Cindy moved to Brookfield in 1994 with her husband and three children in tow. It's been a very interesting seventeen years.
I discovered last week the new building at Capitol and Calhoun is to be a bank. A bank with a drive-thru. (Or two or three. I was hoping to get you a picture from the video of last night's Plan Commission meeting, but it wasn't very good quality for me, which I realize might be a problem on my end.)
Anyway, my whole problem with this new development is that it's a drive-thru in B-1 zoning where a drive-thru is not to be allowed. The code (law) states:
17.52.010 Permitted uses. A. Any of the following retail and customer service establishments only after their location and plan of operation are submitted to and approved by the plan commission; and further provided, that all operations and activities of all uses in this district shall be conducted wholly inside a building or buildings except the parking of vehicles and as listed within the provisions of this district. Residential units shall be permitted in this district only as part of a building containing, and in conjunction with, one of the permitted uses herein enumerated; provided, that the number of such residential units per building shall not exceed the number of business units in such building. 1. Art shop; 2. Appliance store; 3. Barber shop; 4. Beauty parlor; 5. Bank or savings and loan office; (...)
In additon there's a Neighborhood Plan for the corner that's being ignored. The Plan Commission even mentions it's in violation of the adopted plan. Never mind the law, the Plan Commission said last night, build it anyway. So it's approved.
I will offer one commissioner voted no, but I didn't recognize the voice, and the video didn't allow me to tell. A call to city hall was not returned to give me the name. It'll be out in the minutes someday, and I'll try to remember to come back and fill in the blank. (Alderman Mark Nelson voted no. Updated 9/14 at 11:30 a.m.)
Here's the deal, and everyone at City Hall knows it: This property needed to be rezoned, and someone got lazy and tried to slip with through without. Now, the neighbors and I realize there's little use in fighting City Hall, and that to do so we'd be forced to hire attorneys at our own expense.
Sadly, I rather think this is the leadership's plan for Brookfield. Bully it through and dare people to care.
As I mentioned the other day, it doesn't directly affect my property. I don't think I'll be the one to step in. But, I have to say after years and years and painful development fights in this community it literally makes me sick to my stomach to think it's all being tossed away now that elected leadership knows people will have to pay up to fight bad implementation. It's downright disgusting our own Aldermen would vote to violate the law, and I'll be really sad to see a number of my former peers slide right into the lap of this decision.
It blows me away that Mayor Steve Ponto, an attorney, wouldn't even ask about the use not fitting the zoning.
Okay, on a lighter note, I was able to snag this snapshot from the video:
I may not be as into local politics as I used to be, but I could have sworn he retired as Director of Administration a while ago.
I'll leave you with a final thought for the evening. No, it's not your backyard - this time. Obviously should the time come they won't care about yours, either.