With just under four days until a planning commission meeting, there seems to be some controversy surrounding the construction of the proposed dental office by Matt and Molly Andrews.
A group of residents are concerned about taking away the park and recreational area that is currently used by St. Rose Catholic School children for gym classes and area children who reside near the parcel of land. The land in question is located on the 200 block of South Jackson Street next to the "Pit".
A petition was circulated that read, "We the undersigned would like the lot owned by the city of Cuba City on the 200 block of S. Jackson, which is currently being used as a park to be rejected and remain zoned as residential." Rich and Kim Hinderman live across from the parcel of land and their main concern is losing this green space kids use nearly every day. "We always hear about getting our kids outside to play away from the video games and computers," Rich Hinderman said. "There is nothing else in this neighborhood to use with this much area. I understand that there is no playground equipment, but it's nice to have a good-sized open lot for the kids to play on."
Hinderman is also concerned about the possibility of runoff from the proposed building's parking lot. "Right now we get water within 12 feet of my garage door when it floods," Hinderman said. "If this proposed building is constructed the driveway would be right across from my garage and the water would rush across the street and into my driveway."
Jim Bousley, acting mayor of Cuba City said the planning commission meeting will be held on Oct. 24 and they plan to listen to both sides of the issue and make a recommendation to the common council. Currently the land is zoned residential and at issue is rezoning the land to business to allow the construction of the new dental office to go forward. "We definitely would like to see businesses stay in town and evaluate what is in the best interest of the community," Bousley said. "I know in speaking with Matt and Molly Andrews they did evaluate other lots in town, however, they liked this lot the most."
According to Matt Andrews, it has never been his intention to take away from the green space or open lot from the kids.
Andrews said the lot is centrally located in the city and close to other medical facilities such as Cardin's Pharmacy and Medical Associates. "It's very convenient for Cardin's to be so close," Andrew said. "We do write prescriptions for our patients on occasion and it will be convenient to have a pharmacy so close."
Andrew said he spoke with Sister Georgianna Dorsey and Father Dave Flanagan who said the lot is seldom used and there are other options for the children of St. Rose to use.
Andrews said there will always be some opposition to change. "That is human nature and I hope the majority of the people will be in favor of the building," Andrews said. "It is a great looking building and we have run out of our space at our current location. We have the potential to remodel the existing building, however we weighed the pros and cons for that option and we chose to build new and possibly expand the business."
Andrews said another issue he has heard is the traffic for the business. "Currently we have a very low number of on-street parking for our clients and with the new building we will have off-street parking," Andrews said. "We only work four days a week and are usually closed by 3:30 or 4:30 p.m. each day therefore the traffic flow issue should be minimal."
"I don't have a problem with a dentist office being built in my neighborhood," Hinderman said. "I just feel that there are other options within the city including already vacant buildings and other lots for sale. I just want to see the park remain."
The meeting will be held at city hall at 7 p.m. and it will give the public a chance to voice their concerns. The planning commission will then pass on a recommendation to the common council whether to rezone the lot from residential to business at their Nov. 2 meeting at 7:15 p.m.