The Sister Bay Plan Commission will consider a request for a zoning change to a portion of the Little Sister Resort property Tuesday, July 28.
The owners of the resort and adjacent Fred and Fuzzy’s restaurant have accepted an offer on the restaurant and waterfront parcels of the Little Sister Resort property. The sale is contingent on the buyers getting approval to rezone the parcels from commercial to residential zoning. The prospective buyers, Lance and Bridget Crane, plan to build a private home on the property.
The property is zoned for commercial use and is surrounded by commercial zoning except for residential on the northern property line.
Fred & Fuzzy’s has been a wildly popular restaurant since it opened in 2001, and the resort’s 27 cabins have welcomed visitors to the shores of Little Sister Harbor for 102 years.
Plan Commission Chair Denise Bhirdo said at a previous plan commission meeting June 23 that she is hesitant to break the property away from the other parcels, leaving a smaller portion of the Little Sister Resort property still zoned for commercial use.
“These parcels have been an island for a long time,” Bhirdo said, referring to the commercial zoning for Little Sister Resort. The remaining Little Sister Resort property would lose its waterfront amenities. “I don’t feel this is in the best interest of the village or of that remaining resort property to be left as a small island.”
In the wake of the news of the Crane offer, at least two other offers have been made on the property, including an offer by Doug Forrest and Catherine Holtz to purchase the entire resort. Their plan would retain Fred and Fuzzy’s and the resort, but expand use of the dining hall and turn a barn on the property into a venue for weddings, reunions, and other events. They first looked at the property last winter, but said their plans were put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was hard to see anyone financing a resort purchase when nobody knew if you’d be able to open this year,” Forrest said.
Forrest said they didn’t feel the need to rush forward because they figured the pandemic would put other prospective purchases on hold as well. Now Holtz and Forrest said they are seeking additional investors to strengthen their offer if the zoning change is denied.
“We want to keep the legacy alive and growing,” Holtz said. “We’re really committed to preserving the history of the property.”
The meeting will take place via zoom at 5:30 pm. People may attend the meeting virtually by clicking here>>
The meeting ID is 478 246 5738, and the password is 329703. People may dial in to the meeting at 1-301-715-8592.