Door County Board of Supervisors Adds to Zoning for Assembly Halls

• At its June 25 meeting, the Door County Board of Supervisors approved zoning ordinances that define assembly halls and auditoriums and set zoning standards for each. Door County Planning Department head Mariah Goode said in the past the county cobbled things together to allow Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek and other applicable venues, but now rules are codified. Goode explained that an auditorium, for the purpose of the ordinance, is a place where you sit down to take in a concert or performance and an assembly hall is a multi-purpose venue that can be used for a social event one day and an educational event the next. When Washington Island Supervisor Joel Gunlaugsson asked Goode why an assembly hall needed a minimum of 20 acres when under certain zoning conditions (general agriculture, prime agriculture, countryside and heartland districts) in this new code, she answered, “People don’t move out into the country to live next to one of these. That’s why we make it fairly restrictive as far as lot size.”

• The Town of Liberty Grove finds breweries too commercial, but after the Door County Board of Supervisors gave an unqualified ‘yes’ at its June 25 meeting to Liberty Grove’s latest zoning changes-of-mind, wineries are now welcome in the town. Breweries were specifically excluded in the ordinance change. The town also softened its stance on art galleries. Originally, an art gallery in Liberty Grove had to exist in pre-1954 buildings. Now the age restriction of the building is removed, but “an art gallery shall be allowed only in buildings which reflect the architectural character of the rural areas of the Town. The building’s exterior shall be logs, stove wood or stone, and if sided, shall be sided in wood, unless other material is approved by the Liberty Grove Plan Commission.”

The Jacksonport Town Board gave its approval to a request for a conditional use permit by Michael Fisher of Gravity Trails, who wants to establish a zip line course at 7142 Elm Drive. After a few questions about lot size (it meets the county’s recently enacted 20-acre standard), setbacks (it exceeds the county’s 100-foot standard by 10 feet) and restroom facilities (a septic system will be installed), the board unanimously approved the conditional use permit. Next stop, a July 18 hearing before the Resource Planning Committee, and if all is smooth sailing before that body, Fisher said he hopes to be open for business on Aug. 1.

• The Sister Bay Village Board traded approximately 81,000 square feet of land on North Bay Shore Drive for adjacent lots owned by Mike Johnson on Jungwirth Court. The village-owned lot had previously been used as a baseball field, but has been vacant for five years. Johnson has an easement for sewer and water lines serving his property on the village lot.

There were no injuries when Michael Fielding Trese of Merritt Island, Fla., drove this recreational vehicle inside the warning gate of the Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay as it lifted for boat traffic and a bridge counterweight took off the front end of the RV on Sunday, June 23. The bridge was closed for two hours and reopened at 12:38 pm.

To date this season, Whitefish Dunes State Park has registered license plates from 42 of the 50 states, reported Joe Jarosh, representing the Jacksonport Parks Committee at the June 25 meeting of the Jacksonport Town Board. Please call us when someone rolls up bearing a plate from the 50th state because it must mean the bridge to Hawaii is finally finished.