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The original item was published from 6/4/2021 8:50:03 AM to 6/13/2021 11:05:02 PM.

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Posted on: June 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Plan Commission Reconsiders and Approves Parking Special Exception

Stowell and Capitol

Plan Commission Reconsiders and Approves Parking Special Exception
On Tuesday, June 1, the Plan Commission reconsidered and approved a parking special exception that had been requested by Catalyst Partners for a potential 42-unit, multi-family redevelopment at the northwest corner of E. Capitol Dr. and N. Stowell Ave. Nine units within that redevelopment (20%) have been proposed to be affordable for residents with income below 50% of Milwaukee County’s median income.
The special exception grants a reduction in the required number of enclosed parking spaces from 74 (1.75 per unit) down to 43 (1.02 per unit). Those spaces could be accommodated on the first floor of the redevelopment and would be accessible from N. Stowell Ave. 
The special exception had been previously approved at the Plan Commission’s February 23, 2021 meeting, but had been appealed by neighboring residents and remanded back to the Plan Commission by the Village’s Board of Appeals to further the record. After deliberating the 13 factors for consideration of a special exception listed in 535-51B, the Plan Commission voted affirmatively to grant the exception by 5-2. 
Should the redevelopment move forward as currently contemplated, the next steps would involve submission of plans to confirm zoning conformance, and review and approval by the Design Review Board.  

What are the roles of Village Entities when a Development Project is Proposed?
All development projects are unique and can range from small-scale improvements to multi-parcel redevelopments. The following general information outlines the various roles and responsibilities that Village entities play in the review and approval process for developments in Shorewood.  The Village’s adopted regulations and processes seek to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the Village, and strike a reasonable balance between the rights of property owners and the continuing interest of the Village.

In conjunction with the Village’s Zoning Code (Chapter 535), the Village’s Planning & Development Department administers the first review step in any development or land use proposal, whether that be for a commercial or residential project. Based on the outcome of that review, the project may move straight into permitting if allowed “by-right,” which ensures that projects are built, inspected and maintained to code. The initial review may also pass the application onto various Boards or Committees for further consideration, including public notice and comment.

The Village’s Plan Commission has been granted the authority to consider applications that require conditional use permits or off-street parking special exceptions. These land use or development considerations are allowed within the Zoning Code, upon review of specified factors. If the Plan Commission believes those factors are satisfied, they may grant approval. The Plan Commission also provides recommendation to the Village Board for amendments to the Zoning Code; and, requests to rezone or split properties, or vacate portions of public right of way.

Shorewood’s Design Review Board is responsible for reviewing and approving architectural and aesthetic improvements related to new structures or exterior alterations that require building permits on both commercial and residential properties. They also review specific improvements such as front- and side-yard patios, circular driveways, outdoor commercial lighting and all sign permits.

The Village’s Board of Appeals has been established to hear appeals from aggrieved parties of decisions made administratively by staff, boards or commissions, as detailed above. They also review physical variances and special exception requests related to non-conforming structures.

Among other responsibilities, the Village’s Community Development Authority has been established to recommend and oversee community development programs, as approved by the Village Board, including various forms of financial assistance. In Shorewood, those have included neighborhood and business loans, façade grants and Tax Incremental Financing (TIF).

At the highest level, the Village Board of Trustees reviews and approves changes to the Village’s Zoning Code and community development programs, which in effect set the prior actions and authorities into place. Any change to the contents of these regulations or programs, or the process by which they are administered would require their consideration. Such considerations are often identified through planning processes, initiatives or agreed-upon future agenda items. As related to development, the Village Board is the approval body for special privileges on the public right of way, applications for rezoning and TIF requests.

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