Archives for September 2013

Latest “Hotel Shepard” News

Update Nov. 7, 2013: BOZA upholds city’s actions to shut down “Hotel Shepard”

The Board of Zoning Appeals today ruled, 5-0, to uphold the City of Milwaukee’s enforcement actions to shut down the “Hotel Shepard.” In its unanimous ruling, the board agreed with the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services that the home was being operated as an illegal hotel in an area zoned for single-family homes. The board has 10 days to file its written decision, and the house owner has 30 days to appeal that decision to circuit court. Click here to read BOZA’s order in the case.

HWTN sent a letter to the zoning board strongly supporting the city’s position.

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Update Oct. 30, 2013: BOZA action scheduled for 4 p.m. Nov. 7

The Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to issue a decision at 4 p.m. Nov. 7, 2013, in the “Hotel Shepard” case. No additional public testimony will be taken at the meeting. The meeting will be held in the Common Council Committee Rooms, Room 301-A, City Hall, Third Floor, 200 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Update Oct. 11, 2013: BOZA hearing yields testimony but no decision

The Board of Zoning Appeals held a public hearing last night (Thursday Oct. 10) about short-term rentals at the house dubbed “Hotel Shepard” and said it would issue a decision at its meeting next month.

Without a decision yesterday, the rentals will be able to continue for another month.

The Journal Sentinel covered the hearing, at which HWTN presented our official position.

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Update Oct. 8, 2013: Operator of “Hotel Newberry” and “Hotel Shepard” sues city in federal court

The Journal Sentinel reports today that the Whitefish Bay operator of the “Hotel Newberry” and “Hotel Shepard” has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee alleging police entered the home at 2628 E. Newberry Blvd. without a warrant or permission.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will still hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. this Thursday Oct. 10 (see details below) about the short-term rentals occurring at the Hotel Shepard property. The hearing on the E. Newberry home rentals will now be held on another date.

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Update Oct. 4, 2013: BOZA hearing set for 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 10

The Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a public hearing on the “Hotel Shepard” and “Hotel Newberry” appeals at 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 10, 2013.

The hearing will take place in the Common Council Committee Rooms, Room 301-A, City Hall, Third Floor, 200 East Wells St.

This hearing is the chance for neighbors to speak to BOZA about any concerns about disturbances at the houses or the precedent that would be set by allowing homes to be used exclusively for short-term rentals — and for homeowners to support maintaining the residential, non-commercial nature of our neighborhood.

Showing support by attending, speaking and / or registering in opposition to the appeal can influence BOZA’s decision. Speakers likely will be given only a few minutes each to talk.

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Update Sept. 30, 2013: Article discusses online petition against “Hotel Shepard,” growing opposition

A new Journal Sentinel article is reporting about an online petition residents are urged to sign against the Hotel Shepard-type home rentals. The article also discusses an upcoming hearing Oct. 10 at the Board of Zoning Appeals and efforts by neighbors to organize against the disruptive short-term rentals. The story quotes from HWTN’s official position on the issue.

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Update Sept. 27, 2013: HWTN Files Letter with BOZA Opposing “Hotel Shepard”

Historic Water Tower Neighborhood submitted a letter to the Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals today outlining the group’s opposition to the weekend rentals of two area homes. The letter explains the group’s concerns and why such rentals run counter to the city’s official plan for the East Side.

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Update Sept. 23, 2013: HWTN Joins Homeowners Opposing “Hotel Shepard”

Historic Water Tower Neighborhood’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Sept. 4 to oppose the controversial weekend rentals of two area homes and support the city’s efforts to stop the illegal practices.

The vote followed discussion from members and other residents negatively affected by the rentals. Art Dahlberg, Commissioner of the Department of Neighborhood Services, and Ald. Nik Kovac also attended the meeting and explained the city’s strategy to prevent future rentals.

According to the motion the board passed unanimously:

“The HWTN opposes illegal non-residential uses in the neighborhood, opposes the property owner and operator continuing the present use of the properties on Shepard and Newberry as commercial hotels, and supports the City’s actions to stop the illegal uses. We authorize the Executive Committee to communicate our position to BOZA.”

Hotel ShepardThe Journal Sentinel has reported on HWTN’s vote.

Kovac provided  a Neighborhood Impact Statement that he encouraged residents to fill out and submit to BOZA by Sept. 30 to explain their general concerns and any specific incidents to help persuade the Board of Zoning Appeals to put an end to the rentals. Per the resolution, HWTN will send its own official letter of opposition to BOZA by Sept. 30 as well.

A home on N. Shepard Ave., dubbed “Hotel Shepard,” and one on E. Newberry Blvd., have been rented by the day to large numbers of people, harming the residential quality of life for area homeowners and setting a bad precedent that violates zoning, residents and city officials say.

Several recent media stories explain in more detail the issues involved and the negative impact on residents:

Art and history lovers to hear about “Layton’s Legacy” at Oct. 2 HWTN meeting

The authors of the new book “Layton’s Legacy – A Historic American Art Collection 1888-2013” will bring alive an important part of Milwaukee’s past that will fascinate art lovers and Milwaukee history buffs alike in a talk at HWTN’s next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 2, 2013.

mn1_001733Milwaukee historian John C. Eastberg and architectural historian Eric Vogel will discuss their sumptuous, 480-page book, which was recently published by the University of Wisconsin Press and features hundreds of images from the Layton Art Collection and historic photographs.

Copies of the book will be available for $75 plus tax (credit card or cash only). All sales go the Layton Art Collection Endowment, the original fund Frederick Layton created in 1888.

Also on the agenda for the meeting, Milwaukee Police Capt. Aaron Raap will discuss recent crimes in the area and answer questions.

Frederick Layton (1827–1919) was an English immigrant who in 1845 began what was to become a hugely successful transatlantic business in Milwaukee and Milwaukee’s most early patron of the arts.

During his career, he made 99 trips between England and America. He became a cultural ambassador for Milwaukee, exporting his fine hams and pork to Great Britain and importing European paintings and sculpture to Milwaukee.

layton-art-gallery-milwaukee-wisconsin2In the late 1880s, Layton was among the very first American art collectors to create a new art museum experience in the United States when he generously funded a purpose built, single patron art gallery and put 38 pieces from his personal art collection on display for the public’s enjoyment. In 1888, when the Layton Art Gallery opened on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Mason, it represented a new model for civic art museums in America (a model which had only been seen before at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., which opened in 1874). The single story, top-lit, urban art gallery offered a more refined, intimate visual experience when compared to the established public art museums of Boston and New York, and would ultimately influence the development of the single patron American art museum well into the twentieth century. In addition to building the Layton Art Gallery, Layton funded a $100,000 endowment to ensure the future success of the gallery.

After his death, in the 1920s and 1930s, and under the leadership of Charlotte Partridge, the Layton Art Gallery broadened its activities. It lent artworks, dedicated one of its galleries to Wisconsin art, formed the Layton School of Art, and organized traveling exhibitions.

In 1957, the Layton Art Gallery and Milwaukee Art Institute moved their collections into the Milwaukee County War Memorial, a building which led the effort to transform Milwaukee’s lakefront. The beloved and architecturally significant Layton Art Gallery building was torn down to make room for a parking lot, prompting an outcry from preservationists.

Since 1972, the Layton Art Collection has continued to acquire works of art, to conserve its historic collection and to sponsor exhibits and lectures at the Milwaukee Art Museum.