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WEST BEND – Plans for a new car dealership on Washington Street on the west side of West Bend are underway as the City Plan Commission has conditionally cleared the site plan for a Jeep and Dodge dealership be built alongside Nissan.

The West Bend Plan Commission met Tuesday and approved the site plan for the new Jeep-Dodge car dealership at 2665 W. Washington St.

“This is actually a second phase of a potential three-phase development,” said Jim Reinke, the city’s business and development planner.

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The first phase of this development, according to information discussed at the Planning Commission meeting, was the on-site Nissan dealership.

The site plan for the second phase showed that the new dealership building would use existing walkways on the site, with one on Valley Avenue and two on West Washington Street.

A notable part of the Planning Commission’s discussion revolved around a traffic impact analysis; Reinke’s report said the developer has performed an abbreviated analysis and determined that changes will be required to the median on Washington Street at the location, but a full TIA needs to be done, to ensure there are no there will be no further route modifications necessary to accommodate the traffic the new business will create.

City Engineer Max Marechal noted that if the TIA finds that further improvements are needed — such as turning lanes, or if traffic impacts on the business affect timing or traffic signals — staff of the city shall review and approve them, with any necessary adjustments to the Site Plan.

A development representative requested that the traffic impact analysis not be required prior to planning permission to begin work on the building. He said the TIA is slightly behind; while they hope to get it soon, they also want to start construction in October, before frost sets in.

The Plan Commission argued that the TIA had to be submitted and approved by the city engineer, but tied it to occupancy rather than obtaining a building permit.

Development manager Mark Piotrowicz pointed out to the developer that tying the TIA and approval of its recommendations to occupancy would lock in the developer, as construction could already be underway when the TIA comes into effect, and if d ‘other road improvements are needed, the city will require these changes to be made.

The site plan also included two signs for the car dealership, which would include a Dodge/Chrysler/Ram pylon sign and a totem sign for Jeep, to mark the brands sold. The site plan approval included a code exception for these signs, as the limit granted under city code is two and there are already two for the existing Nissan dealership on the lot.

“Most of the car lots we have there are single-user. This one is a more unique lot with multiple users,” Reinke noted, when he explained that the additional signs were to mark and differentiate the different car brands for sale in the new building.