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Kingsford apartment plan revised once more

May 6, 2008
By JIM ANDERSON, News Editor
KINGSFORD — A developer hoping to build apartments on city property is no longer seeking a zoning change.

Kevin Kleinert of Valders, Wis., told the city council Monday that a closer inspection of the property revealed a configuration that would comply with the zoning map.

Kleinert wants to build up to three eight-unit apartments at the south end of Garfield Street on property that is zoned for multi-family housing.

The project could eventually include a pair of four-unit apartments and up to six duplexes for a total of 44 units. Kleinert had first proposed up to six eight-unit apartments for a maximum of 48 units.

The proposed site, located south of Hoadley Avenue and west of Grant Street, is north of Kleinert’s River Pointe condominium project. That development is under construction upstream from Menominee River Park.

Last month, Kleinert withdrew a zoning application for the apartments after dozens of neighboring residents protested.

Kleinert then went before the Kingsford Planning Commission with a revised plan that called for a conditional use zoning permit. The commission agreed last week to schedule a formal hearing on the application, but a zoning change is no longer a factor.

The new plan is possible because a greater portion of the project area is zoned for multi-family housing than first recognized, Kleinert said. The eight-unit structures now extend slightly east and west, with a gap to accommodate the restricted area.

“I think it’s a great plan,” said council member Michael Flaminio.

The city will continue to seek input from citizens. Details of the new proposal will be discussed at a planning commission meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 27.

The council, meanwhile, will hold a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. Monday, June 2, on whether to vacate certain right-of-ways within the project area.

Kleinert hopes to acquire the 4.85 acres by July 1, but City Attorney Bruce Brouillette said that might be an aggressive timetable.

The developer’s proposed purchase price is $25,000, with a guarantee to build one eight-unit apartment by June 2009 and a second by June 2011.

Mayor Jeff Sjoquist said it’s too soon to talk specifics.

“Negotiations will be a subsequent step if we get there,” he said.

A portion of the project area consists of former city gravel pits.

Kleinert said that if he acquires the property soon, he’ll be able to restore it in step with his other developments. “So that when we’re all said and done, it no longer looks like a gravel pit,” he told the council.

Kleinert’s eight-acre condominium community along the Menominee River calls for up to 21 duplexes (for a total of 42 residences). His investment could eventually total $10 million to $15 million.

A neighboring subdivision, with about 19 housing sites, will cover 14 acres. Kleinert is also acquiring 18 additional acres of city property upstream for a second subdivision, bringing the total River Pointe project area to 40 acres.

The subdivisions will provide about 36 potential housing sites, with Kleinert taking on all of the infrastructure costs except for $225,000 in city commitments.

In other action Monday, the city council:

— Heard City Manager Darryl Wickman report that spring rubbish collections in the city are under way and that water main flushings are to begin next week.

— Agreed to explore the cost of a new permanent outfield fence at the Lodal Park softball field, formerly used for men’s slowpitch but recently converted to girls fastpitch. Kingsford Area Little League is requesting a four-foot fence placed 200 feet from home plate. The city will look into possible reuses of the six-foot fence now placed at 270 feet.

— Accepted the low bid of $3,198 for the purchase of a water leak locator from HD Supply Waterworks of New Berlin, Wis., provided it meets specifications.

— Scheduled a public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Monday, June 2, on the city’s 2008-09 fiscal year budget.

Jim Anderson’s e-mail address is

Fact Box


— To be discussed
at planning meeting
— 6 p.m. May 27
— City Hall



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