Sturgeon Bay News Notes: Fishing Tournament Changes Considered, Former Pip Printing Demolished

Common Council to Consider Fishing-Tournament Changes June 6

A recommendation made last month by Sturgeon Bay’s Joint Parks and Recreation Committee/Board to change fishing-tournament rules as they relate to using the city’s facilities will go before the Common Council for a final vote June 6, according to city administrator Josh Van Lieshout.

Should the Common Council adopt the recommendation, to take effect in 2024, use of the city’s launching ramps and other facilities for holding catch-and-release bass tournaments would be limited through June 30 each year to only the weigh-on-the-water variety, for which scales to weigh the fish on the anglers’ boats would be available at no cost.

The change would prohibit the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament – which is taking place this weekend, May 19-20 – from being headquartered next May (and in May of subsequent years) at Sawyer Park unless it would switch from weighing the fish on shore to weighing them on the water and releasing them immediately where they were caught.

The recommended fishing-tournament rule revisions also include not issuing permits for walleye tournaments prior to May 15 unless a weigh-on-the-water format is used.

Photo by Kevin Boneske.

Former Pip Printing Building Demolished

The former PIP Printing building at the corner of 4th Avenue and Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay was demolished last week. 

The north side of Jefferson Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue, which is in the city’s newly created Tax Increment District #8, is being developed by Shirley Weese Young, whose first phase of the development includes building a music venue and school called Muse, with apartments on the second floor, where the Moeller’s Garage auto dealership once stood.

The City of Sturgeon Bay and its Ad Hoc NERR Advisory Committee have created a 28-page prospectus to attract a visitor center to Sturgeon Bay as part of the process to establish the Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Submitted.

Plan Approved to Attract NERR Visitor Center

Acting on recommendations made last week by two city committees, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council gave final approval Tuesday to a 28-page prospectus seeking to bring a visitor center to Sturgeon Bay as part of the process to establish the Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).

The plan lists six possible sites to locate the center, including four city-owned properties – the West Waterfront, Sunset Park, water frontage near the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and the Sawyer Park boat-launch area – and two privately owned parcels: one at 253 N. 1st Ave. and the other on the corner of Oregon Street and South 1st Avenue adjacent to Graham Park.

Mayor David Ward said the purpose of the prospectus, which the ad hoc committee put together, is “to make the case for a visitor and education center to be located here in Sturgeon Bay/Door County.”

“In that it is a visitor center,” he said, “I think that one of the prime features of Door County is visitors. We get about 2.5 million of them [annually], and also we get visitors who are interested in the environment.”

Selection of the visitor-center site is a separate step from designating the natural areas for research. Fewer than 700 acres in the Sturgeon Bay area are part of the 11,494 land acres recommended for inclusion in the NERR.

The Bay of Green Bay region is being established as the nation’s 31st NERR. The 30 reserves already in existence in the United States were established through the Coastal Management Zone Act and are partnerships between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and coastal states.

NOAA provides funding and national guidance for each site, which is managed by a lead state agency or university with input from local partners. For the Bay of Green Bay NERR, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is leading the designation process.

This drawing shows the site plan submitted by E&I Property Investments for a 55-and-older community with 19 duplexes and a single-family home, along with amenities, on an 11-acre site on the north side of Sturgeon Bay’s Colorado Street. Submitted.

Property Rezoned for 55-Plus Housing

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council gave final approval Tuesday for an ordinance to rezone an 11-acre site along the north side of Colorado Street from being a combination of R-1 and R-2 single-family residential to a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

E&I Property Investments sought the PUD to develop 19 duplexes and one single-family home – for 39 total units – as a 55-and-older community to also include a clubhouse, storage-garage building, pickleball courts and other amenities. E&I’s plans also call for having a two-stall garage and a driveway on each side of the duplexes.

The underlying zoning will be R-2, which requires fewer square feet of lot space for a single-family home than in R-1 – a minimum of 6,000 instead of 10,000 – and if the PUD expires, the ordinance will classify the property as being in an R-2 district.

The ordinance limits the property to no more than 39 housing units and allows the clubhouse and the approximately 6,000-square-foot storage-garage building.

Community development director Marty Olejniczak said the design of the clubhouse and storage garage will also require approval by the city’s Aesthetic Design and Site Plan Review Board.

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