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Haunted house denied West Elm Road location

March 12, 2014

To the relief of concerned West Elm Road residents, the Oak Creek Plan Commission denied Nick Timber's proposal for a temporary haunted house on 1720 W. Elm Rd., with recommendations to relocate his project elsewhere.

"There is a right place and a wrong place to have an event. I think you have a wonderful idea, but it's in the wrong place," said Mayor Steve Scaffidi.

West Elm Road is a dead-end street that intersects with County Road V. The triangle property Timber eyed for "Milwaukee's 13th Hour" touches 1-94 W but lacks access to any major highway, except by West Elm Road. The triangle lot, owned by Stephen Spidell, occupies about 13.45 acres.

Commission members and Elm Road residents expressed ample concerns about traffic congestion, noise and the potential for illegal weapons and narcotics on the wooded property.

When asked why he chose this particular lot, Timber said he got a "pretty sweet deal on the lease."

"I knew it was a bad location from the start but I wanted the experience of going through the process," said Timber, 23.

Timber proposed "Milwaukee's 13th Hour" haunted house under Reality Check LLC, with member Jason Abbott. Timber is a clinical engineer at Wheaton Franciscan Health Care in Franklin and plans to finance the $20,000 project himself with personal savings—and a few credit cards, he said. Today was Timber's first time proposing a request in front of the plan commission.

Timber's ideal haunt location would include a parking lot and a hangout destination where patrons can roast marshmallows and hang out after visiting the haunt, a feature most haunted houses lack, Timber said.

"Milwaukee's 13th Hour" would ideally occupy up to 10 acres of wooded land and operate for eight total days on Saturdays and Sundays only from 7 to 11 p.m., starting the first week in October. A certain percentage of the project's profits would go to charity, mostly likely the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Foundation.

After the meeting, many aldermen expressed interest in the project and agreed to help Timber find a suitable location for the haunt.

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