Commercial Record

Douglas cuts $21K severance with ex-ZA


Douglas City Council Monday approved a $21,127.02 separation agreement with Aug. 15-fired zoning and planning administrator Nick Wikar.

Members braced, perhaps not coincidentally, for a 272-page planning commission agenda involving four public hearings two nights later.

Wikar was terminated after three years with the city amid developer complaints he was overly-stringent and hard to reach. Backers praised his “letter of the law” type strictness.

Wednesday’s planning commission agenda, including applicant synopses by city-contracted Williams & Works planning consultant Tricia Anderson, included public hearings on:

• Developer Dave Barker’s by-rights proposal for 18 buildings totaling 90 homes on 13 Multiple-Family Residential acres he controls at 485 Ferry St. west of the now-demolished former 200 Blue Star Hwy. Haworth plant and north of Northern Lights Condominiums. Barker said he hopes to start building as soon as spring 2023.

• A long-delayed request by Jeff Kerr and partners for a site plan review and condominium approval for a 324 W. Center St. mixed-use development.

• Michael Pezok’s ask to rezone 423 West Center St. and 424 Fremont St. from R-5 Multiple-Family PUD (Planned Unit Development) to R-5 Multiple Family, and build additions to Units 6-9 of the Fremont Street Condominiums, part of the Center Park Place Condominiums; and

• A 42 North Custom Homes site plan review request to remodel and move and existing dwelling at 39 Washington St. in Douglas’s R-2 Neighborhood Conservation District.

Public notices for all appeared on Page B5 of the Sept. 1 Commercial Record. The entire packet may be reviewed via the city website.

Wikar’s severance, to be disbursed over three months, will include his regular salary and health insurance coverage for that period plus 84 hours of unused vacation time.

Should he obtain new employment with comparable pay and benefits, by the agreement he must apprise Douglas of same at once and the severance will cease then.

Anderson, said Rich LaBombard in his Sept. 12 city manager’s update, will work as planning and zoning administrator on an interim basis and have Douglas office hours, subject to change, on Wednesday afternoons.

She can be reached during normal office hours by phone at (616) 988-3504 or by email at

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