City board denies housing petition


The Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously denied a petition to turn an existing loft in a garage into a living quarters at 313 St. Louis Ave.

Paul Brackemyre, property manager, attended the latest board meeting on Tuesday in person. Brooke Fleetwood, owner of BB Makeup Aesthetic & Cosmetics in Wisconsin and real estate developer, spoke before the board via Zoom.

Last year, Fleetwood renovated neglected houses on St. Louis Ave., turning them into colorful, pink displays.

At the meeting, Brackemyre said the loft in the two-and-a-half-car garage is currently used for storage. A bathroom and kitchen had been torn out, but Fleetwood put the facilities back in.

Board members raised concerns over the garage sharing the same address the house on the same lot — which is currently a daycare center — telling Brackemyre they tend to not pass two residencies or two establishments on one city lot without a separate address due to emergency services.

Fleetwood suggested giving the garage a separate address, possibly “313-A” St. Louis Ave. Building Commissioner Jeremy Gray told Fleetwood he was particularly concerned with the address.

“The variance here is two residencies on one established lot,” Gray said.

Fleetwood said she was confused because she filed what she was told to. Gray assured her that she did file correctly but he was concerned about the daycare center eventually turning back into a residency, which would make the lot have two residencies.

“I’m trying to fix up Seymour,” Fleetwood said. “I’m trying to fix it up and make it nice. It just so happened that daycare is needed so I let the girls do the daycare. Housing is needed there but I’m very picky when it comes to who I’m housing, so (the daycare) just landed in my lap … Since I have this other living space, and living space is so needed in Seymour, I figured (the loft) was a perfect opportunity to house a nice person.”

President Rob Kaufman said to Fleetwood the board appreciates what she has done for the community, but because of issues relating to utilities and emergency services the city cannot allow two residencies on the same lot.

Fleetwood told the board she could produce a list of people who have done similiar projects illegally without going to meetings and getting them approved.

“Are you going to shut them down?” Fleetwood asked the board. “Because I’m trying to do it the way that is right and the way you guys told me to do it instead of beating around the bush with loopholes and stuff like that. I’m trying to do it the way you guys want it done. I’m trying to do it legit and safety-first and now it’s kicking me in the butt.”

“It’s not loopholes,” Kaufman said. “If the city doesn’t know about it, the city doesn’t know about it … The city doesn’t do this and hasn’t done it for a long time.”

Gray said there are some lots in Seymour with two houses which were built before the ordinance disallowing two residencies on the same lot.

The board ultimately denied the petition 5-0, but suggested to Fleetwood that she petition for replatting of the property to turn it into two separate lots.

Earlier in the meeting, the board unanimously approved two petitions; one by Tamella Diggs to put a fence up on her property, and one by Ronald Mix to add onto an existing garage on his property.

The Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals meets every fourth Tuesday of the month.

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