February 27, 2024 Board Meeting

Town of Richmond
Board of Supervisor’s Meeting
February 27, 2024 7:00pm
Chairman Karbash called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present: Jeff Karbash, Supervisors Tom Kraus, Steven Wade, Dave Overbeek, Susan Miller. Absent: Treasurer Ann Seaver.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Motion to approve the agenda by Overbeek, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Motion by Miller to approve the February 5, 2024 minutes, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report
Motion by Miller to approve the Treasurer’s report as received, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Board Reports
Karbash – on agenda
Overbeek – Some minor issues with the Charter Spectrum cable installation crew, both he and Roadman McManaway have addressed them.
Miller – on agenda
Wade – on agenda
Kraus – on agenda
Sheriff’s Report
Deputy Hintz reports that the Richmond Township call volume has been between 7 and 8 per day which is normal. There have been a couple of Fraud reports in February. There were 13 rescue calls in January, 6 in February, nothing serious in Richmond Township fortunately.
Roadman Report
Roadman McManaway reports that he has been doing cleanup following storms that blew through the area. McManaway attended a webinar on the Agricultural Road Improvement Program (ARIP). He reports that the program is offering $50 million dollars of funds availability in the first round and $100 million thereafter. Requirements for qualifying for the program are detailed and extensive. The Dept of Transportation will require partnering with local agricultural suppliers (farmers) to apply for the funding. Detailing Labor saving, fuel cost saving, estimates of yield improvements, detailed mileage reductions and harvesting efficiency improvements. Once that a Class B highway is approved for funding and improvement, it can never be reclassified back to class B again.
McManaway also reports that he has been surveying the Township to identify and report on the Dept of Transportation’s Bridge/Culvert identification program. Richmond Township has only one culvert that qualifies under the guidelines for this program and it is located on Brown Road. He has completed the form and submitted the information to Walworth County Highway dept. as required by the program.
Land Management
Lawrence Jacob Certified Survey map is submitted to the Board for approval of the map and the driveway location(s).
Clerk Hayes advises the Board that the County is also seeking the Board’s approval on the driveway locations in addition to the certified survey map.
Motion to approve both the map and the proposed driveway location by Overbeek, seconded by Kraus, approved unanimously.
Badger Bob’s application for rezone and conditional use permit with variance request.
Karbash introduces the agenda item and explains that counsel for Badger Bob will go first, followed by counsel for Lundbergs and Reeds, (immediate neighbors).
Karbash recommends that the Board will listen to comments in favor, but encourages the audience to only add a new comment, not repeat comments already made.
Karbash explains we will begin with the rezone first, and then the conditional use permit request.
Karbash asks all comments to be addressed to the Board, no back and forth between audience members.
Counsel Christina Green, asks if we can discuss the variance request and then table this until the next meeting. Karbash advises this would be an appropriate way to hear all thoughts for and against and table any decision on the variance request until the next Board meeting.
Counsel Green begins by describing that a portion of the West end of Badger Bob’s parking lot (specifically 0.140 acres) is currently zoned C-2. This portion of land was acquired from the County in 2010 by the previous owner Neil Brewer subsequent to the relocation of Johnson Road’s connection with County Road A. The land has been used as a parking area. The remainder of Badger Bob’s property is zoned B-2 and the petition for rezone is to convert the C-2 portion to B-2 status consistent with the rest of the property.
Karbash asks if anyone wants to speak for the rezone.
Bob Cullen introduces himself representing the bank that holds the mortgage on the property. He advises the Board that the Bank had no knowledge that this small portion of the property was not zoned similarly to the rest of the business and that it was an oversight that this was not rezoned when it was originally acquired. He opinions that this should be completed and encourages the Board to approve the rezone.
Supervisor Kraus opinions that he doesn’t see how the County could have claimed a right to this property as it used to be a Town road that was subsequently relocated leaving this small parcel as a part of the business. Kraus opinions that this should have become Township property.
Karbash asks if there is anyone who wishes to speak against the rezone. Counsel for the Lundbergs and Reeds, Chad Pollard, states they have no opposition to the petition for rezone.
There being no more public input;
Motion by Miller to approve the rezone as submitted, seconded by Overbeek, unanimously approved.
Board Supervisor Miller advises that she does not believe that action should be taken on the variance request as this was not specifically identified on the agenda.
Karbash asks opposing Counsel Chad Pollard if he feels it is acceptable to proceed with discussions around the variance request allowing the parties to discuss the merits of the request without taking any action.
