Wrapping it up: A weekly update with Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Shane Blaser
City Times staff speaks with Mayor Shane Blaser on some recently zoning changes by the plan commission and the closing of some summer facilities:
Zoning changes to the former YMCA
The city’s planning commission recently approved changes in zoning on the former YMCA property.
“Essentially, former fitness use (general service) must be registered as a nonconforming use, meaning it is not a typical legal use in the M-1 Industrial Zoning District. However, because it previously existed and operated, the use can continue. Once registered, it can be converted to a less intense nonconforming use, such as the adult day care proposed,” the mayor explained.
According to the staff report, “It is clear the adult daycare use is less intense than the fitness use, however, the less intensity also means it conforms less with the industrial zoning district. In taking a closer look at the zoning and surrounding uses, the zoning will likely not remain industrial as the property is surrounded by residential uses and very near the institutional use. No other industrial type zoning exists adjacent to the property or within the vicinity. Therefore, having industrial type uses on the property could be detrimental to the neighborhood.”
“Therefore, staff recommended approving the conversion of the fitness use to a less intense Adult Daycare use. The Planning Commission approved the request on Aug. 3,” Mayor Blaser said.
Plans for the closing of summer facilities
“The last day the aquatics center be open this season is Aug. 23, since staffing will become a challenge after that date. So, be sure to head over for your last summer dip,” the mayor said.
The Mead Splash Pad will be open until Labor Day, weather permitting, and the municipal zoo will be open through Aug. 30.
“There are a lot of other fun activities that will remain open at the WRRC, including: one new tennis court and six new pickleball courts, a huge playground, an outdoor shelter, landscaped paths with night illumination, and – coming this winter – an ice-skating circle, low-board hockey and a warming house.