Village Adopts Parking-Ordinance Change

The members of the Egg Harbor Village Board hope a new ordinance will help ease parking complaints in the downtown area. 

The new parking ordinance approved Sept. 13 increases the Fee in Lieu of Parking (FILOP) from $50 per space per year to $250 per space per year and puts a cap of 30 on the number of spaces a business owner may achieve through FILOP. The fee is reduced to $25 per space per year after 20 years. 

The fees collected will be put toward a parking-improvement account to be used only for expenses related to the acquisition, development or maintenance of off-street parking and facilities. 

The ordinance says a business may pay the fee in cases where providing required parking spaces “would be unreasonably difficult or expensive,” but it does not provide specific definitions. The ordinance also includes a provision for the board to grant exceptions to the cap in some instances.

Existing businesses are grandfathered in and thus are not subject to the new standards unless they change the use or size of their business. 

The ordinance was revisited after Shipwrecked Brew Pub proposed a 92-seat addition to its property at the corner of County G and Highway 42, but it did not include any new on-site parking spaces. Its plan calls for fulfilling parking needs through a now-rescinded village rule that allows a business to count all on-street spaces within 500 feet of the property toward its parking needs. 

Though the village denied the original Shipwrecked plan and rescinded the option to fulfill needs with on-street parking, it did not address the FILOP until after Shipwrecked revised its plan and resubmitted it to the village in May. That plan will be considered during the village plan commission’s Sept. 28 meeting.

Peter Gentry, owner of One Barrel Brewing Co., suggested that the new rule should apply only to new incremental needs above and beyond existing business use. For example, if an existing business such as One Barrel operated under parking rules that are grandfathered in, but it wanted to add seats, it would be subject to the new rule only for those additional seats, rather than starting from square one by having to meet the standards for the existing seats. That request was not considered. 

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Hear more discussion of Egg Harbor’s new parking rule on this week’s Door County Pulse Podcast.

One Barrel Seeks to Add Storage, Parking

One Barrel Brewing Co. owner Peter Gentry presented a plan to add a storage building and 15 parking spaces to his Egg Harbor taproom, so he’s seeking Special Development District Relief from the village plan commission for the project, which encroaches on side-yard setbacks. 

Gentry has been criticized for not fulfilling his parking commitment almost since the day the taproom opened in 2019. The original plan for the taproom that was presented to the village included 154 seats and 35 parking spaces, but Administrator Megan Sawyer said the conditional use permit granted for the project did not specify the number of parking spaces required.

By the village’s most recent seat count, the taproom and expansive patio now seat 328 customers with just 25 parking spaces. Under village parking standards, the restaurant would require 82 parking spaces plus additional spaces for employees. 

Gentry’s plan includes adding 15 parking spaces and a 33-foot-by-55-foot storage building for beer and bulk purchases such as cups, as well as storage for patio furniture. 

“It would be very helpful and save money on storage costs substantially,” Gentry said. 

Dave Callsen, owner of neighboring Main Street Market, asked the village to require more parking in the plan. Callsen and daughter Kaaren Northrop have begged the village to do more to address the parking overflow from One Barrel since the month it opened. 

Callsen said the Main Street Market staff spends many weekends patrolling the market’s parking lot to make sure spaces are available for its grocery store customers. 

“They want to put up a storage building on their property, on a location that could be prime parking there,” Callsen said. “There is a lot of property there to add 40-50 parking spaces, and people would see there is parking there.”

Callsen asked the commission to allow the storage building in exchange for additional parking. 

The plan commission will consider the request during its Sept. 28 meeting – the same meeting when it is expected to make a decision on the latest proposal from Shipwrecked to add a beer garden at its property. 

More Egg Harbor News

The board accepted a bid for $2,676,477.79 from Dorner to complete Church Street reconstruction. Dorner submitted the lowest of five bids, which ranged from $2.67 million to $3.4 million. 

An ad hoc committee will be formed to investigate creating an Architectural Review Board for the village. The idea has been discussed for many years, said Plan Commissioners Kathy Navis and Emily Pitchford. President Joe Heller said it could be a tool to curtail runaway development in the village, but trustee Bob Dickson worried the committee could constrain what he could build on his property. 

“I just have a problem with people coming down and telling me I can’t put up a mid-century modern home,” Dickson said. “What are you going to base it on: the McMansion on the right of me or the McMansion on the left of me? I think it’s a great idea for the downtown district. I’m for the idea; I just want some bounds.”

Heller said the purpose of the ad hoc committee would be to set those boundaries.