Application Withdrawn for Duplex in Sturgeon Bay Historic District

In the wake of opposition to a couple’s plans to convert a house in Sturgeon Bay’s Louisiana Street/7th Avenue Historic District into a duplex, the conditional-use permit application seeking approval to do that has been withdrawn, according to community development director Marty Olejniczak.

The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission, which held a public hearing on the permit application March 15, had tabled action on the request until its April 19 meeting to allow time for the community development department to compile a list of conditions to consider for the project proposed by Jurgita and David Kana, who, in 2021, bought the single-family dwelling at 114 N. 7th Ave.

However, after last month’s commission meeting, Olejniczak said the Kanas withdrew their application and are now planning on renovating the former site of a bed-and-breakfast as a single-family home.

The property has 27,009 square feet, with a house of about 5,000 square feet. It is currently zoned R-2 (Single-Family Residential), for which a two-family dwelling requires a conditional-use permit.

The couple originally sought a planned unit development to convert the house into a four-unit apartment building where J-1 visa student workers and others who work in Door County year-round could live.

But the couple withdrew those plans prior to a public hearing the commission had scheduled in January and then appeared on March 15 for a public hearing on the proposed duplex.

The proposed four-unit apartment building drew opposition from several neighbors and others who were against altering a building deemed “pivotal” in the historic area, and that opposition was also present for a revised proposal of a two-unit dwelling, which they called a “fourplex in disguise,” among other things.

Though Louisiana Street/7th Avenue has a historic-district designation, Olejniczak said there are currently no restrictions on altering the buildings in it, similar to what currently exist in the preservation district for 3rd Avenue. 

He said the Kanas needed a permit to turn the house into a duplex, but they will be able to alter it as a single-family home without a permit.