Counselor Pollard agrees this is acceptable.
Karbash then advises the audience that we will proceed with discussions concerning the petition for a revision in the conditional use permit which includes a request for a variance.
Counselor Green begins by stating that the original and current conditional use permit was approved by the County in 2009 for the then owner Mr. Neil Brewer. Bob Johnson purchased the business at Sheriff’s sale in 2020 during a global pandemic. That original Conditional use permit allowed for food and beverage service within a 540 square foot outside pavilion. Recognizing that patrons preferred an outside venue during the pandemic Johnson increased the outdoor space by 1,718 square feet to a total outdoor pavilion space of 2,258 square feet. Because the increased square footage exceeds 25% of the original 540 square foot conditional use permit, the County has determined that a new conditional use permit is required. The County has taken the position that because a new Conditional use permit is required, parking must be brought into compliance with current code requirements thereby eliminating 14 of the historical parking spaces because of a 25 foot setback provision from the road right of way.
Elements of the Conditional Use Permit Request;
1.) Increase the allowable outside food and beverage serving area from 540 square feet to 2,258 square feet.
2.) Allow the serving of food and beverage from 11:00am to 11:00pm seven (7) days per week, year-round.
3.) Allow live music and fundraising auction events inside the pavilion from 11:00am to 10:00pm seven (7) days per week, year-round.
4.) The existing Bar/Restaurant building is 1,460 square feet. Coupled with the petition for outside pavilion area of 2,258 square feet this would equal 3,718 square feet of serving area. Petitioner states that per the Walworth Couty code, this total area would require 25 parking spaces using the formula of 1 parking space per 150 square feet of utilized space, to include one handicap parking stall for a total of 26 parking spaces.
Karbash asks if anyone wants to speak on behalf of the petition for the conditional use permit request.
Town resident Brenda Austin points out that Badger Bob does fund raising for many charities throughout the county. She states that with the previous owner, there would be instances of people driving into the ditch by her home. Since Bob Johnson has owned this business there have been no instances of this. She opinions that the business provides for good comradery, good social interaction and feels that it is a terrible circumstance that a business establishment that has existed since the 1940s can have someone move in next to them and now complain that they don’t want the business there.
Bob Cullen, Vice President of bank in Milton speaks on behalf of Bob Johnson’s improvements to the business. He shows a picture of the business in 2020 when it was purchased and then a picture of how the business looks today. He states the bank he represents is a conservative bank and that they extended financing to Johnson to build this business. He requests that the Town Board approve the Conditional Use Permit and demonstrate support at the local level to the County Land Use & Resource Management dept.
Brad Trewyn form Beloit Wisconsin points out that he brings in a great deal of revenue to the area.
Dale Albrecht opinions that when they visit Badger Bob’s the music is not loud enabling you to enjoy listening and talk and hear one another.
Rob Chalmenack tells the Board that he purchased a property next to a gun club. He knew this when he bought the property. He hears guns often and he accepts this as he moved there willingly. He feels this conditional use should be approved as the people next door complaining moved there willingly also.
Marcus Scharine advises the Board that his daughter works at Badger Bob’s and it’s a great group of people who are employed there. They rely on this business for their income and livelihood. As a former Board member for the neighboring Township, he reminds the Board that they have the opportunity to approve this conditional use permit and along with their approval they have the authority to make amendments to the conditional use such as the hours for music and they should exercise this authority.
There being no more comments Karbash asks if there is anyone opposed to approving the conditional use application.

Mr. Chad Pollard, Counsel for the immediate neighbors to the property, the Lundbergs and Reeds, addresses the Board with a focus on two things. First, the parking is very tight. He points out that the parking area is a very small lot with people parking across the street, on the right of way and in some instances on the edge of County A and Johnson Road. He stresses that this situation causes significant safety concerns because of the inevitable overflow of parking. He reminds the Board that this is a public safety issue and as the Board’s primary duties are concerned with public safety he urges the Board to reject this conditional use proposal.
Counselor Pollard points out that the existing conditional use allows for “seasonal” outside use of a pavilion utilizing 540 square feet of space. The new conditional use permit before the Board expands this use to 2,258 total square feet of use, a 200% increase in square footage. Pollard reminds the Board that the existing conditional use permit allows for 14 parking stalls. The new conditional use permit request expands this to 25 parking stalls, a 175% increase in parking area. Pollard further reminds the Board that the existing conditional use permit provides for outside food and beverage service from May1st to October 31st. The new conditional use permit request expands this to year-round, a 199% increase in the allowable exterior use.
