Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Plan Commissioner Jim Reiher raised objections to developers and citizens filing last-minute documents to the plan commission pertaining to a sign request by the Elmbrook Church. Reiher's objections pertained to the Hope Church project, not the Elmbrook sign request. The story has been updated. We apologize for the error.
City of Delafield – A plan commissioner has objected to developers and property owners who submit new details about their projects at the last minute during plan commission meetings and then expect commissioners to make a decision about the project without having time to review the new materials.
Commission members are often expected to review hundreds of pages of materials before the commission's meetings on the last Wednesday of each month.
The city clerk’s office establishes a deadline early in the month for applicants to submit materials. But the deadlines are often ignored by both city officials and developers/property owners who submit materials the night of the meeting.
“I am getting tired of these lengthy tomes that are handed to us at the last minute, and we are expected to make decision on them without having time to review the information,” said Commissioner James Reiher.
Reiher is the park and recreation committee representative and one of two lawyers who serve on the commission.
“People who come here want to be treated fairly, but that should work both ways. How about being fair to us?” he said.
Reiher raised his objections Sept. 28 while commissioners were reviewing a request by Hope Church to build on Indian Spring Road near Highway and I-94.
“I am just getting tired of it. I am going to talk to the mayor,” he said.
Mayor Michele DeYoe acknowledged the problem and said she wanted to confer with interim city planner Mike Court and City Attorney Jim Hammes to determine what the city can do to more strictly enforce the deadline for submitting materials to the commission.
In the past, some city officials have said privately they do not enforce the deadlines as part of an attempt to get projects approved without numerous commission meetings, which are expensive for both city government and the developers and property owners.
They pointed out that often the last-minute materials will not affect approval of the project and are submitted in response to questions or requests by commissioners at previous meetings.
However, at the Sept. 28 meeting, the last-minute submittals included a traffic volume study related to a church development project near Highway C and I-94 and the latest attorney revisions in a proposed new conditional-use permit for Rogers Memorial Hospital.
City Administrator Tom Hafner noted during an interview that any plan commissioner could vote against a project if the commissioner thought he or she had not received adequate information in a timely manner.