Plan Commission and the Elk Mound Village Board is scheduled for June 8 at 6:30 p.m. to receive more proposals for developments in Elk Mound from Caron and Ruwowski and to find out from Sean Lentz of Ehlers and Associates how the proposed development would work with the village’s Tax Increment Finance District.

Kennel license

The agenda for the Elk Mound Plan Commission and the village board also included a hearing for a kennel license for Brooke Devine.

No one representing the applicant attended either meeting.

Members of the plan commission and the village board said they wanted to hear from the applicant before making a decision on the kennel license.

The family already has two dogs, and the daughter is planning to move in with her two dogs, which would necessitate a kennel license, Peterson explained.

The plan commission and the village board both approved postponing any action on the kennel license application until the June 15 meeting.