Mequon officials continue Outpost discussion

Residents speak out for and against project

Mequon - Outpost Natural Foods was a hot topic this week in Mequon after residents voiced concerns at a Planning Commission meeting Monday, which was followed by the first reading of an ordinance for the development at the Common Council level.

The city's zoning map has to be amended to allow for construction of the grocery store at the northeast corner of the intersection of Wauwatosa and Mequon Roads. The amendment was approved by the Planning Commission in January with final approval coming from the Common Council at a later date.

On Monday the Planning Commission approved a site plan, a survey map, and a 30-condition use grant. Alderman Dan Abendroth was the only commissioner to vote against the proposals Monday, saying the project requires too many waivers and doesn't fit the zoning of the area, suggesting Outpost look in neighboring Thiensville.

Opposition and support

Residents of the adjoining condo development Heron Pond Carol Butzke and Cathy Czaja again came before the commission to speak out about the development. Though they said they approve of Outpost as a business, they couldn't agree with the development so close to their homes.

But a number of other residents, many of whom are already members and drive to the Capitol Drive location, on Monday spoke in favor of the proposal.

Commissioner David Rosomer commented that he wouldn't like to see Mequon reject a developer who is taking neighbors' concerns seriously. Another subsequent developer might not be as accommodating.

"You have to be careful what you wish for," he said. "We have an applicant whose dedication to the community and neighbors is extraordinary."

Adjusting boundary lines

No residents spoke about Outpost during the Common Council meeting Tuesday. However, the council did adopt an amendment to one of the city's tax incremental financing district's plan and boundary lines that allows the redevelopment project to move forward.

Two parcels were added at the corner of Mequon and Wauwatosa roads to the district, which now lands all four parcels for the proposed Outpost inside the TIF.

A few alderman did voice concerns about moving the boundary lines and its impact on Outpost's decision to build locally.

But, based on site selection criteria used by the firm, Tollefson said "staff is confident" Outpost is committed to the site if details can be finalized.


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