The longest public hearing in recent Sussex history came to a close Thursday at Village Hall.
After seven hours, separated by two separate meetings, 35 evidentiary exhibits, and testimony from residents, attorneys, and experts, the Plan Commission is ready to craft a conditional use permit for the Meijer development.
The Plan Commission met Thursday to resume a four-hour public hearing that began Nov. 28. Experts presented the storm water management plan and traffic studies to a packed Village Hall. Meijer representative Brian Randall, along with project designers, made the trek from Milwaukee through the blizzard conditions to provide answers to final questions Thursday.
“Meijer is honored that there have been people who stopped out to voice their support. We certainly respect the ones who have registered concerns, as well,” Randall said. “We can’t win over everyone, but we can do our best to bring a quality development to the village of Sussex. Our project has been made better by a lot of those questions. We’ve been put to the test.”
Village staff and the Plan Commission will now review the box of evidence over the next month to craft a list of conditions for Meijer developers to adhere to in order to move forward. Staff will present a draft of the conditional use permit in January, and the Plan Commission could vote in February to approve it.
Meijer is planning a 191,000-square-foot, 24-hour grocery and retail store on the corner of Highway 164 and County Highway K. The plans feature two drainage basins that would hold runoff from the development. Many residents downstream have raised concerns about the potential for flooding.
Only one resident voiced concern Thursday over the storm water management plan. Five residents’ letters of support for the project were read during the meeting. The engineer who designed the plan quelled some storm water concerns.
“We are improving the existing system. All the water would drain to the wetlands and ultimately to the Pewaukee River,” said Carrie Williams, the engineer for the storm water plan. “We are reducing the rate that it is going there now. Under the proposed we are reducing the runoff by 50 percent.”
An attorney representing two Lisbon families, Joe Cincotta, was unable to attend the meeting due to weather. Ironically, Randall, whose offices are three blocks from Cincotta’s, was there till the end Thursday. In his absence, Cincotta submitted a letter to the Plan Commission at 5:16 p.m. that listed 18 questions for commissioners.
Sussex Village Attorney John Macy read and addressed Cincotta’s questions during the meeting.