Concerns include Tibbets Elementary School safety, increased traffic

By Kellen Olshefski

Correspondent

Residents of Sugar Creek Township are standing together in opposition of a proposed rezone near Tibbets Elementary School for construction of a Dollar General.

The request that came before the Town Board last month calls for a rezone of part of a tax parcel from A-2 to B-2 zoning to accommodate the construction of a 9,100 square-foot Dollar General retail store with additional parking and utilities. The property in question is part of the Jean A. Brummel Trust and located just east and on the opposite side of County Highway A from Tibbets Elementary School.

After the Town Board meeting last month, one resident estimated upwards of 100 residents showed up to voice concerns and show opposition about the rezone request advancing to the Walworth County Board for approval. At that meeting, the Town Board opted to table the issue. It will be discussed at the Plan Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m., tomorrow, Oct. 10. If the commission votes to pass the rezone request, it will then go back before the Town Board for consideration.

An online petition stating residents’ opposition to the rezone surfaced recently on change.org, outlining the reasoning behind many of the residents’ concerns. As of today, the petition had garnered 236 signatures from Sugar Creek Township residents.

The petition is only intended for residents of the township who are 18 years of age or older, though it states if the rezone were to be approved by the Town Board and passed along to the County Board, a new petition for those who reside outside of the township will be started.

The petition states that residents do not want the property to be rezoned from A-2 to B-2 and are not only opposed to the construction of a Dollar General store, but will not patronize the store if the property is rezoned, sold and built on for this purpose.

According to the petition, residents’ main concerns are the increase of traffic along Highway A and where it intersects with Highway 12/67, along with other effects it would have on the area. The petition notes there have been numerous accidents at the intersection, including several fatalities.

The burden of traffic in the Tibbets Elementary School area is also a major concern for residents, as they believe the addition of a Dollar General would increase the burden during times of already high traffic, such as before, during and after school (specifically bus and parent drop-off from 8 to 8:40 a.m. and dismissal at 3:25 p.m.) and special events and programs, such as after school sports, holiday programs, conferences, PTA family fun nights and more.

Additionally, the petition notes concerns over an increase in semi-trailer traffic for deliveries to the store, as that would disrupt the existing high volume of residential and commuter traffic in the area and put greater strain on the physical structure of Highway A, ultimately leading to larger and more frequent repairs along that stretch of the road.

Residents who signed the petition left a variety of comments voicing their opinions against the rezone, including that Sugar Creek needs to be kept rural, that the store would be too close to homes and the school, and that the business isn’t needed since nearby Elkhorn already has everything residents could need, including a Dollar Tree store.

Attempts to connect with town officials about the issue have been unsuccessful. Relevant comments will be added to this story if and when they’re received.

 
 

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