Wednesday, June 20, 2018 Daily News
Industrial park plan advances in Germantown
Officials receive an earful from proponents, opponents at meeting
By Dave Fidlin
For the Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
GERMANTOWN — The appearance of the Interstate 41 interchange at Holy Hill Road could look dramatically different in the years ahead on the heels of a decision made Monday.
After taking comments from residents and other interested persons on both sides of the issue, the Village Board green-lit a trio of technical issues linked to the proposed redevelopment area.
The board made several pivotal decisions at Monday’s meeting, helping pave the way for Zilber’s vision to an area that has historically been designated for agricultural use. The board approved an amendment to the village’s 2020 master plan, officially rezoned the land and agreed to extend sanitary sewer service to the area.
The board held a public hearing before making the votes. Several nearby
property owners expressed reservations with the conceptual plans being presented.
Resident Judy Kautz, who lives along Meadowlark Lane, said she was concerned with the speed of the review process. She said she also was concern! ed by a characterized lack of information on the proposal.
"We weren’t even told there was a discussion," Kautz said. "It’s been going so fast. It’s being pushed — at a record pace."
Kautz offered up a litany of concerns, including the traffic impact in the surrounding area as tenants begin operations in the industrial buildings.
Fellow Meadowlark Lane resident Kerry Wick offered similar sentiments about the pace of the planning.
"I get a sense of inevitability with this project — that it’s a foregone conclusion," Wick said. "The deadlines can’t be the driving force of this."
Trustee Terri Kaminski was among the elected officials who weighed in during deliberations after the hearing concluded. Kaminski said she agreed the project is moving swiftly, but defended the process.!
"Just because something comes up fast doesn’t mean it’s bad," Kaminski said. "Opportunities do come up fast. You have to take advantage of them."
Several property owners are selling their existing land to Zilber Property Group.
Longtime farmer Brian Kazmierczak is among the sellers in the area. He said he made the decision to sell his land because agriculture in the area has become increasingly difficult as nearby areas have become progressively more urbanized.
"I can’t think of a better company to bring to Germantown than Briggs and Stratton," Kazmierczak said, pointing to part of the reason he supports the rezoning.
Jeff Hoffman specializes in industrial services with Milwaukee-based commercial real estate firm The Boerke Co. Although his firm is not involved in this specific project, Hoffman said he was compelled to attend the meeting and offer his professional insight.
While the overall waning state of bricks-andmortar retail has been a common talking point in recent years, Hoffman said the opposite scenario is happening in the industrial sector.
As a whole, Hoffman said Washington County currently has a 1-percent vacancy rate for existing industrial-zoned developments.
"Industrial markets ... have been robust," Hoffman said. "Manufacturing is coming back to America."