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Pub owner's rebuilding plans meet with resistance in Muskego

July 13, 2012

Whether there will be a new DJs Pub & Grill after the current establishment is demolished as part of a road-widening project is still in question.

The owner of the business that has stood alongside Janesville Road for 90 years wants to rebuild, but some city officials and others aren't entirely comfortable with his plans, as presented.

According to the plans of owner Dan Hewitt, DJs would more than double in size and serve as more of a restaurant than a bar. The development would also have residential units - he originally wanted eight, but the Plan Commission recommended capping them at four.

To enable the project, Hewitt has asked the Muskego Common Council to rezone the property from residential to downtown revival district.

But, on a 4-2 vote Tuesday night, the council turned him down. There were too many unanswered questions, some aldermen and residents said.

One concern was that the plans he provided didn't give enough information about what he intended to do, some aldermen said. Another has its roots in suspicion over whether Hewitt's plan would really be built or if there would be a switch to something else. The property has been involved in two extremely controversial proposals to establish a park on Little Muskego Lake with commercial and residential ventures to go alongside.

Some aldermen wanted more assurances that Hewitt is serious about rebuilding. One alderman noted that the hand-drawn layout of the proposed plan doesn't show the commitment to the project that a layout done by a developer working with the property owner would.

The council did, however, invite Hewitt to submit better plans in two weeks to try to address the concerns that were expressed. Then the council probably would reconsider its vote, aldermen said. The rezoning would need six of the seven aldermen in favor because of a petition that was filed.

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