Residents Object to Rezoning for New Business
by Brandi Makuski City-Times Editor
Mona Simmons said she never expected to speak at the Stevens Point city meeting.
The Town of Hull resident lives in an area of the community most people never suspect wasn’t officially part of Stevens Point.
“We have such a nice quiet area, and I disapprove of the rezoning change,” said Simmons, who lives on Old Highway 18.
Simmons wasn’t alone. Over 400 residents of Stevens Point and Hull have signed a petition formally opposing the rezoning, and dozens have spoken publicly at local government meetings.
Objectors don’t approve of the rezoning of two patches of land- one located on Old Hwy 18 and another on the corner of Badger Avenue and Hwy 10- cited issues that include heightened noise and traffic, wetlands infringement and wellhead protection.
“My concern is the traffic there already,” said Pat Kitowski, another resident of Old Hwy 18.
“We have bikers, pedestrians and kids playing, and the rezoning will affect their safety,” she said.
“We’ve had concern in the Town of Hull that we’ve end of having a rezoning and a business there,” said Gene LaRose of Applewood Court.
“I wouldn’t mind an insurance office, or dental, but Kwik Trip- that kind of business has so much traffic in and out. And that’s 24 hours a day,” he added.
Stevens Point resident Barb Jacob said she wasn’t convinced council members had enough information for a vote.
“You have to ask yourselves, ‘okay, do we know everything there is to know about this?’ before you all vote,” said Jacob, a local business owner.
“I’m not sure you’re being given all the information pertinent to these decisions,” she added.
Mayor Andrew Halverson defended the city’s position by telling residents local government would not impede the growth of local business.
He added the rezoning should come as no surprise to residents, as the plans were publicly available in the Stevens Point comprehensive plan, adopted in 2006.