Waupaca project moving forward
Plan commission approves site plan
By Angie Landsverk
The proposed development project on the former Kraft facility site in Waupaca is moving forward.
During its Wednesday, July 8 meeting, the city’s plan commission approved the site plan review for James Moyer’s project at 705 W. Fulton St.
In addition, the commission recommended approval of Moyer’s requests for a rezoning of the property and a special use permit for his project.
Those requests now move on to the common council, which will meet on Tuesday, July 21.
The parcel under consideration is currently zoned Light Industrial District, and the proposed zoning is Strip Commercial District.
Brennan Kane, the city’s community and economic development director, told the commission the proposed zoning is in line with the zoning in that neighborhood.
Moyer requested a special use permit, because his proposal includes the operation of a clinic.
The permit would allow that to take place in the building.
His proposal calls for the construction of a 10,000-square-foot building on the site.
Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology would lease 3,500 square feet of the space, and Anytime Fitness would lease the other 6,500 square feet.
Moyer and his wife Jennifer currently own four other Anytime Fitness facilities. This would be their sixth project.
“We’re just looking to get going at this point and getting this approved,” Moyer told the plan commission.
Last month, the commission approved a conceptual site plan for the project.
During that meeting, Moyer suggested flipping his proposed site plan from the east side of the property to the west side to expedite construction, and he did do so.
Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology wants to be in the facility by mid December.
The proposed location of the building requires the demolition of the former Kraft facility and the alignment of a new shared driveway access point with Neuville Motors next door, instead of two adjacent access points.
That means Moyer would be required to close the access point to the west, which is located on the Neuville Motors property.
The new access point would provide cross access between Moyer’s proposed project and Neuville Motors.
During last week’s meeting, Kane expressed his opinion about the proposed location of the facility.
The plan commission suggested at its June meeting that Moyer consider removing a row of parking in front of the building and then move the building forward 20 to 30 feet.
Moyer’s latest site plan moved the entire project forward 50 feet.
However, in his executive summary about the project, Kane said the plan still included what he describes as an “excessive amount of parking” in the front of the building.
Staff recommended that Moyer relocate some of the parking to the rear of the building, he wrote in that summary.
“Staff has initiated several meetings with the applicant regarding moving it forward,” Kane told the plan commission. “However, the applicant wants to leave it where it is.”
Moyer said those involved in the development of the project reviewed options for reconfiguring the parking lot in front of the building.
Some parking was removed to bring the building forward.
Employees will park behind the building, with the spaces in front meant for those visiting the clinic.
In addition, Moyer is willing to dedicate a portion of his entire frontage on Fulton Street for a potential future expansion of the street.
The city’s consulting engineer is currently looking at the street’s commercial corridor and forecasting present and future needs.
While plan commission members understand Kane’s opinion regarding minimizing asphalt parking in front of the building, Commissioner John Kneer noted that Moyer’s willingness to dedicate a portion of his frontage for a possible future project would result in the street then moving closer to his building.
“In the end, he’s developing this site,” said City Administrator Henry Veleker. “I think it’s hard to compel him and make him do this placement.”
Veleker said it would be different if the project was going into a new area and the idea was to set a new tone for development.
However, in this case, the area’s aesthetics are already there, he said.
Veleker said the fact that Moyer is willing dedicate to some of his frontage and to create a shared access with Neuville Motors are both positives.