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September 2014

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Schoenstatt addition plans move forward

Addition will be use as banquet, worship center

Town of Delafield - An addition to the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary facility off Cherry Lane moved forward April 4 as planners directed the town engineer to draft a conditional-use ordinance permitting a 16,000-square-foot addition.

A public hearing was held last month on the plan, and, while residents did not have any concerns about the addition itself, there were concerns about additional traffic on Cherry Lane and suggestions that a second access should be constructed to the site.

A traffic study on Cherry Lane showed that, on average, 247 vehicles use Cherry Lane on weekdays, and 226 on weekends, said town engineer Tim Barbeau. A traffic counter was placed at the entrance to the Schoenstatt property and showed there an average daily traffic of 147 on weekdays and 117 on weekends, Barbeau said.

To put the numbers in perspective, Barbeau said there are 1,700 vehicles on Northview Road on weekdays, 2,700 on Silvernail and 1,600 on Highway G near Sylvan Court.

Barbeau said that based on the traffic numbers, there is no need to improve Cherry Lane. However, the intersection of Cherry Lane and Northview Road must be addressed because of poor visibility, he said. "Regardless of this (Schoenstatt proposal) project, the Town Board will have to look at that intersection," he said.

As for a second access, Barbeau said that since representatives of the Schoenstatt Sisters said traffic would not increase much, if at all, he did not see a need for another public access to the 500-acre property. However, Barbeau said an access for emergency vehicles should be considered. If an accident blocked traffic on Cherry Lane, there would be no way for emergency vehicles to access the Schoenstatt property.

Barbeau outlined some options, and planners backed a proposal to use a farm lane on the adjacent Lloyd Williams farm. Williams said he would have no problem allowing emergency vehicles to use the gravel lane. Williams said farm equipment and semi-tractors drive on the lane, and it should be able to handle fire equipment.

Commissioner and Town Supervisor Clare Dundon said she had some concerns about the grade and the possibility that some equipment might "bottom out," damaging the vehicles.

Planners directed Barbeau to draft an easement agreement with Williams for an emergency access.

The commission tabled the matter and did not take a formal vote.

Plans call for an eventual addition of about 32,000-square-feet, but the project will be done over time in three phases. The first phase will ease a space crunch, said Sister Joanna Buckley at last month's meeting.

Buckley said the retreat center can handle about 100 people and the chapel about 250 people, but there are times when there are groups that come to the retreat center that number between 250 and 300. That creates an "uncomfortable situation," she said.

The addition would be used as a worship and banquet center.

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