10/1/2019 Public Hearing – Conditional Use Permit for Youth Center Meeting Minutes (Approved)

Public Hearing

Conditional Use Permit for Youth Center

October 1st, 2019


Roll Call: R VanGilder, N Seffinga, J Depoister, S Small, and V Hurckman

Depoister called meeting to order.


Presentation by Rolf Jostad

What is Timber Bay?

Youth mentorship program. Rolf is a volunteer and Charity Knauff is the area director. Explained what Timer Bay is; a ministry of Youth Investment Foundation that was established in 1970. It’s an organization dedicated youth workers committed to personal, ongoing mentorship with young people. Exist to affect new attitudes and behavior as needed in youth. Through growing faith in Christ and by support staff relationships, we create a sense of purpose, belonging and community with your youth. We emphasize self-worth, accountability with a balanced perspective of authority and freedom, forgiveness and freedom from shame.

Timber Bay Model:

At Timber Bay they believe the best way to make a positive impact in the lives of youth is through stable, long-term mentoring relationships. Explained how they do it:

  • Camp in Minnesota on 400 acres.
  • Regular connection point through weekly gatherings; Tuesday nights, Sue Jostad runs the Light Keepers, group of 15 kids in 3-5th grade and Charity Knauff has about 25-30 kids, 6-12th
  • Healthy relationships; through participation in outdoor experiences together, teens learn to develop healthy relationships with peers and mentors which leads to emotional growth and maturity in all areas of life.
  • Spiritual growth; mentors are motivated by faith in Christ to instill hope and build identity in youth. They encourage teens to grow in their understanding of God while respecting them making own choices in their faith.

Currently has 11 Community Groups but soon to be 12 as there is a new one happening in Spooner. Birchwood was the first one in Wisconsin that Charity started 5 years ago. Others are in Minnesota and Iowa. Camp retreat center is a home away from home for teens. Several times a year community groups go to Camp together and bring back shared memories and persona growth. Timber Bay camp is also available to rent by outside groups for retreats. Last year there were 9 middle school kids, this year 11 kids. None of them had ever been away from home. Well-run/managed and good food. It’s a beautiful venue. Staff and volunteer ran year around. Shared photos of Birchwood kids at the barn holding the farm animals.

Pick up at the school by Timber Bay van and meal provided. Looking to building for youth activities. Senior Center is limited. Games downstairs but not designed for that type of activity. Looking at properties since last October. Rolf volunteered to look for property in Birchwood. Property to play on. Hard to find acreage in Birchwood. Owned and managed by Timber Bay. Small basketball court inside, bathroom and kitchen, storage, games like have now. Last Dec and Aug met with zoning board. Property considered… Large grass area ideal. Sample designs of buildings but have not received quotes yet. Anticipated cost of $150-200k, metal, insulated building for youth activities. Timber Bay not writing checks. Donation for property purchase and fundraising as it’s a non-profit organization. Not just drop in building. Times set up with volunteers, so kids are not alone in building. Programming time will be set. Tutoring and life skills could be taught. Would like to have middle school, elementary, and HS split. Also implement 18 and older program.


Public Comments

How much property was being purchased, how would it be accessed, and what type of road is it. (Tom Hansen)

Plan is to purchase 10 acres but 5 would be usable. Accessed from Highway 48 but potential in purchasing property to install a driveway. (Rolf Jostad)

Is it a road or private drive? (Linda Zillmer)

It’s a gravel road, maintained by Village but not plowed. (Ellen Mckowen)

Is it a good mix with the residential area? (Tom Hansen)

Hours of operation? Works overnight shifts, up by 3am and in bed between 7-7:30pm. Feels makes more difficult. (Michelle Gebel)

Not much more traffic than a home being there because of volunteers transporting by a van. (Virginia Hurckman)

States traffic will be driving right in front of house. (Michelle Gebel)

Responds could plant trees along road or if built the other road would not go by the house. (Rolf Jostad)

Neighbor plows and grates the road. (Michelle Gebel)

Questioned amount of traffic. (Cathy Hansen)

Rolf states no because the Timber Bay vans would be transporting. Don’t want kids driving there. If they are able to buy property to put driveway in then wouldn’t use other road.

