Menards mini-storage units are a no-go
JANESVILLE--A city plan commission member and a resident who both said they usually favor property owner rights could not give their blessings to a plan to turn the vacant Menards building on the city’s northeast side into mini-storage units.
The plan commission denied the request on a vote of 5-1, with commission Chairman Ed Madere, city councilwoman Kathy Voskuil and residents Douglas Marklein, George Brunner and Judy Adler voting “no,” and resident Robert Consigny voting “yes.”
After the vote, Madere told Menards attorney Ben Weiland to tell his colleagues the city and chamber are “most anxious to work with Menards to do whatever we can to enhance that property and make an A1 commercial development that would benefit the entire area.”
Menards opened a new store at 2001 Morse St., in 2008, and its former store and outbuildings at 2700 Pontiac Place have been vacant since. The company has converted two other vacant buildings in two other state cities into climate-controlled storage units.
City staff recommended against issuing a permit for the plan, saying the 15-acre parcel is in a prime commercial regional area in a gateway corridor to the city. Planning department member Duane Cherek said the property should be put to the “highest and best use” so as not to hurt other property values in the area and to adhere to the city’s comprehensive plan.
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