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Some neighbors opposed to changes for AT&T facility

June 11, 2014

Menomonee Falls — An addition to an AT&T facility in the village has been put on hold.

The Plan Commission on Tuesday, June 3 tabled discussion on a request by Exp U. S. Services Inc. to amend a conditional-use permit to allow site modifications to the AT&T communications facility at N4989 Pilgrim Road.

Neighboring residents strongly opposed the changes, which would allow a 2,000-square-foot addition, citing issues with the appearance and noise of the exisiting 10,000-square-foot facility. These concerns were intensified by the backup generator that would be contained in the addition, proposed for the west side of the building.

"Generators are noisy and we live it now; why do we need more? What's the purpose of it? It's ridiculous to have this institutional stuff so close to residential homes," said resident Linda Hojnacki, who added AT&T is right in her backyard. "Has anyone come to my backyard to see what I'm living with? No one does, no one cares. Because it's big business, it's AT&T."

But the name of the business does not change its rights, Village President and Plan Commission chair Randy Newman clarified.

"They're not in a residential neighborhood, they're next to a residential neighborhood," he said. "They do have inherent rights in using their property."

The intention of the proposal is to replace the old generators that point to the north with new ones that would exhaust to the south in order to more effectivley meet the growing needs of the facility.

"It's not to handle future growth as much as current growth," explained Exp U. S. Services Designer John Courchaine. "AT&T has experienced growth of usage at the current facility that has pushed it over the limits of the existing genrator and has driven this project to install a larger generator to be able to ride through power outages."

Understanding the need for growth, Newman and other commissioners said there were other issues to merit putting the project on hold, primarily as it pertains to the existing exterior appearance of the building.

"I think what we would like to see is full screening of a presentable fence," Newman said. "I think I could have built that fence and I'm not very good."

Members of the commission encouraged the applicant to return to its next meeting with a landscaping design with fence design, as well as additional clarification about the proposed location of the addition.

"I see too many issues with how this is laid out right now," said commissioner Chris Rolenc. " I personally don't like the location (of the proposed addition)."

NEXT STEP

WHAT: continuation of public hearing at Plan Commission meeting

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 8

WHERE: Village Hall, N8480 Pilgrim Road

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