Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Commission says yes to Reedís request
Chairman votes no because of uncertainty about industrial zoning in that area

by Steve Targo

June 06, 2013

LINN — All four requests before the plan commission May 28 were approved, but a town official voted against one of them.

Jim Weiss, town and commission chairman, was opposed to the request by Jon and Jeff Reed, of Reed's Construction, to rezone about 0.65 acre of the former welding shop in Linton, W4070 and W4062 Linton Road, to industrial.

However, the rest of the commission voted in favor of the Reed's request, which also was to obtain a conditional use permit to allow them to remove the existing buildings and replace them with two pole barns that would be used for welding, construction and mechanical work and equipment maintenance.

Outside, the Reeds want to store boat lifts and piers.

On the phone, Weiss said the request is expected to be discussed at the June 10 town board meeting.

It will go before the board with the commission's favorable recommendation, then the board will recommend action to Walworth County officials, who have the final say.

Weiss spoke in general terms about the request during a previous phone interview.

He said the property "lost its luster" and the Reed's plan would clean it up.

But on May 31, Weiss said given the "hodge podge" of zoning uses in the Linton area, he wasn't sure changing the zoning of the property to an M-1 class, which allows light industrial applications, was the right thing to do.

"My personal viewpoint is this," he said. "The property has split zoning right now — manufacturing on the east side and residential on the west. It's surrounded by agricultural on the east side and residential on the north and west side.

"Therefore, the question is, with agricultural and residential being there, is (M-1) the proper zoning? I struggled with accepting a manufacturing parcel being surrounded by agricultural and residential (properties)."

But none of the neighbors complained about the request, Weiss said.

"They want the property to look nicer, as I want the property to look nicer," he said. "The question is, is this the solution?"

Other commission members thought so.

Weiss said Cully Pillman, Tom Gardiner and Peter Borgo spoke in favor of the request.

Although there were comparisons between this request and one made last year by John Trossen that town officials denied, one key difference is the Reed's property had two zoning classes attached to it.

In a previous interview, Weiss had urged town officials to look at which zoning class would be appropriate for the property.

In addition to it being surrounded by agricultural and residential uses, the former welding shop is across the street from a former restaurant which had been converted into apartments.

Other requests

Aside from the Reed's rezone/conditional use request, the commission unanimously approved:

n A request to amend the conditional use permit for Matthew and Mary Polyock, of Farm City Elevator, N473 Zenda Road.

The Polyocks want to extend the existing grain pad on the property, which is zoned A-4 for agricultural-related manufacturing.

Weiss said the commission approved the permit amendment with the condition that the Polyocks install varispeed fans. He said they have an open grain storage area, and the grain is covered with tarp. To keep the tarp down over the grain, they use fans, Weiss said. However, neighbors have complained about the noise of these fans, which only operate at one speed, he said.

The idea is, with varispeed fans, they won't be operating at full blast all the time.

Weiss said Jake Polyock, of Farm City Elevator, suggested the varispeed fans.

Engineers are also looking at moving the operation to the east side of the property, which would place it further from the neighbors, Weiss said.

n A rezone/conditional use permit request from Walter and Lynn Lottig, which involves about 2.1 acres of A-1 prime ag land at W3505 Highway B. In addition to asking for a rezone to A-5, the Lottigs requested a conditional use permit to allow the land to be used as a planned residential development. Weiss said the Lottigs are selling their house, which sits on the 35-acre property, and this would eliminate the possibility of the new owner subdividing the property.

n A variance request from Allan Polyock to allow the location of grain bins, grain dryer, leg elevators and an ag structure at W3725 Builders Court.