Monday, January 11, 2016

What you may not know: Week of January 11

All right, can we take a brief break from talking about yesterday's Packers game to discuss the items coming before the City of Appleton's committees this week?

City Plan Commission, Monday, 4 pm

A few weeks ago this body recommended approval for a zoning change that would allow a small new subdivision along the south side of Glenhurst Lane. This week a related item will come before the commission and we'll get a few more details about the plans for this site.

The action item this week is a preliminary plat for the site, now known as Pond View Estates. It will feature 13 single family residential lots and one outlot. You can see the details of the plat on the attachment on this page.

I don't anticipate this item being controversial: The last time it was discussed at City Plan, several residents of the neighboring Villas at Apple Creek came to speak in favor of the change.

Board of Health, Wednesday, 7 am

Some time ago now Alderperson Vered Meltzer submitted a resolution calling for the city to make a change to its ordinance regulating ownership of pet snakes. That item came before the Board of Health as an informational item in December and will be back before them as an action item this Wednesday morning.

The city's current ordinance, passed nearly 40 years ago, bans all snakes over three feet in length. This ordinance is both inconsistent with nearly every other community in the state and, according to some of what we've heard to date, creates some significant challenges for well-meaning snake owners whose pets may have grown larger than expected. The resolution calls for snakes up to six feet long to be allowed.

I'm sure this item will generate plenty of discussion in the weeks to come. I know snakes are a common phobia and there will likely be some level of "ew" factor in the conversation. I'm hopeful that we can get past that and have an honest dialogue about whether banning snakes between three and six feet is actually serving public safety in any real way.

Safety & Licensing, Wednesday, 6 pm

Way back in November I submitted a resolution calling for the city to make changes to its policy related to secondhand dealers and required holding periods for the items they purchase for resale. I wrote about this item in my December 1 update.

The item has been held on a couple of occasions to allow for further research into what's happening in other communities and to give more secondhand dealers an opportunity to weigh in. It will be back before the Safety & Licensing Committee on Wednesday as an action item.

During this process we've learned more about how some of our neighboring communities handle this, including Green Bay. Green Bay has moved to the seven-day holding period called for in the resolution, but also requires secondhand dealers to take a picture of all items that do not have a serial or identifying number.

This requirement strikes me as the best of both worlds: Having a digital photograph of all items sold to secondhand dealers will make it much easier for potential victims of theft to identify items that may have been theirs but would still allow the secondhand dealers in Appleton to operate on a level playing field with those in neighboring communities.

You can see agendas for all of this week's meetings and the full schedule at the city's Legistar page.

Keeping you informed on issues that may impact you around the city is one of my primary goals as an alderman. Good governance happens in the open, and I remain committed to raising awareness on the issues coming before us.


  1. Hi Kyle,
    Do you know what is going to built on the corner of French and JJ?

  2. The development you asked about is an assisted living, memory care facility. It consists of two buildings and 56 beds. The space was previously zoned commercial, but in October the City Plan Commission recommended a change to the zoning to better fit this proposed usage.

    You can find much more on the zoning change, a proposed site layout and building renderings via the attachment on this page:

    This facility should have relatively low impact on traffic. Neighboring property owners within a certain distance of the project (I don't recall the exact number off the top of my head) were invited to an informational meeting to express any concerns they had, and no complaints were received.

    Let me know if I can answer any other questions you might have.