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Dollar General Pivots to Brussels

A company that builds stores, then leases them back to the retail chain, has submitted a preliminary application to construct a store on a vacant parcel of land in downtown Brussels, next to the Brussels General Store and gas station on County DK. Another local general merchandise store, The Pioneer Pantry, is also located nearby.

The developer has applied for the zoning permit but is in the “very preliminary” stages, said JoAnn Neinas, Brussels’ town clerk and zoning administrator.

“I reviewed it and got back to them with some things they have to get back to me,” she said. 

Neinas said the zoning application was signed by a representative of Midwest WI, though Neinas said the signature was unreadable. The person Neinas has been corresponding with is Jim Lundberg, director of engineering with Point of Beginning. He indicated he is a consultant to a developer looking to build the Dollar General store, according to Neinas. 

Lundberg is the engineer who worked with Peter Oleszczuk of Midwest Property Development, the developer who proposed a store first in Sister Bay and then in Egg Harbor

The Town of Egg Harbor rejected Oleszczuk’s development on March 15 over traffic and safety concerns. The Village of Sister Bay sent him back to the drawing board over impervious-surface issues in December 2019. Instead of returning, Oleszczuk introduced new plans for the Egg Harbor location in the fall of 2020. 

Brussels is 26 miles northeast of Green Bay and about 15 miles south of Sturgeon Bay. It has a population of roughly 1,130. The town adopted its own zoning code in 2002. For this proposal, there wouldn’t be a process for public input on the application, and neither is a town board or committee review required for this project, “unless the town board decides to say something,” Neinas said.

She said she did share the preliminary application information with the town board during its most recent meeting.

Normally, when people apply for a zoning application within Brussels, they work only with Neinas, who has the authority to approve applications based on conformance with Town requirements. Those requirements include two permits: one for the septic system the Door County Sanitarian’s Office issues, and another for the driveway, which the Door County Highway Department issues.

Other items that must be addressed pertain to lighting, parking spaces, landscaping plans, impervious surface and signage. 

Neinas said the preliminary application was dated March 5 – ten days before Egg Harbor rejected the store proposal there – but she received the first email of inquiry from Lundberg on Feb. 14. 

The proposed building is 9,100 square feet, the same size as the store designed for Egg Harbor. Preliminarily, Neinas said it would fit on the lot, but there are still several things the developer must deliver before she could consider the application for approval. She let the developer know what was missing from the application March 13.

The Brussels Town Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for April 20.

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