Date:      November 7, 2006

To:          Town Planning Commisison Members

From:     Department of Community Development Staff

RE:          Agenda Item 1 – Variance – Wayne VanHandel


The applicant approached the Town about moving a single-family home from the Town of Winnchester to 1190 Kluck Street (008-0541-03-03) in the Town of Menasha.  Originally, the applicant requested access to Kuehn Court.  Town staff did not feel it was appropriate to have residential access with the commercial/industrial traffic on Kuehn Court.  Chapter 15.14 of the Town of Menasha Municipal Code restricts access from this lot to Kuehn Court.


The property currently has right-of-way on two sides, Kluck Street and Kuehn Court.  The Winnebago County Town/County Zoning Ordinance states that there shall be a 30-foot setback from any lot line that abuts a right-of-way.  In this case, the applicant would be required to have a 30-foot setback from Kluck Street and Kuehn Court, with a side yard setback of 10-feet and a 25-foot rear yard setback.  This would require the applicant to turn the house so that it faces Kuehn Court with a driveway running along the eastern property line, which leaves little room for a front yard, and would not blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.


The lot is 81.74-feet by 187.71-feet.  The site plan provided by the applicant below illustrates that if the house were to face Kluck Street, the side yards setbacks would be 10’3” and 7’, which meet the Zoning Ordinance.    

Findings of Fact

·         Staff finds that the setbacks for the structures, with the approval of the variance, complies with the Winnebago County Town/County Zoning Ordinance.

·         A variance also have to meet the following three criteria:

1.       Exceptional Circumstances – There must be exceptional, extraordinary or unusual circumstances or conditions applying to the lot or parcel, structure, use, or intended use that do not apply generally to other properties or uses in the same district and the granting of the variance would not be of so general or recurrent nature as to suggest that the Zoning Ordinance should be changed.

·         The lot has an access restriction to Kuehn Court, therefore, it should not be considered a front yard.  This is unique in so far as there are only a handful of lots that have access to two right-of-ways with an access restriction to one of them.  Most corner lots do not have access restriction to either of the rights-of-way.

2.       Preservation of Property Rights – That such variance is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of substantial property rights possessed by other properties in the same district and same vicinity.

·         The residential lots in this neighborhood utilize Kluck Street as the front yard and have two side yards.  The two lots just to the west have the same dimension as this lot.  Without the variance, the front yard of the house would be 15’ with the remaining 15’ being a gravel driveway.  Behind the home would be a 14’ ‘backyard’.

3.       Absence of Detriment – That the variance will not create substantial detriment to adjacent property and will not materially impair or be contrary to the purpose and spirit of this Ordinance or the public interest.

·         Kluck Street is a residential street and Kuehn Court is a commercial/industrial street.  Facing a house to Kluck Street will have no adverse affects on the surrounding lands.  The applicant has talked to the property owners on Kluck Street and reported that they support the variance because they feel if the house does not face Kluck Street it will devalue their property.

Staff Recommendation                            

Staff recommends approval of this Variance.