Counselor Pollard points out that the original 2009 conditional use permit made zero provision for outside music amplified. He reminds the Board that the petitioner Bob Johnson has unilaterally expanded the use of outside seating area, unilaterally expanded the parking area, unilaterally expanded the use of amplified music and has done all of these things without obtaining proper permits from the County to do any of it. He asks the Board, should Johnson be rewarded with an after-the-fact approval for not following the law in thew first place?
Pollard points out that immediate neighbors have had to deal with the loud music 70 feet from their residence and emphasizes that they have no intention of selling any land to Johnson to exacerbate the problem and that is their prerogative.
Counselor Pollard emphasizes that the physical site of this business is just too small to accommodate the conditional use request before the Board.
Counselor Pollard reminds the Board of their ability to qualify their approval of this petition with items such as;
1.) attaching the conditional use permit to the owner and not the property as the business may change ownership at some point and a new owner may bring in different more undesirable music.
2.) require some type of barrier such as fencing to control parking areas.
3.) require a bandshell to help contain the noise from music, particularly the low base tones which cause considerable noise problems for his clients.
4.) a requirement to end the music at an earlier time in the evening.
Finally, Counselor Pollard advises the Board that his clients purchased a property next to a bar, not a live music venue!
Karbash then asks Counselor Green for a brief rebuttal.
Counselor Green produces aerial photos of the business from the 1070s and the 1980s showing the parking of patrons. Green states that the County wants to restrict and reduce the parking from what it has been for many many years. Green produces and displays a map that shows the County Road A right-of-way overlapping the edge of the parking lot but emphasizing that edge of pavement on County Road A being more than 25 feet from the edge of the parking lot.
Green points out that live music is a common practice in this type of business and advises the Board that her client is willing to consider stopping the music earlier than 10:00pm. She advises that the County has said that if the band, speakers, are under roof, even if the sides of the venue are retractable and the sides are up, they are still considered to be inside.
Green passes out a listing of the 24 charitable fund raisers that Johnson has performed in 2022 and 2023 totaling $242,800.
Green advises the Board that his client is receptive to reasonable amendments to the conditional use permit.
Karbash asks for any new comments for the conditional use permit.
Gordon Marquart, immediate neighbor to the Town Hall points out that events at the Town Hall including Town Board meetings, often result in cars parking up and down Couty Highway A. He then reminds the Board that if you’re going to put conditions on Badger Bob, you’d better consider them for yourselves. He encourages the Board to approve the conditional use and particularly the parking variance.
Rob Chalmenack advises the Board that prior to Bob Johnson purchasing this business, the parking lot used to be gravel. There were no parking lines and there is no way that this gravel lot was limited to 14 parking stalls.
There being no more comments Karbash asks Counselor Pollard for a brief rebuttal.
Counselor Pollard begins by reading an accident report that occurred at Badger Bob’s refuting earlier contentions that there had been no accidents at the location since Bob Johnson acquired the place.
Pollard emphasizes that 200 patrons will effectively require 100 parking stalls and reminds the Board that approving the Conditional Use Permit as submitted will result in unsafe conditions at the location. Pollard emphasizes that allowing music at this venue, the crowd will grow, and there is not sufficient room at this site for that growth, and he states that the business can be successful without allowing music.
There being no more comments Karbash closes requests for resident inputs and asks the Board for their thoughts on the petition.
Overbeek states that this establishment has always had music of some form. He opinions that there is a significant difference between Badger Bob’s and Deusterbeck’s, (a business comparison made periodically throughout the discussions).
Kraus advises the Board that when he used to own this establishment, they had music. He points out that Johnson removed the house that was on the property giving him approximately three more parking spaces. He recalls that when he owned the business, they would have about 35 cars parked in the lot. He asks fellow Board members, what is the difference for parking on the street in Whitewater and walking across the street to a visit a store or business vs. here? Kraus states he supports the petition for Conditional Use as written.
Wade then opinions that he hasn’t heard anything compelling that would cause him to not support the petition for Conditional Use.
Miller states that Mr. Johnson has done a really good job improving this business. She is however, concerned with the parking and will continue to be concerned about it creating an unsafe condition. She believes that some of the suggestions made during oral arguments have merit, particularly the suggestions about requiring music to end at 9:00pm instead of the proposed 10:00am. Miller also thinks the idea of having the Conditional Use Permit tied to the owner, Bob Johnson instead of being tied to the business is a good idea in the event the establishment changes hands and a new owner brings in more undesirable music.
