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Revamped country club getting new monument signs

April 11, 2012

Mequon - Although some questioned the location of the signs, the Plan Commission on Monday night granted permission for the installation of two monument signs for the River Club of Mequon and Nines, a public restaurant at the club. The commission also approved a lighting plan for the club.

The 7-foot signs will be located at the corners of Highland road and Fieldwood Avenue and Freistadt Road and Ville du Parc Drive.

Those signs will be installed on land owned by the club. The signs and lighting are part of an ongoing upgrade to the club.

In an unexpected move, the commission also granted permission for a third sign. That sign is a directional sign, and the River Club did not yet have permission from the Woodlands Condominium Association to install it on their property. If the Woodlands does not grant permission, the owner will have permission to erect it in the right of way, according to the motion passed by a 6-0 vote of the commission.

"I think we need to put this into perspective," said member David Romoser, noting that the new owner is investing millions into the country cub. "What would have happened if he (owner Tom Weickardt) had not bought it?"

That brought a quick retort from resident Ken Sosnowski, who was seated in the audience.

"Someone else would have," he said. Sosnowski later said he believes that, because the zoning for the club is planned unit development, there should have been a public hearing on the sign request, but Community Development Director Kim Tollefson said that was not the case. A public hearing was not required for signs or lighting.

Romoser urged the commission to approve the directional sign in the area of the Woodlands rather than making the applicant return.

Neighbors not pleased

Several people living near spots proposed for the monument signs came to the meeting to object to them.

Ken Quant, 2700 W. Highland Road, said each sign is "nothing more than a billboard."

"I found out about this an hour ago while I was mowing the lawn," he said.

Ron Dorszynski agreed, asking why a blue directional sign similar to others in the city cannot be used.

"I think this is wildly inappropriate to place this a quarter mile away from our home," he said.

Alderman Dan Abendroth wondered why there was a monument sign at Highland and Fieldwood.

"It's three-quarters of a mile away from the club," Abendroth said. "Wouldn't it make more sense to have a directional sign there?"

Mike Consuelo of Poblocki Signs said that, because of the public restaurant, the owners consider it is important to have the monument sign at that location.

The commission took steps to make sure that the signs, which are illuminated, would be turned off when the businesses close.

The commission also approved a lighting plan that includes additional lights in parking lots, along Ville du Park Drive, and on several trees in front of the clubhouse. Lighting contractor Marty Peck of Creative Lighting and Engineering said there will be no light spillage onto abutting properties.

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