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Green Man Plans Delayed Amid Neighborhood Complaints

Oak Creek business wants to operate a composting facility.

Green Man Wood Services' efforts to continue to meet resistance.

After hearing numerous objections from neighbors, who are upset about Green Man's current operation and fear what composting might mean for the neighborhood, the Common Council on Tuesday delayed acting on the proposal so it can take a closer look.

Green Man, 9000 S. Nicholson Road, got approval in 2007 to operate a lumberyard and contractor’s office, with outdoor storage of vehicles, material, and equipment, according to a report to council members. Up to this point, Green Man's primary business has been lawn maintenance, landscaping, tree removal and the recycling of wood products.

Their latest proposal has not gone over well with neighbors.

Mark Verhalen, who owns property across the street, presented a lengthy case on why past misdeeds should prevent Green Man from being allowed to conduct composting. He said the business has not met many conditions required in the 2007 approval and noted code violations that have been brought to the attention of the city.

Other neighbors also criticized the business and complained that animal waste has been brought by the Milwaukee County Zoo.

"They were supposed to be a good neighbor. It's not working out anymore," said Tim Sommers, who lives four houses south of Green Man. "That place is an eyesore."

Green Man owner Dan Gustin disputed that his business is in violation of the law, saying regulations pertaining to the business have been met.

He said he is willing to stop accepting materials from the zoo and work with neighbors on other concerns, which could include installing more fencing to block the property from view.

Alderman Steve Scaffidi, who represents the district encompassing Green Man, asked the council to delay any action so that the city could sort out all of the issues presented by the neighbors.

"You've got a good business. You guys do a great job," Scaffidi told Green Man owners Tuesday. "It's a noble thing that you're trying to do, but at the same time we have to look at all these (neighbors). We have to look them in the face ... we can't just let people do whatever they want in pursuit of some noble goal."

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