Germantown rezones land to attract new business

Published on: 5/21/2013

Germantown — In an effort to fill the remaining land available in the Germantown Business Park, village officials on Monday rezoned 25 acres to allow for industrial use.

There are 25.6 acres of land in the northeast corner of the Germantown Business Park, south of Mequon Road and east of Eisenhower Drive, that were initially zoned institutional and professional office in tax incremental finance district no. 4. The land on Monday was rezoned to limited industrial and to enhance the marketability of the property.

The Village Board denied this rezoning in 2008. However, not a single business or developer has shown interest in the land since, said Village President Dean Wolter, as the market for only office space is not there.

In an effort to fill the Business Park and close the TIF once and for all, village staff requested a rezone hoping to attract new development.

Wolter said the village 'has been very fortunate that our business park continues to grow.'

A rezone, he said, is an effort to build off that momentum.

'I requested staff bring this forward so we can open up other opportunities for development in what is considered the last large parcel of that Business Park,' Wolter said.

Sue Graff and Mark Kmiecik, who live on Mequon Road across the street from the business park, spoke during the public hearing, citing concerns over a potential increase in traffic and noise as a result of the industrial development.

There are deed restrictions at the Business Park limiting the amount of industrial development, including a 200-foot setback from Mequon Road.

Industrial use is also designated for the south portion of the land, with the plan calling for an office building along Mequon Road. This would create a buffer between residences on Mequon Road and the industrial uses.

Deed restrictions are enforced on case-by-case basis in the site review process, said Planning and Zoning Administrator Jeff Retzlaff.

Trustee David Baum said in years past there was considerable debate with residents in the neighborhood to the north of the business park, who opposed changing the zoning. Over the years as the park has developed, Baum said the attitude toward the park has softened and people are beginning to understand developers are not building simply office space.

He said the light industrial zone, which calls for office space mixed with warehouses or distribution centers, was a compromise.