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Additional Space for Harley Celebration Denied Due to Concerns About Control, Alcohol

Possible confusion over control and too much alcohol for the area were two reasons the city denied a permit last week for additional space for vendors on Layton Avenue during the Harley-Davidson 110th anniversary celebration.

The City of Greenfield denied a permit last week for one proposed part of Harley-Davidson’s anniversary celebration because of concerns about event control and responsibility, access to the area for emergencies, and potential over-availability alcohol.

Scott Campbell of Promotion Design LLC had requested a temporary use permit for the Towne Center parking lot at 6100-6196 W. Layton Ave. as a place for vendors during the nine-day event next summer.

Campbell, co-owner of Boot Connection, had planned to lease the front, grassy part of the lots for merchandise and beer vendors during the celebration.

Campbell has already been given permission to use the Bed & Bunks, 6121 W. Layton Ave., parking lot for vendors during the event. Bed & Bunks is immediately next to House of Harley-Davidson. For both the 100th and 105th celebrations, the Bed & Bunks parking lot was part of the approved area; however, House of Harley handled it.

With the Towne Center area, city officials denied the permit, citing concerns about event control and responsibility, access to the area for emergencies, and over-availability of alcohol, according to a letter from Community Development Manager Chuck Erickson to Campbell. 

Single point of contact for city

The 110th celebration follows successful previous years’ anniversary events, which were tightly managed and controlled by House of Harley and whose success can be directly tied to the close working relationship between the various city departments and House of Harley staff, Erickson said in the letter.

“This gives the city a ‘single point of contact’ for any issues or concerns related to the event. The overarching concern is the potential for two separate entities to blame each other for issues related to noise, disorderly incidents and trash,” Erickson said.

Last week, Campbell and John Schaller, owner of House of Harley, argued at length when the permit was up for discussion.

Another reason for the denial is that the City of Greenfield, in conjunction with the House of Harley, submits a permit to Milwaukee County for the street closure and associated acitivities. The process becomes overly-complicated if the city is required to negotiate and plan with two separate entities, Erickson said.

Too much beer for the area

Another concern was Campbell’s desire to have a beer tent. Erickson noted that beer is already going to be available within the closed street area managed by the House of Harley and the Bed & Bunks area, in addition to Wendt’s.

“Adding yet another place for alcohol products to be available somewhere on the Towne Center parcel is simply too much for this small area,” Erickson said. Erickson noted that the Towne Center is adjacent to a residential area, as opposed to the Beds & Bunks lot which is adjacent to commercial properties, not including the cemetery.

Access for emergency vehicles

One final concern was that no tents or booths could be allowed in the east drive approach of the Towne Center as Campbell proposed because it creates a conflict with the House of Harley layout, which allows an access opening across Layton Avenue for emergency vehicles. Additionally, proposed tents or booths on the west side of the property adjacent to 62nd Street is actually city right-of-way and wouldn’t be allowed.

Layton Avenue, a county-owned road, is expected to be closed from 64th  to 68th streets with limited access to the businesses along that stretch. Milwaukee County has yet to approve the permit request by House of Harley to close it, but did so for the 100th  and 105th  anniversaries.

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