Whitefish Bay to decide on space for temporary businesses

Nov. 16, 2011

Whitefish Bay - A proposal to create a permanent space for events and temporary businesses within the heart of the business district will be acted on next week by the Whitefish Bay Village Board.

The so-called events pad could host a number of functions, including the seasonal farmers market and local garden retailer Stein's pop-up Just Plants store. The proposal was first presented at a Village Board meeting last month by Matt Schuenke, former assistant village manager.

The events pad tentatively has been etched out on village-owned parking space behind the former El Guapo's restaurant building at 342 E. Silver Spring Drive. The 65-by-75-foot space on the northern end of the lot has been proposed, though there had been discussion of shifting it to the southern end as members of the Plan Commission wrangled over the proposal Tuesday.

Administrative Intern Jerod Hanaman has been overseeing the initiative since Schuenke's departure. Based on the village's proposal, the cost of constructing the events pad would be recouped through revenue generated from lease agreements with each civic organization and business approved to use the space.

If plans do proceed, each entity - civic or commercial - would likely have to come before the Plan Commission to obtain a conditional-use permit. Other issues, including traffic, could be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The events pad discussion was borne out of the Plan Commission's denial of Stein Just Plants' proposal to operate its pop-up store next spring at a village-owned parking lot along Beaumont Avenue. The plan was scrapped in September because of parking concerns.

- Dave Fidlin

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