Jeff Maiman, owner of the Wheelhouse Restaurant, distributed this letter at the Oct. 2 meeting at Farmington Town Hall.
Readers may view the site plan in the Waupaca County Post article on the meeting.
For over 37 years I have owned and operated the Wheelhouse Restaurant and have always strived to provide a quality dining/entertainment experience. At the same time, by my nature and as a matter of good business practice, I have also strived to be a good citizen of the immediate community in which I operate. Most of you know me personally and/or have been a valued customer of my establishment and would, I hope, agree with the foregoing statements.
I am aware that some members of the Chain O’ Lakes community (and particularly the residents along Pleasant Park Lane) are concerned with my plans for a parking area on land I recently purchased at the corner of Pleasant Park Lane and County Highway Q. It is regrettable that those who appear most concerned have not sought to contact me directly and are therefore, I believe, misinformed about my intentions. I hope by this communication to clear up any misconceptions you may have and set the record straight as to how I arrived at this juncture and why I believe my small project to be beneficial for all concerned.
First, the facts. I purchased the property in question to alleviate a (mostly) summer parking problem at the Wheelhouse. I employ a large staff to prepare and serve the food and beverages you all enjoy and to park employee vehicles at the restaurant would greatly reduce parking available for customers. To eliminate this problem, I some years ago began renting space on the west side of County Highway Q exclusively for the use of my employees. My employees walk to work from their vehicles and my customers therefore have had less of a challenge finding a parking space on or near the restaurant grounds.
Unfortunately, the parking rental arrangement no longer made business sense to me for various reasons and I began to explore other options. I settled on the Highway Q/Pleasant Park Lane location, but only after being assured by Waupaca County zoning officials that my plans for an employee parking area were a permitted use on the land I sought to purchase.
So what are those plans? … Truth be told, I have not sought to do anything other than what I was assured I could do on my property and I have tried and I believe succeeded in creating a plan that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sensitive. Most significantly, the Site Plan accomplishes one of my central goals: minimal disruption to the area in which it will be located.
As you can see, the employee parking area will be in the center of the existing stand of trees, leaving a “tree perimeter” as a buffer between my property and others. The plan calls for appropriate fill and a gravel base, alleviating if not eliminating potential run-off.
Lighting (necessary for employee safety) will be LED downlighting, avoiding the “spray” associated with traditional outdoor lighting. I am also exploring light-sensitive “on” switches and timer-controlled “off” switches.
All of the foregoing were planned with the neighborhood in mind and not because of restrictions imposed upon me by zoning requirements or otherwise.
I trust the information I am providing to you will eliminate the wild speculation and baseless rumors that have recently been reported to me. You can accept this communication as an honest overview of what I intend to do.
I think we all recognize that the area in which I do business and in which you live (for some, seasonally) is not only beautiful but vibrant.
Automobile parking is at a premium and in short supply and I am merely trying to address a problem that could spill out in other, less desirable ways. I firmly believe my approach is sensitive to what I believe your concerns to be and beyond what the law requires of me.
Owner Wheelhouse Restaurant