48-Unit Hotel Part of Flurry of Plans for Sister Bay Developments

Correction: The 48-unit apartment complex by Pre/3 proposed a five-foot setback, not a five-yard setback as was originally stated in this article.

Sister Bay Village Administrator Zeke Jackson, known for his boundless support for economic development projects in the village, spent his last public meeting in a similar manner: three hotel/inn projects, a wedding campus and a 48-unit apartment complex were approved either preliminarily or to begin groundbreaking.

The four-hour joint meeting between the Plan Commission and village board began with an adoption of a resolution, plaque and cake commending Jackson for his work in the village during his four-year tenure.

“Zeke oversaw an incredible amount of development in Sister Bay,” said village board president Dave Lienau, reading from the resolution. “Zeke worked tirelessly to enhance the village festivals and events and was in charge of some of the fireworks displays.”

Following presentation of the plaque, cutting of the cake and a round of applause, the board and plan commission launched into approval of preliminary plans and development agreements with various developers.

Here are the projects expected to begin in Sister Bay next year:

48-Room Hotel and Retail Space

A 48-room hotel and additional retail space in downtown Sister Bay.

The village has authorized the sale of the remainder of the Braun property around CHOP restaurant to Illinois-based Jaco Management, which served as the developer for CHOP. The developer is planning a four-story, 48-unit hotel on the property, which will include 6,400-square-feet of retail in the ground level.

The project has also proposed two separate retail spaces on the property but will maintain green space in the center of the lot.

Although parking availability is of primary concern with the development, the plan commission has approved the estimated parking requirement by Chris Schmeltz of Jaco Management. Schmeltz will now go back and prepare the detailed plans for the building, including a site plan, landscape plan, architectural renderings and more.

“This whole parcel has just been so convoluted from the beginning,” said Denise Bhirdo, chair of the plan commission. “I like the project… It’s something the board and plan commission have wanted for a very long time.”

Bhirdo disputed some of Schmeltz’s interpretations of the village zoning code on parking but she and other commission members believed Schmeltz was making an honest effort to address the issue by adding an additional 30 spots on the lot.

Jackson roughly estimates the final project will equate to net new construction of more than $10 million in the village and tax increment finance district (TIF).

Nine-Unit Boutique Hotel and Coffee Shop

Architect Virge Temme hopes the 9-unit boutique hotel and coffee shop on the corner of Mill Road and Spring Road will be the first LEED-certified commercial building in Sister Bay.

The plan commission approved preliminary plans for a nine-unit boutique hotel and coffee shop on the corner of Mill Road and South Spring Road.

“It is my hope that this ends up one of the first commercial LEED projects in Sister Bay,” said architect Virge Temme, referring to the certification of a building’s environmental performance and sustainable design for which Temme is well known.

The plan commission met the project with quick and unanimous approval. Temme and the developer Gustavo Gallardo still have to return to the plan commission with detailed site plans and architectural renderings.

Five Unit Inn on Mill Road

The plan commission gave Pat Quinn the green light to break ground on a two-story, five-unit inn at 2330 Mill Road, across the street from CHOP. Commission members did not like the architectural renderings provided by Quinn, but he agreed to change them in alignment with the commission’s requests.

The plan will also reconstruct a portion of Mill Road, introducing angled parking in front of the development. Village engineers will help determine if the angled parking plan is feasible and does not interfere with the lane of traffic.

Although the commission did approve an early-start permit, Quinn will not be able to construct more than a foundation until the plan commission and village board have approved the architectural rendering and development agreement.

Jackson estimates the project will bring in $750,000 in net new construction to the TIF.

Wedding Barn and Campus

The proposed wedding barn and campus on Fieldcrest Road will include vineyards, orchards, a guest house and honeymoon garden among its 30 acres.

The plan commission approved preliminary plans for a wedding barn and campus on a 30-acre parcel of land on the south end of Fieldcrest Road.

Bhirdo and Jackson both stated the presentation and materials provided to the commission by Sara Anderson and her husband Nick Hofkamp were the most impressive and thorough they have seen in their years of public service in Sister Bay.

But some neighbors to the property expressed concern about a late-night wedding venue in a residential district.

“To have that type of an event in a residential neighborhood I don’t think makes sense,” said Eric Weborg, whose mother Elizabeth lives in the house immediately north of the proposed project. “I believe it’s going to devalue our property.”

Anderson met with the neighbors to try to mitigate concerns about noise and nuisance and stated she is willing to modify the plans to accommodate the neighbors.

“I can’t lie and say there won’t be any noise but we’re going to do our best to completely block the neighbors out,” said Anderson.

The project will still have to go through the conditional use process and, under a new state law changing the conditional use process in regard to subjective neighborhood opposition, the village will have to set objective terms in the permit restricting certain activities such as noise levels.

Jackson suggested the Weborgs play an active role in setting the conditions of the permit.

Anderson is under a tight deadline, with an inflexible Jan. 8 closing date for the property contingent on approval by the village board. The board will need to send mailings to surrounding property owners and approve the project after a public hearing at a special meeting.

48-Unit Pre/3 Apartment Complex

The village board approved the development agreement for a 48-unit apartment building at the site of the former quarry behind Shopko, contingent on revisions to the agreement by Bhirdo and approval of the driveway configuration by Fire Chief Chris Hecht. The Brookfield-based developer Pre/3 will construct four 12-unit apartment buildings nearly identical to their Niagara Ridge development on Highland Road behind Johnson’s Park.

Steve Musinsky, who lives immediately south of the proposed complex, expressed concern about stormwater management on his property.

He suggested shifting two of the buildings a few feet north to expand the proposed five-foot setback from his property, which the developers will look into. The developers have not yet provided the utility and stormwater management plans.

Jackson did not give an estimate for the new construction value of the project and it does not fall in the TIF district.

Jackson’s last day in Sister Bay is Dec. 15 before he heads south to begin work as the village administrator of Waterford in Racine County. Sister Bay village officials are still accepting applications for Jackson’s replacement, who will oversee the fruition of these projects.

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