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Church or Restaraunt

Heather Marble has her eye set on the former Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall at 4668 133rd St., in Lake Hallie as a potential site for the Blue Marble Pub, a restaurant/bar she hopes to open. But first she needs to get the property rezoned. The village Plan Commission will take up the matter at 6 p.m. on Monday.

LAKE HALLIE — Whether Heather Marble is able to establish a restaurant in the former Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall might not be up to the Village of Lake Hallie. The neighborhood around the building, called the Stafford Addition, is governed by a covenant that forbids such development.

Marble has requested that Lake Hallie’s Plan Commission rezone the property at 4668 133rd St. from residential 1 to highway commercial, allowing her to operate a business there. But an approval by the village won’t necessarily override the covenant.

A covenant is a private contract between landowners that regulates what the land can be used. Because the covenant is private, the village can approve the rezoneing request, but area residents could raise legal challenges to Marble’s right to use the land the way she wants.

If residents do challenge, Marble would need to get a majority of the Stafford Addition’s residents to sign a petition that would change the covenant. Currently Marble is seeking signatures to do that. So far, Marble said she has collected around 50 signatures.

“So it’s about half and half,” she said.

But the need for the petition will depend on whether the neighbors choose to oppose the development. If the village approves the rezoning, any dispute would be between Marble and the surrounding property owners.

The Plan Commission is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday, April 13 at the Lake Hallie Municipal Building to discuss the matter.

Director of the Chippewa County Planning and Zoning Department, Doug Clary, will attend Monday’s meeting and plans on recommending the Commission deny the request.

“Let’s not get involved until the covenant is changed,” he said. Clary has cautioned the Plan Commission that approving the request could potentially draw the village and county into a legal dispute. “It’s a Catch-22.”

The covenant dates to 1952 when the area was first being developed. Residents at the time agreed to disallow any development besides residential homes. Then, 20 years later, the community amended the covenant to allow a churches in the area. That’s how the Kingdom Hall came to be there. But the contract still prohibits any sort of business venture in the area.

Marble said she has retained a lawyer who has advised her that once the rezone goes through, the covenant won’t be a problem.

But Clary has given other reasons to deny the request, too.

“The area is predominately residential and there is adequate land within the village already zoned for this type of use,” he recommended to the Plan Commission last month.

That’s why Marble has circulated another petition throughout the village as a whole.

“It should be up to everybody not just the neighbors,” she said.

Marble made her initial presentation to the Plan Commission last month. The body tabled the matter to give Marble more time to come back with a more detailed plan.

According to the rezoning request submitted by Marble, the Blue Marble Pub would not require exterior changes to the building for the most part. But she did indicate that adding a deck for outside seating could be a possibility.

Inside, she plans on a 30-foot long bar area with a large kitchen and plenty of space for restaurant-style seating. There could also be a small arcade and pool tables.

Marble will present more complete plans at Monday’s meeting.

Should the request be approved, the matter would still go before the full village board later this month.

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(12) comments


They could promote the restaurant by going door to door.

Apologies to my JW friends. I couldn't resist.


It's not just the JW who go door-to-door forcing their beliefs down the throats of others.

Yellow River Rat

Rather have a business that pays taxes than another church that doesn't.


A nice family owned restaurant would be a great addition to the area. Add some jobs and some more revenue for the community.


yes a family restaurant, no need for alcohol. It is already a screwed up intersection add alcohol and the first recipe served is trouble. Taverns are enough headaches, spending a small fortune to remodel and try to win over a whole bunch of ticked off people that will most likely call the short staffed hallie p.d. every time there is noise, not overly effective for a tavern business. So when the money is spent and the customers are afraid to drink then what. SOUNDS LIKE SOMEONE LOST MARBLES.

show you around-my town

kodiak "So when the money is spent and the customers are afraid to drink then what." Don't worry that has already happened. the chippewa police department has already chased patrons out of town!


Wow , try getting up on the other side of the bed tomorrow. I'd agree it isn't the best intersection, but does that mean it's time to shut the city down? I don't think so
Kodiak, it's not a tavern, but a restaurant being proposed. You're not on the hook hook for renovating the building and I'm pretty sure the Hallie PD can pull it off if there are any calls. Chances are they will spend much more time at the duplexes on the adjoining block than they will at the restaurant

Chippewa County Resident

So what if they Serve alcohol. Dont judge because alcohol involved. I think making use of the building is a plus. Doesn't other family restaurants serve alcohol? I don't see any complaints about them so let's not be so harsh.!


Call it "Sinners and Saints."


A nice Family Restaurant would be better than having an empty building. It also will pay taxes and help the community. It also will promote jobs. Hopefully they will be able to serve alcohol so you can have a drink with your dinner. It's a restaurant, not a tavern. Look at the number of years that Connell's has been in business and it's in a residential community.


And don't forget the West Hill Bar on the West Hill and the Tip Top on the East Hill. Both good neighbors in their respective neighborhoods.

On a lighter note, why did I think of the Gilda Radner character "Emily Litella" when at first I read the title of the article as "Convent could block new restaurant in Lake Hallie"?


Family restaurant, Bresinas, Heckles are very busy places at least the five days a week I drive by them both morning and night, always plenty of cars. And no alcohol served. Your right I am not on the hook for any money nor do I care if they spend a million dollars on the redo. Now you sound like supporter of this restaurant but yet your ripping on the people and possibly customers that live in the duplexes. I know the Hallie p.d. can handle it, they are just not a big police department. Most restaurants don't have bars, Connells is a supper club and very well managed and it was there long before most of the houses. Not the case here.

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