Renters of each unit owns lot North of there and looking to build duplex and has same concerns as renters. Concerned of the mix with residential area. Feels would be affected. (Tom Hansen)

Residential area by senior center and there has been no complaint of noise or traffic.  Summer months meet at Doolittle. (Charity Knauff)

Upping the scale (Tom Hansen)

School kids not sure of concern. Wants more detail. (Rocky Vangilder)

Was made into a public road when the planning for an industrial park. Mutual cooperation that (Town) would maintain it, to edge of property. (Ellen McKown)

Questioned why this property rather than previous property, Trinity Lutheran on village water and sewer. (Linda Zillmer)

Trinity was only 1.7 acres where this is 10 acres for the same or less money; bigger property with a yard. (Rolf Jostad)

Connect to Village water or sewer.  (Linda Zillmer)

Well has been tested. Septic will need to be looked at.  (Rolf Jostad)

Water issues concerns. (Tom Hansen)

The area planning to build is on the top of a hill and creek is below and will be built on slab; has been looked at. (Rolf Jostad)

Parking lot location?

Not discussed yet but on other side of the building but will try to maintain as much of the grass area. (Rolf Jostad)

Road wash out concerns.

Village will have to maintain the road. (John Depoister)

Packet provided (Public Hearing-Public Comment). Feels it’s a good idea but wrong location. Village finances to maintain the road. Paying on Village of Birchwood Comprehensive Plan development until 2045. Location is near industrial in finance district and may prevent future industrial development. No developed roads, water, or sewer.  Feels 24 hours’ notice for Plan Commission Meeting did not provide sufficient information to reasonably inform the public. September 5th the Plan Commission failed to consider many facts before moving forward. Mentioned concerns for public health and welfare. No commission for public road access. Proper water system, hours of operations, parking, and not enough notice. Not able to find ordinance zone 2 well head protection area, contamination risk. #8 does not meet ordinance for conditional use for that location. Increase tax exempt property.  (Linda Zillmer)

Getting nothing now. There is no house there right now. (Rocky VanGilder)

Still on tax roll. (Linda Zillmer)

Soil test before building. (Rocky VanGilder)

Putting in septic system that would go along with use. (John Depoister)

All agree we need a place for youth. (Rolf Jostad)

Spoke with many different property owners not only Trinity. Not willing to sell them. Trinity wasn’t right fit with acres and what is necessary.  Not sure where the idea of moving forward with that. Trinity had stipulations. Timber Bay is fund raising. Property came up for sale that when this property was looked at. (Charity Knauff)

18 year or older. Wouldn’t they be driving their own vehicles. What hours will they be there. (Linda Zillmer)

Hasn’t been planned but likely after work hours. (Charity Knauff)

Don’t want the noise or additional use of the road unless someone is going to take care of the road. (Tom Hansen)

Raise money to maintaining the road and take care of those things. (Charity Knauff)

Discussion on where road ends, “red dot”. Need to determine what the Village owns. (John Depoister)

Asked board if members had time to read Linda Zillmer’s packet. (John Depoister)

Once property purchased then will how and cost of building. Cost will determine fundraising. (Charity Knauff)

Top of telescope down.  Project of this size should come to the village with more information of which building, location of parking lot, and those type of things. Understands neighbors’ concerns about the road. (Stacy Small)

Need to know what type of property they are building on before moving forward. (Charity Knauff)

Tom Knapmiller does not have his land listed for sale. (Ellen McKowen)

Possible to have showers. If children have a need that is not being met at home. Personal hygiene need only. (Rolph Jostad)

Lets focus on the kids. Special needs and deprived ones especially. This place is vital. (Ellen McKowen)

Would be priority to get section from Tom. (John Depoister)

Yes. Already spoke with Tom. Willing to sell but at what price. (Rolph Jostad)

Make a road that kids ride, walk, wide enough for driving. (Charity Knauff)

Road would go directly into parking lot. (John Depoister)

Future planning for those roads. (Tom Hansen)

Ideal – wanted to loop around but DOT was not willing another official road. (Stacy Small)

Any further questions.


Call to adjourn. (John Depoister) Motion by Seffinga, seconded by Small.

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact the Village Hall with comments, questions, and/or concerns and we will be happy to help.

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