Willie Richardson: Board action confusing
This letter is regarding the Oak Creek Town Board meeting at 6 p.m. today.
The application by Dank Frank’s LLC for a marijuana grow license in Oak Creek has sparked controversy because of its location. Nearly 100 residents of Oak Creek signed a letter of objection against this said business at 208 S. Sharp.
Persons addressed both the Planning Commission and Town Board on the current definitions for non-buildable lot, variances, buffer yard, and the vision of the comprehensive plan for this area within the community. Under the existing code, Dank Frank’s could not be approved.
The Planning Commission and Town Board addressed these issues at various public meetings, from which Ordinance #630 emerged.
Ordinance #630 was purported to “clean up” conflicting language in the Land Use Code, yet the results seem to be far more reaching. Non-buildable and non-conforming lots become buildable with no requirement for a variance, with mitigation of the neighboring owners’ property rights and minimal adherence to the Land Use Code. Essentially, any size lot becomes buildable at the discretion of the Town Board.
Ordinance #630 has been approved but is not yet in effect. It is my understanding that some members of the Town Board were mistaken in what exactly they were voting on. Having attended the meeting, I, myself, was unclear of the ramifications of this ordinance. We need to revisit Ordinance #630 before it takes effect.
The new owners of 208 S. Sharp, Dank Frank’s LLC, purchased this lot knowing it was a non-buildable lot, as any title search would inform them.
The Town Board is changing its Land Use Code through Ordinance #630 to make this lot buildable under the pretense of “cleaning up the LUC.” These actions lack transparency, are misleading and create confusion instead of clarity.
The changes to these definitions and their effect apply to a minimum number of lots in Performance District #1. It appears that these actions are intended to allow a single applicant the right to build a marijuana grow, infusion manufacturing and retail storefront at a location that is opposed by many in the community.
If this action item is passed and Ordinance #630 becomes effective, the town of Oak Creek will lose the proposed new library, which is an anchor point for the community. Is it this Town Board’s wish to allow a marijuana operation at this location, thereby losing the opportunity to educate and enlighten current and future generations with a long overdue library?
Other new marijuana businesses are building in more appropriate locations in town without controversy or citizen objection. It has been stated by a member of the Town Board that they represent and are “the guardian for citizens.” The Town Board should not be acting as an advocate for this business at this location against the will of the people.
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