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Process Has Begun to Rezone for Commercial Storage Buildings in Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay’s Plan Commission has recommended a 2.187-acre parcel at 1605 Shiloh Road be rezoned from agricultural to light industrial to allow for the construction of commercial storage buildings on the site.

City planner/zoning administrator Stephanie Servia said rezoning the site, which currently has a building on it and is being used for outdoor storage for Mueller Trucking and Repair, would be an initial step to permit commercial storage buildings.

“The project would remove the current [outdoor storage] materials on the property and would be an improvement to what currently exists on the parcel,” she said.

Servia said the storage units would also require approval as a conditional use in a light industrial zoning district, as well as approval from the Industrial Park Development Review Team because the parcel would become part of the Industrial Park upon being rezoned, with industrial property already existing to the north.

Doug Mueller from Green Bay, who is looking at purchasing the land to construct two commercial storage buildings there, and Brian Peters of Bayland Buildings appeared before the commission to discuss the project plans.

This map shows where the property – marked with a red balloon – is located. Source: Google maps.

Peters said the new storage buildings would include one with 11 units and another with 15 units, with the existing building to remain on the site. Mueller said the existing building would be reclad to match the new structures. 

The project would be done in two phases, with the 11-unit building fronting Shiloh Road built first; then the other storage building would be constructed along the Ahnapee State Trail. 

“From what I see of the market [for commercial storage], there’s quite a lot of need for large-boat storage,” Mueller said. “We’re one mile from the marinas. Depending on what the demand looks like, the second building could be configured differently, based on size, structure, etc.”

Samantha Casey, who owns 17 acres of property near the site on Leeward Street, spoke in opposition to allowing commercial storage buildings there.

“My biggest problem with this is not getting this [land to look] better,” she said. “It’s the fact that we’re getting a storage unit right next to my house.”

Casey said she would have a problem with lights from the storage units.

This drawing depicts how two commercial storage buildings could be constructed at 1605 Shiloh Road in Sturgeon Bay. Submitted.

“We have a farm – a beautiful little farm – in the middle of a bustling little tourist town, and we don’t want that messed with,” she said.

Casey also said she believes there are already enough storage units in the city.

“Why do we need another dadgum storage unit in Sturgeon Bay?” she asked.

Casey objected as well to the adjacent property being added to the Industrial Park, which has remained to the north of Leeward Street.

“The Industrial Park has stayed across the street,” she said. “The residential portion has been on one side.”

Casey said she is in favor of having the adjacent property cleaned up, but placing storage units on it wouldn’t increase the value of her property.

“In fact, we consider that as something that’s going to diminish our property value, and I’m pretty sure it will,” she said. “My husband and myself are extremely against this, and we will voice that at every council meeting from here until kingdom come, if this happens.”

In response to Casey’s remarks, Peters said the site won’t be overly lit because there won’t be any pole lighting, and the lights on the buildings would face down with sconces.

“It’s also dark along the Ahnapee Trail,” he said, “so we thought some lights out there, only directionally facing down, would help to illuminate the sign that would be out front. We’re mindful of the neighborhood, so our intention was to not have it overlit.”

Commission members unanimously recommended the rezoning, which was forwarded to the Sturgeon Bay Common Council for the first reading on July 5.

Community development director Marty Olejniczak said any conditions that someone would want to place on constructing the storage buildings on the site, such as screening or lighting, could be addressed when the project is being considered for a conditional-use permit with another public hearing being held.

“Assuming the council approves the zoning, there’s two other approvals they need,” he said. “One is [the commission considers] the [conditional] use, and then [the Industrial Park Development Review Team considers] the design of the building and landscaping. So there’s some overlap, and you guys [on the commission] might have the same conditions.”