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Village of Merton

Mr. Kaniewski is proud to announce a continuing relationship with the Village of Merton to provide municipal planning expertise. Merton is located in north central Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

Bruce headed the planning team that assisted Merton through a tremendous growth period the past decade. According to recently released U.S. Census figures, in 2010 Merton had a population of 3,346, up from 1,926 in 2000, for an increase of 73.7%. Accordingly, the number of housing units increased by 456 dwellings, or 76.3%. The average household size remained stable at 3.28 persons per occupied housing unit. The housing market remains strong with an exceptional 96.8% occupancy rate.


What's New in the Village of Mukwonago

The sluggish national economy has not derailed the advancement of numerous projects in the Village of Mukwonago. Below is a list of recent development and planning activity in the Village.

  • Plans to construct a 57,500 square foot YMCA to serve the recreational needs of southern Waukesha County and northern Walworth County were approved. The proposed facility is located on Wolf Run, near the interchange of I-43 and Highway 83. Land for the facility was graciously donated by the D.N. Greenwald Family Trust. Future additions are anticipated. The site will be professionally landscaped and covered in prairie grass to assist with storm water run-off quality and maintenance reduction.

  • A 60-bed senior assisted living complex has been approved for six acres in the southwest side of the Village along County Trunk Highway ES. The first phase will be a 20-bed Memory Care Facility. Following phase will be twin 20-bed Community Based Residential Facilities. The complex continues the Village objective of providing quality and life cycle housing for Village residents of all ages.

  • CI Banker Wire & Iron Works gained approval for a 50,000 square foot addition to their facility within the Mukwonago Industrial Park.

  • Destiny Christian Center was approved as a Conditional Use to relocate into their own building on Main Street (County Trunk Highway ES) south of Bay View Road. They are currently a tenant within Chelsea Lynn Shopping Center in Mukwonago. The new facility will have the ability to seat up to 240 attendees for church services.

  • Brooklife Community Church recently held services in their new location at the intersection of Highway 83 and Bay View Road. The church now occupies one-half of the building once the site of the Mukwonago Wal-Mart that is now located within the Gateway Business Park area of the Village south of I-43. The Village is pleased the building is now fully occupied with the church, Tractor Supply Company and Peebles. Mr. Kaniewski and Village officials worked with the property owner and the new tenants to update the parking lot with landscaping and the building with attractive facades unique to each tenant yet with common design elements to tie-together the entire building. The church previously held Sunday services in Clarendon Elementary School.

  • The growth of the Village during the past ten years is now reflected in the recently announced 2010 U.S. Census population figure of 7,355. Village population grew by 19.4% over the 2000 U.S. Census count.

  • Work continues to be on schedule for fall completion of the Mukwonago Community Library expansion. After completion the new library will have 27,000 square feet to meet the needs of a growing community and surrounding area.

  • Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home recently held an open house to showcase their new 8,000 square foot facility.

  • Sullivan Dental constructed and opened a new office across the street from Village Hall.

  • A new ordinance setting standards for all signs to be placed within the Village has been completed. A draft of the new sign ordinance is currently under review by the Plan Commission. It was prepared by Mr. Kaniewski in a team environment with Supervisor of Inspections Joe Hankovich and Assistant Building Inspector Bob Harley.

  • With Village building officials Mr. Kaniewski prepared a study of the locations of motor vehicle uses as allowed by the zoning ordinance within the Village. The result was a recommendation for additional definitions to clarify the allowable uses, new recreational vehicle categories, and adjustments of which zoning districts allow motor vehicle related uses in accordance with the direction of the comprehensive plan. A draft of the proposal to amend the zoning ordinance as recommended is currently under review by the Plan Commission.

  • Mr. Kaniewski drafted new zoning ordinance standards to allow secondary suites within single family homes to address the request of many Mukwonago residents. Secondary suites are also known as in-law units, but the standards were prepared to allow relatives of all ages with special needs to comfortably reside in a secondary suite without creating a multi-family dwelling. The new standards were adopted by the Village Board.

  • Several minor land divisions (known as Certified Survey Maps) within the Town of East Troy in Walworth County have been approved by the Village Board under its extraterritorial plat review jurisdiction.

  • The first of several buildings of the 38 unit Black Bear Residential Condominium development are now under construction at the north end of the Village. Village staff and officials worked together with property owner Citizens Bank of Mukwonago to revise prior approvals down from 54 units that did not go forward due to national economic conditions. Each building will now house two side-by-side residential units with most of the buildings overlooking the picturesque Vernon Marsh, while having an advantageous location near a grocery store and other shopping.


