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Friday

July 2014

25

Third time wasn't the charm for restaurant parking plan in Pewaukee

Village of Pewaukee - It's two steps forward and one step back for Tom Davis, owner of 221 W Wisconsin Ave., who was turned away Jan. 10 from his third meeting with the Village of Pewaukee Plan Commission.

"I am very much encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest in the idea, but unfortunately I think we still have to ask the applicant to come up with more ideas to somehow secure some solid, onsite parking," said Village President Tom Calder.

While the meeting was just a consultation and no action or motion was required by the commissioners, Davis was asked to find more solutions for his parking dilemma and also return with signed agreements for a few of his current ideas.

Davis, and his business partner Chris Trifilio, hope to put a restaurant on the site of a former gas station. They already have three Milwaukee-based restaurants interested in operating out of that space. According to a formula, which Village Planner Mary Censky explained exists in some form within all communities, they would ideally need 34 onsite parking spaces.

There's been discussion on a 27-space compromise if the employees agree to park offsite. Censky said the restrictions would be hard to enforce.

Davis said he has secured some additional parking from nearby businesses: John Laimon at Smokey's Baitshop is willing to add 10 spaces, while Bob Zimmerman is also prepared to add five more spaces near Becky's Blissful Bakery. Davis has been asked to bring binding documents from these businesses back to the commission and to the village attorney for review.

Davis also expressed some interest in introducing valet parking, adding that at least one of his potential vendors already offers this service in Milwaukee.

Even so, not all commissioners were convinced. Calder said that it's difficult to depend on the availability of those borrowed spaces because, as private properties, there's no guarantee that the same owner will still have the parking lot five or 10 years from now.

"I just have to say, if we were voting tonight and you could bring in all these different things, I still couldn't vote for it," said Commissioner Tom Reilly.

During the hourlong conversation, Davis countered, saying the parking issues mostly exist in the summer. He also pointed out that many small businesses don't operate in the evening and beachgoers leave around 4:30 or 5 p.m. - and his restaurant wouldn't be busy until the evening hours.

Davis also reported that he's working with Canada Pacific Rail to procure about 12 more spaces at the northern edge of the property. Those conversations have been productive, he said, and he expects to have an agreement in the works for the next meeting (it still needs to go through the village planner).

"I was amazed, frankly, being a large international company and me being the little peanut here at the corner of a piece of property; I was rather expecting considerable pushback - absolutely nothing. We're very encouraged by that," Davis said.

Davis plans to return to next month's Planning Commission meeting.

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