‘Moby Dick in a bathtub’
On Dec. 7, the City of Platteville Plan Commission was bombarded with a blitzkrieg maneuver designed to fast-track the pizza pie block takeover at the top of Main Street.
Confusion was evident in the minds of the board members and concerned citizens, for what began as an administrative error correction of the Main Street grid map and vacating Jones Street (public parking spots) to OneiroLLC (John Patakos) turned into a 50-minute dissertation by Delta 3 Engineering exposing the enormity of the monstrosity. I looked at the photos in awe. Knowing the logistics of this neighborhood, I said to myself, they’re going to put Moby Dick in a bath tub. Little did I know at that time this plan had been devised months ago by a group of civic exploiters whose under handed tactics are just beginning to come into focus.
There is more to this ongoing saga than meets the eye, but let’s stay with the visual. Imagine the chaos from demolition and construction on both sides of Chestnut Street between Main Street and Pine Street. Gridlock becomes self-evident; safety issues abound. These intersections and road were not built to handle, nor can they be changed to accommodate, the added influx in traffic. This is a state highway; where is the study whose science and design keep the roads safe from such ill-conceived pitfalls?
When I posed this question to city officials, the response was “that’s not the city’s problem; that’s up to the developer to deal with.” Isn’t that like handing the key to the hen house to the fox? I think public parking, traffic congestion and safety are concerns the city should address.
The Historic Preservation Commission was set to review this pizza pie in the sky renovation. We won’t know the updraft of their decision until after this letter prints, since it meet Tuesday night.
To me, this is nothing more than a rendition of the university student center attached at the hip to the historically remastered Klaas building. A hundred years apart, old and new slapped together. Folks, a picture of U.S. Grant and Justin Bieber as Siamese twins might be seen hysterical, but certainly lends no historical value to our downtown district.
Maybe this type of blend is part of the new strategic plan B. Remember, the microbrewery that John Patakos bought came from the failed attempt of running a microbrew pub in the current student center at the university. Interesting.
One last analogy if I may. Imagine if Piggly Wiggly decided to double its size while removing more than half of its parking lot. People would think the Pig had gone mad. Then Piggy would say, come to market we have an agreement for you to park down the hill at the Kwik Trip; just be careful when you carry your groceries to your car.
The proposed tower of pizza with a capacity of more than 700 people provides on-site parking for only 11 cars. This type of expansion will only take away downtown parking from the businesses that need it to survive. The pizza pie pipe dream has more holes in it than a 50-pound wheel of Swiss cheese. It’s time for the premeditated movers and shakers to show their hand before this deal falls onto the backs of the taxpayers, again.
Not enough parking
The Platteville Common Council will be voting on the discontinuance of Jones Street Jan. 12. John Patakos wants to add on to his building, which is known as Steve’s Pizza.
If the council votes Yes to discontinue this part of Jones Street, then John will receive this portion of the street without paying the city for it. He will be receiving free parking places that city people are now using. If he does not do his addition he will still receive this property. There are questions that need to be answered before the council votes. For example:
• How much parking is required for the addition?
• How many handicap parking spaces are required?
• What are the working hours of his business?
Patakos said he was going to lease 30 parking spaces from Mound City Bank. I have gone past this area during the morning and noon hours and there are not 30 available parking spots. Parking is an issue in this area of town. South Court Street is one block away and has 10 businesses that require parking. They are the post office, senior center, Richards Insurance, Fitness for Life Personal Training, Jayne’s Family Hair Care, Driftless Market, Massage by Kelsey, The Ticket, Anchor Bank, apartment building owned by John and Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. It will be difficult for senior citizens and customers to access these businesses if parking is taken for Steve’s Pizza.
I feel the council should vote no on the expansion of Steve’s Pizza until some of these issues are resolved to the satisfaction of those directly affected.
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