Letter to the Editor: What Does ‘Residential’ Mean?

Early in their meeting on March 27, the Sister Bay Plan Commission had no problem denying a permit to allow a building in a business zone to be converted to residential use.

Former Village Administrator Zeke Jackson had interpreted the new state law, Act 67, to deny their ability to limit residential zones to residential uses, so the Commission voted to allow an assembly hall on one four-lot area for a wedding venue. Now because they have been accused of spot zoning, they want to allow “assembly halls” on all R-3 (large residential) lots.

The village does not have a definition for assembly halls. Even if they do, is this something that belongs in a residential area? What is the purpose of zoning? Sister Bay residents need to be aware of what is happening and let let their trustees know how they feel or show up at the April 17 meeting.

The threat of a lawsuit is from my attorney. I don’t want to sue the village. I am a part of this village too. For me it is a lose/lose proposition. I want the village board and Plan Commission to do what is right, and I believe they made a mistake when they granted the permit for the wedding venue in a residential neighborhood. Allowing assembly halls on all R-3 properties doesn’t correct that, it compounds it.


Vivian Nienow

Sister Bay, Wis.

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