What's New in the Village of Dousman

Activity remains at a high level in the Village of Dousman. Below is a list of recent policy, planning and zoning activity in the Village.

  • The Three Pillars Senior Living Communities continues to serve area residents with special needs by providing quality housing and care, which is on the campus of the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons. At 400 N. Main Street the organization recently completed expansion of their health care, rehabilitation and wellness facility. Accenting the prairie-style design of the addition, prairie grass has been planted within a series of rain gardens to clean storm water run-off before flowing into the adjacent Bark River. Village officials are appreciative of the efforts of Three Pillars to meet a community need of quality care and create an impressive architectural statement at the northern entrance into Dousman's downtown.

  • The Coffee Vault, a daily stop of many local residents for coffee, muffins, sandwiches and many other fine treats will now have consignment art, furniture, cards and jewelry available for purchase, in the tastefully restored original bank building. The Coffee Vault has been a fixture in downtown for the past five years.

  • G. Brock Auto Repair at 375 East Ottawa Avenue recently expanded its parking lot. The business opened in 2009.

  • Mr. Kaniewski worked with the Plan Commission to prepare a proposal allowing signs to be located along Main Street within downtown to advertise businesses located behind the street frontage. The Plan Commission identified several businesses behind Main Street that could be found more easily with a sign. Mr. Kaniewski researched and proposed standards to allow signs with quality aesthetics. One such business that could benefit from the proposal is Whales Tails, an indoor archery range that opened for business over a year ago. The proposal is currently under consideration by the Village Board.

  • Village population has increased to 2,302 people, according to recently released figures of the 2010 U.S. Census. The population increased 45.3% from the 2000 U.S. Census count.

  • The increase in population means the Village now has the ability to issue another liquor license as allowed by State Law. Anticipating that multiple businesses may request the additional license, the Village Board asked Mr. Kaniewski to prepare a policy with objective criteria for the Village Board to follow in consideration of a new liquor license. The main criterion of the policy is to promote economic development while maintaining the minimum criteria for issuance of a new liquor license as required by State Law. The policy is currently under consideration by the Village Board.

  • In late 2010 the Village Board amended regulations in the zoning ordinance pertaining to the placement of fences on residential and business properties in the Village. The regulations clarify where and what type of fences can be installed, and more importantly, removed the requirement of Plan Commission approval and a building permit for most fences. Direction to amend the fence regulations was provided by the Village Building Inspector Tom Marks and his assistant, and Mr. Kaniewski coordinated with the inspectors to draft the proposal the Plan Commission recommended for approval to the Village Board.

  • Early in 2011 the Village Board adopted a policy that provides a summary of when Development Fees are charged to developments or building construction. Development Fees are also known as Impact Fees. The fees apply to land development to offset the cost of Village services provided to developed land, as allowed by enabling legislation of the State of Wisconsin. The Village charges fees for park acquisition and development and connections to sanitary sewer and water mains. The policy clarifies if and when the fees apply to building additions. Mr. Kaniewski drafted the policy with the input and review of the Village Clerk, Village Engineer, Village Attorney and Village Building Inspector.

  • Dousman Auto Repair was given approval early in 2011 to open for business at 167 West Ottawa Avenue.

  • New homes continue to pop-up in the Village within subdivisions and on new lots divided as recent minor land divisions (Certified Survey Maps) in the southern area of the Village.


What is planning, from the 34th president

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

This iconic quote from the World War II Five-Star General and 34th President of the United States presents a view of how he lead during World War II, and how his view remains valid long beyond his passing in 1969. The quote means the process of planning had to occur to put all the pieces in place to achieve the stated goals and objectives. Once the battle began it was equally important to adjust and react to changing and unanticipated conditions. Many D-Day invasion movies correctly portrayed that the invasion did not occur according to plan, such as paratroopers landing out of position. However, General Eisenhower had clear goals and objectives.. All involved in the invasion from the Five-Star general down to the newest private saw to it that they followed through to achieve the goals and objectives of the invasion.

This is Mr. Kaniewski's view of municipal planning. There will always be twists and turns and unexpected conditions that arise in getting from Point A to Point B. With sound goals and objectives it does not matter how a community gets from A to B, as long as all decisions made along the way get to Point B.