Karbash then advises the Board that because he has a similar business, and can be viewed as a competitive business to Badger Bob’s, he will recuse himself from voting on the conditional use petition.
Overbeek reminds the Board that this business has been in existence for years here in the Township. He advises that he has personally experienced music at this business on many occasions. He states that parking congestion at a business like this is not unique to Badger Bob’s.
Kraus the tells the Board he owned the business from 1983 to 2001 and the issue of not having enough parking was never an issue with the County zoning agency.
Overbeek makes a motion to approve the Conditional Use Permit as written and presented by counselor Green for Badger Bob’s, Kraus seconds the motion, voting for passage are Overbeek, Kraus and Wade. Both Miller and Karbash abstain.
Karbash then invites Counselor Green to present arguments on behalf of the parking variance for Badger Bob’s immediate parking lot.
Counselor Green’s points are 3 fold;
– This is legal sub-standard lot configuration.
– Badger Bob is requesting the County required 25 foot setback from the road right-of-way be amended to zero feet. However she points out that the edge of the parking lot is more than 25 feet set back from the road.
– County Code allows for parking offsite within 400 feet of the property. Johnson has attempted to acquire property within this distance but has been unsuccessful. Johnson identifies a property on the corner of Johnson Road and Turtle Lake Road owned by a relative. This property is 897 feet in distance from the business and he is requesting a variance to the 400 foot code provision that would allow him to shuttle guests from this location to his business. Green advises that years ago when this business was started there was no such code.
Karbash asks for inputs from the Board. Kraus advises the Board that in 1970, the County re-configured and re-surfaced County Road A which elevated County Road A above the existing parking lot and created a water drainage problem. He confirms that there is more than 25 feet distance between the road edge and the parking lot.
Karbash invites Counselor Pollard for comments on the parking variance. Pollard reminds the Board that all of these points made by Counselor Green ignore the original Conditional Use Permit that Badger Bob is operating under which provide for 14 parking stalls.
Karbash asks for any other comments against the variance request and there being none, Karbash advises the Board that this item will be tabled until the March Board meeting.
Property Line Adjustment (Nick Agen, Jeff & Karen Brown)
Mr. Agen displays a map for the Board to review showing the lot in the Lake Lorraine subdivision and a roadway titled “Penny Drive” which was never improved or developed.
He requests to be able to erect a building on their lot next to this abandoned roadway.
Overbeek advises the Board that they have vacated other roads in the past and that there is no plan to improve this roadway. Following a review of the map and the request Karbash asks if anyone is opposed to this request. There being no opposition, Karbash motions to approve this variance request to the lot line, Overbeek seconds the motion. approved unanimously.
Mario Pacheco request to serve alcohol at the Town Hall
Overbeek motion to approve, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
KACO Computer service fee increase.
Clerk Hayes explains that KACO has requested a $50 per month fee increase from $250 to $300 per month stating the additional cost for backup software. Hayes reports that he attempted to get additional quotes for this service and couldn’t even get other companies to return his calls. He advises the Board that KACO has provided good service, a real person answers the phone and they promptly service our requests.
Overbeek motion to approve the increase, seconded by Miller, approved unanimously.
GFL Environmental – Jason Johnson request to address the Board
Johnson did not appear and so Karbash recommended tabling this discussion until the next meeting.
Public Comment
David Alexander asks if there is a Plan Commission and if there is why didn’t The Land Use items discussed here this evening go fist to the Plan Commission vs. going directly to the Town Board.
Miller advises that the Plan Commission primarily focuses on new large-scale developments such as sub-divisions. She advises that our residents became frustrated having to go to two different Boards to present proposals and obtain approvals.
Alexander states that our ordinance requires these land use items go first to the plan commission and Miller disagrees. She takes his phone number and advises she will contact him to explain further.
Town resident Sparks complains to the Board about workers for Five Star encroaching on his property to install fiber optic cable. He believes they have no right to come on his property to perform the installation. Roadman McManaway has advised they can utilize the Right-of-way to do the installation. Sparks disagrees and advises the Board that they can reimburse him 30 years of property tax payments if they feel they want this access.
Town resident Gregg Scott asks the Board if they will post the minutes of Board meetings prior to the Board approving them and the Board unanimously rejects the idea of potentially posting incorrect information to our Town residents prior to their review and approval.
Payment of Bills
Overbeek motion to approve payment of the bills, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.
Motion to adjourn the meeting by Miller, seconded by Wade, approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Brian Hayes