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Wedding Chapel, Banquet Hall no Match Made in Heaven

Jeff Kohl, owner of Parkside Wedding Chapel, hoped to add a banquet hall to his operation.

Neighbors concerned about traffic, parking, noise and even views from their living rooms kept a Greenfield business owner from expanding his operation.

Jeff Kohl, owner of , 9008 W. Forest Home Ave., wanted to serve alcohol in a private, 1,100-square-foot banquet room that would eventually occupy the entire adjacent tenant space and use the banquet room in conjunction with the existing wedding chapel or for other private group functions.

But the Greenfield Common Council shot down the proposal 4-1 after listening to concerns from several residential neighbors at a public hearing Wednesday.

Most neighbors were concerned the parking lot, which would be redesigned to hold 26 cars, would not be enough, and that parking would spill over onto 92nd Street. 

A tearful Angela Cvikel, 5090 S. 92nd Street, said Kohl’s current customers park in front of their driveway and litter in their yard. She said the intersection of 92nd Street and Forest Home Avenue was already dangerous, and she collected 12 signatures from neighbors who were against the proposal.

Jamie Cvikel, Angela Cvikel's husband, said during a wedding ceremony, cars typically line the east and west sides of 92nd Street.

“I don’t think people want to look out of their front window and see a parking lot,” he said. “Basically, that’s what it is.”

Gary Brott, 5054 S. 92nd Street, lives three houses down from the wedding chapel and said the line of cars sometimes extends all the way to his lot.

Kohl said he was working with the county to put up no-parking signs on 92nd Street. Kohl also suggested that should the 26 parking stalls not be adequate, his customers could park on 92nd Street south of Forest Home Avenue, in Greendale.

Only Alderperson Linda Lubotsky voted in favor of Kohl’s proposal.

“I think they have a good idea. Whatever business goes in there, there’s going to be cars, there’s going to be traffic,” Lubotsky said. “The neighbors have to know they bought a house next to a commercial building. … Businesses have a right to be heard and be allowed to be in Greenfield.”

4 Greenfield February 25, 2012 at 01:21 AM
It does make sense for the wedding chapel to offer banquet facilities: one stop shopping. It seems like the nearby residents would not like any business that invades their neighborhood, unless maybe it was an Internet business with no customers. How can the problem be solved so that the business owner can make his business more successful yet the nearby homeowners don't lose the residential feel of their neighborhood? This appears to be an example where a proactive alderperson should be working with both entities to come up with a "reasonable" solution that mitigates the parking complaints (which appear to be the most annoying issue) while allowing Greenfield to welcome an enterprising and hopefully successful business to the community. Win-win. Note: I said "reasonable" solution, not perfect. People (strangers) park in front of my home quite frequently, disturbing my dog and sometimes littering my lawn with debris, and I live nowhere near a business, in the middle of a subdivision. I try not to let it bother me since, after all, it is a public street.
SaveOurParkway April 11, 2012 at 06:54 PM
The nearby residents have been fine with Parkside Wedding Chapel and the business's that came before it. But with expansion, the concerns of the neighbors are not only for themselves but for the many people who use the Oak Leaf Trail and Root River Parkway. Organized events close down the parkway (with barricades) and when there are dozens of cars parked on both sides of 92nd Street it is a very dangerous situation. Mr. Kohl has already paved over the county right-of-way to extend his parking lot by 3 stalls without a permit and there was no permit issued for his driveway on 92nd Street. A 'resonable' solution would be welcomed, but I'm not sure that will happen.

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