Two neighbors want privacy fence lowered to 6 feet
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Instead of holding another public hearing, the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee decided Wednesday to have county planning and zoning director Karl Jennrich handle a request to lower the height of a privacy fence called for on the west side of the planned Lakeland Area Dog Park near Walmart in Minocqua.
On the west side of the park, where residences are located nearby, an eight-foot wooden privacy fence is called for among the provisions included in the conditional use permit the committee approved for the dog park after holding a public hearing in early May.
However, two of the four lots to the west now have six-foot privacy fencing and the two neighbors with their own fencing have asked if the dog park could lower its fence to six feet so that it wouldn’t be higher than theirs, noted county land use specialist Kathleen Ray.
“They don’t want to see another two foot of fence above theirs,” Ray said.
When the issue came up as to whether another public hearing would be necessary to be able to change the fence height, Jennrich noted the proper way to change the permit conditions would be to hold another hearing.
“Well, technically you’re amending conditions of approval for the conditional use permit,” he said. “You should have another public hearing to discuss those changes.”
“Oh, for crying out loud,” committee member Jack Sorensen said of the prospect of having to hold another public hearing to be able to change the fence height.
County corporation counsel Brian Desmond said someone could challenge the fence height if another public hearing wasn’t held to change it, though he noted such a challenge wouldn’t be likely.
“Could someone challenge you on making this change without following the proper procedure? Yes,” Desmond said. “I think your pool of candidates for that challenge is certainly low, given that the property owners that are there are requesting this. But Karl is correct on what the legal procedure should be.”
Sorensen’s motion, which called for Jennrich to work with the individual property owners near the dog park to come up with a consensus to construct the wooden privacy fence anywhere from six to eight feet in height, was approved by the committee on a voice vote.
Stephanie Mulleady of the Lakeland Area Dog Park, who noted Thursday morning that she had yet to be contacted by the county planning and zoning department following the committee meeting, said a privacy fence that could be built to take the neighbors’ concerns into consideration would be six feet high adjacent to where the neighbors’ fencing is six feet and eight feet for the rest of the fence.
“We’re just trying to be good neighbors,” said Mulleady, who noted the dog park’s current plans call for the fencing to be put up the first week in August with the hope the park could open around late August in time for the Labor Day weekend.
In other action at Wednesday’s meeting, the committee held a public hearing and then approved a conditional use permit for the Peoples State Bank along Hwy. 70 near Hwy. 51 in Minocqua to be able to expand with a 430-square-foot addition, which includes an office area and a meeting room, and a 480-square-foot canopy for the addition of two drive-thru lanes.
The project, which will also include replacing the existing asphalt parking lot, is expected to start after Labor Day and be completed this coming winter, according to the permit report.