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Potential of crowds to hear about Sussex Meijer proposal may mean bigger meeting place

Hearing may move to Community Center

Dec. 18, 2012

Village of Sussex - Two major economic development projects are going to be reviewed during a unique series of Plan Commission meetings scheduled for Thursday afternoon and evening at Village Hall and possibly later at the community center.

Brookfield computer software entrepreneur Art Sawall is scheduled to present a conceptual outline of his proposed residential and retail development on the southwest corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue.

Architectural renderings for five 30-unit apartment buildings and two retail buildings to be located in the Mammoth Springs development will be presented at a Plan Commission meeting scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Village Hall.

"The project is still in the beginning stages and has many steps to complete before more detailed plans are submitted for final approval by the Plan Commission. The purpose of the agenda item was to offer the developer a chance to introduce himself and the project and no action is necessary or sought at this time," according to a memo to the Plan Commission from Kasey Fluet, assistant development director.

Sawall may also discuss what plans he may have for rerouting the Bug Line Recreational Trail. The trail presently travels through the former Mammoth Springs Cannery Company site and may have to be rerouted to facilitate the redevelopment of the site as proposed by Sawall.

Sawall's proposal is one of several items on the agenda involving the development of new businesses in the village.

After the agenda for the 4:30 p.m. meeting is completed, a second Plan Commission session is scheduled to begin about 6:30. It is a continuation of the Nov. 28 public hearing into a proposed conditional use permit for the development of the nearly 200,000-square-foot Meijer grocery and household goods super center at the corner of highways K (Lisbon Road) and 164.

Nearly two dozen citizens, village officials and Meijer Company representatives testified at the four-hour hearing at the Community Center.

Milwaukee Attorney Joseph Cincotta persuaded the Plan Commission to continue the hearing until Thursday, December 20, to provide him additional time to review company documents and decide if he wants to cross examine some of the individuals who spoke at the hearing.

The village code gives the Plan Commission the option allowing the cross examination of the individuals speaking at public hearings on conditional use permits.

Cincotta represents two neighboring Lisbon families who own land near the project site and have raised questions about the project.

However, at a special meeting on Monday night, Dec. 17, the Plan Commission unanimously agreed it would not issue subpoenas for some consultants for Meijer's to testify at the Dec. 20 and would not permit Cincotta to cross examine witnesses during the hearing.

The commission members determined that they were receiving sufficient information regarding the project and its impact on the local community without requiring subpoenas or permitting cross examination.

Cincotta argued that he wanted some consultants for Meijer's to answer his questions regarding how they developed evidence supporting their assertions that the project would not adversely affect the storm water drainage in the neighborhood and that the project would attract new businesses and have a positive impact on the local economy.

Village officials have said that if there are a sufficient number of people who want to attend the continuation of the public hearing, the 6:30 p.m. hearing may be moved from Village Hall to the Community Center.

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