Business owners along Wisconsin Avenue discuss eliminating parking | Business

PEWAUKEE — The Village Board on Tuesday will discuss possible action on downtown parking along the lakefront. Along that area of ​​Wisconsin Avenue lies a strip of businesses that could be affected by a possible decision.

Sara Stevens, owner of Beach Bum Bakery, located across the street from the lakefront, said if they remove public parking along the strip, she will likely go out of business. Stephens is a few blocks from the nearest parking lot, which is already reserved for three other businesses and is independently owned.

“Who’s going to park a few blocks down for a cookie?” asked Stevens, who said most of her customers admit that when there’s no parking available right in front of the store, they don’t stop.

She has a parking lot behind her business, but she thinks customers will be reluctant to carry the heavy cakes she sells all over the store, given that she doesn’t have a back entrance.

When Wisconsin Avenue is closed for events, Beach Bum Bakery loses between 30 to 50 percent of its revenue for the day. If they took away the public parking lot located on the same street, they could lose so much revenue every day without the parking options, Stevens said.

Other business owners weigh in

Brendan Moore, owner of Twisted Vine Wine Shop and Bar, is all for eliminating public parking spaces along Wisconsin Avenue. Like Beach Bum Bakery, Moore’s business has a parking lot in the back and no rear entrance, though he’s not worried about that.

According to Moore, the biggest complaint he gets from his customers is that they can’t see the lake while in the outdoor seating area because cars in the parking lots block their view.

“The reason I’m in favor of it is because during the week, 90 percent of those spots are occupied by people on their beach, and they don’t come here (his store),” Moore said.

Moore has heard various possible options, including removing select spots or removing only parking on certain days of the week. None of these possibilities have been confirmed.

Scott Hoggatt, owner of VeloCity Cycling, is also all for eliminating the parking spots. However, he is sympathetic to businesses that may be affected by this.

VeloCity Cycling is one of three businesses that share the independently owned parking lot, and Hoggatt said most of the parking spaces in front of his store are used by people going to the lake anyway.

“I understand that for Beach Bum Bakery, they are very dependent on that parking lot because they don’t have a back entrance to their store,” Hoggatt said.

Since the bakery is several blocks away from Hoggatt’s business, he believes the parking solution should vary for each business.

“I support her (Stevens) and I don’t want the bakery to be shut down because of the parking lot,” Hoggatt said. “I would love to see them do a tiered solution.”

According to Stevens, the village council wants to prevent people from crossing the street without using the crosswalks. Stevens suggested that instead of removing the parking lot, they should put a fence or coastal planters along the edge of the path to direct people to the crosswalks.

At the June 21 board meeting, Village President Jeff Knutson asked Siepmann Realty Team President Jim Siepmann for more information about fencing off the center in front of the businesses. The barricades cost $1,250 each, which adds up to $48-50,000. More options were discussed at subsequent meetings.

Stevens asked the village board to let her keep the two 15-minute parking spaces in front of her bakery and designate them for her store only. The board said they could not privatize public parking, and Stevens could not confirm whether the two spaces would be enough.

A petition started by Stevens to prevent the parking lot from being taken away has about 75 signatures from other businesses and her customers. She plans to bring it with her to the next village board meeting on Tuesday at the Village Commons, 235 Hickory St.

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