Germantown residents fill Village Hall to support Rockfield Short Pour owner

Concrete company given two years to move

Oct. 16, 2012

Germantown - The public spoke and the Village Board answered accordingly Monday, approving a permit for small-business owner Pat Josten so he can continue his business in a residential area for the next two years.

There was not an empty seat in Village Hall as residents piled in to show support for Josten and urged the Village Board to approve a major home occupational conditional-use permit so he can continue his Rockfield Short Pour business.

Village staff members had recommended discontinuing Josten's permit, which allows him to operate his concrete company located at W1782-N12882 Division Road, in a single-family residential zoning district. Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeff Retzlaff said the business has exceeded the boundaries of the permit and is becoming an industrial eyesore in the residential area.

"The operation has grown too extensive to satisfy intent of home operation," Retzlaff said. "The operation has changed the residential character and appearance of the property."

Neighbors wholeheartedly disagreed.

After listening to residents strongly back Josten and his business for an hour and a half, trustees approved the conditional-use permit, but only for the next two years. During that time, Josten has to either relocate his business or come into compliance with the village code detailing a home-based business permit.

"He's a good neighbor, he's a good citizen and there's no reason not to find a good way to keep this business in that area because it's not causing a problem," Germantown resident John Parrish said.

If Josten does not find a new location for his business in the next two years, he must comply with permit regulations. For example, Josten's business has four employees. Home-based businesses in residential areas are limited to two employees.

Josten's business is a nine-month, seasonal operation. Between eight and 14 truck deliveries of raw materials are made each week.

The Planning Commission initially recommended hours of operation between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and that the permit be extended for one year. The Village Board voted to extend the hours of operation to 8 p.m. and approved the permit for two years.

"I want to be careful we don't create loopholes here that can hurt us down the road," Trustee Terri Kaminski said. "On the other hand, it does take several months to get anything done with permits so one year is not enough time. I think it's reasonable to give you two years, that's it, and either you have to comply with the residential use of that property or not, but it will definitely take you longer than a year to do something like that and try to run your business."

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