Proposed tubing business has new location

Previous site denied by city zoning and Board of Appeals

A proposed tubing business that would let customers recreate on the Wolf River has a new location in mind, a week after its originally proposed site was shot down by Shawano’s zoning administrator and Board of Appeals.

Owner Jeff Kammerer said the new location would be disclosed later, once everything is finalized.

“I found a different building,” he said. “I’ve got the equipment, the inventory pretty much taken care of, and when the time is right, I can announce where it’s going to be. Right now, I’m just working on getting advertising and marketing and everything else going.”

The business was originally to be called Wolf River Tubing, but Kammerer said that would change so as not to be confused with Wolf River Trips and Campground in New London, which also offers tubing.

It would provide the community and tourists the ability to float the Wolf River by means of a tube, kayak or canoe, either individually or in groups, with designated pickup points.

The original location, 1112 S. Water St., was deemed too small by Shawano Zoning Administrator Brian Bunke.

The zoning for neighborhood mixed use requires a minimum lot size of 9,000 square feet under the city’s zoning code. The location proposed was only 7,500 square feet.

“I couldn’t allow it to move forward without a variance on that property,” Bunke said.

Kammerer sought a variance from the Board of Appeals, but a group of neighbors attended the meeting to oppose it, voicing concerns about inadequate parking and the traffic congestion the business would cause.

The board voted 3-2 to allow the variance, but overturning the zoning administrator’s ruling requires at least four votes in favor; thus, the variance was defeated.

Kammerer said the new location has more than enough room and most likely will be approved.

He said he hopes to have the proposal before the plan commission no later than October.

“I look forward to working with people to get it accomplished,” Kammerer said.

Kammerer said that after the story ran in the paper of the Board of Appeals’ denial, he was inundated with phone calls and text messages from people offering other locations for the business.

“I wanted to get the word out that we’re OK. We’re good to go,” he said. “We’re coming back with a better plan, and I’m very confident it’s going to be a go.”

Kammerer said he also wanted to thank all of the people who have offered their support of the business.

“We’ve found a great alternative that hopefully will not be so controversial and still very accessible to people in town and tourists,” he said. “It is going forward and hopefully everybody is going to be happy with the location and the service we’re going to provide. And we’re excited to open up in the spring of next year — Memorial Day weekend, if not before.”

Kammerer teaches a Challenge by Choice class at Shawano Community High School that includes kayaking and canoeing as part of the curriculum. He said in his rezoning application that the business would promote healthy lifestyles and wellness alternatives, as well as offering recreational opportunities.