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Planners urge condo conditions

Dec. 17, 2008

A set of conditions to ensure that a 21-unit condominium building proposed for part of the parking lot behind Fox Bay Cinema Grill fits in with its surroundings was recommended Dec. 16 by the Whitefish Bay Plan Commission. The Village Board will consider the matter Monday, Jan. 5.

Developer Boris Gokhman has asked the village to rezone the private parking lot behind Fox Bay, 302 to 334 E. Silver Spring Drive, so that the residential condos can be built. The municipal parking lot beside the private lot would not be affected.

Because the area is in the heart of the East Silver Spring Drive business district, village officials want to ensure that the building fits in and that it does not become rental property.

To prevent that, the first condition is that condominiums will be the only allowable use. That is buttressed by another condition that the declaration of condominiums will prohibit conversion to rentals or to tax-exempt status.

Further, the Plan Commission recommended not letting the project stall by making the rezoning conditional on all the units being ready for occupancy within five years from design approval.

The recommended conditions would apply to any project proposed for that space. They were deemed necessary to control whatever might eventually be built there, if Gokhman’s project is not built. Without the conditions, any commercial building could be built, once the rezoning goes through.

If the Village Board approves the conditions, Gokhman will still need a variance from the village’s 30-foot setback requirement along the North Santa Monica Boulevard side of the proposed project. And the proposed building will have to go through the normal village approval process.

The recommended conditions also include allowing four levels as long as the top floor is recessed to reduce the building’s visual impact. Gokhman said he plans a three-story building.

Jane Ford-Stewart can be reached at (262) 446-6607.

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