Dwarf Lake Iris Could Delay Egg Harbor Highway Project

Egg Harbor’s Highway 42 reconstruction project could be pushed back a year because habitat for the federally threatened dwarf lake iris has been identified in the project area. 

The discovery has triggered a habitat assessment by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT), which cannot be completed until the blooming season in May and June. Only then will the DOT determine the schedule for work. According to the DNR, the plant has been identified in only two Wisconsin counties: Door and Brown. 

“If federal permits are required, it could cause a delay,” said Village Administrator Megan Sawyer.

Even if the habitat is discovered only outside of the village area, it would put the entire project on hold because the DOT will do the work as part of one large project for efficiency. 

Until then, the village is planning as though the project will begin after its Pumpkin Patch festival in October 2022. 

Board Approves Sidewalk Extension to Ballpark Road

The village’s downtown-core project includes new curb, gutter, sidewalks and lighting. During its Jan. 26 meeting, the village board decided to extend that urbanization from the Cape Cod Motel to Ballpark Road on the east side of Highway 42 at a cost of $18,000. 

The board had previously decided to extend it from Harbor School Road to the Cape Cod Motel, and added curb, gutter and lighting to Ballpark Road. The total additional cost for the complete extension of the street urbanization comes to $355,000.  

The project already included urbanization on the west side of the highway all the way to South Trail Road. The sidewalk now ends at the Landing Resort.

The village board came to a consensus quickly during a previous meeting to extend from Harbor School Road to the Cape Cod Motel, where urbanization of the street now ends, but there was substantial debate about extending curb, gutter, lights and sidewalk to Ballpark Road. That extension made up $140,000 of the additional cost. 

During that meeting, trustee Bob Dickson noted that with the cemetery located along that stretch, there is no chance anything would ever be developed there. But trustees Lisa Van Laanen, John Heller and Angela Lensch thought the urbanization of the east side of the highway would help to provide visual cues to slow traffic entering the village. 

Church Street Project Ahead of Schedule

The reconstruction and urbanization of Church Street is moving ahead of the original July completion date. Village Administrator Megan Sawyer said contractors believe the work could wrap up as early as mid-June. 

Shipwrecked Lawsuit Update

The latest lawsuit filed by the owners of Shipwrecked Brew Pub, under the name Sojenhomer LLC, continues to move through Door County Circuit Court. 

Sojenhomer has asked the court to review the village plan commission’s decision in October 2021 to deny a conditional use permit application sought for expanding Shipwrecked Brew Pub. The complaint alleges the permit was denied based on personal preference and speculation, and substantial evidence was lacking to deny the permit. It also asks the court to reverse the plan commission’s decision. 

The plan commission voted 4-2 to deny a proposal to add a 92-seat beer garden to the property without meeting the necessary parking requirements. Shipwrecked sought to pay a Fee in Lieu of Parking for 58 of the 105 spaces required by village ordinance. Those voting against the permit also cited congestion and safety concerns at the corner of Highway 42 and County G, as well as inconsistencies with the village’s comprehensive plan, in addition to the parking shortfall.

Village Administrator Megan Sawyer said July is the earliest the village expects a decision will be made in the case.

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