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Variance needed for Culver’s new building to move forward in Hartford, WI

October 13, 2021 – Hartford, WI – As neighbors in Hartford, WI celebrated the news Culver’s would rebuild bigger and better at the former Ponderosa location across the Sumner Street, City Administrator Steve Volkert was sounding a warning.former Ponderosa Hartford
Volkert cautioned the community not to have their butter burger and pumpkin spice shake already ordered.

“There’s a variance to the property that they have to go through,” said Volkert. “The variances aren’t automatic. I mean the staff supports the idea (of a new Culver’s in former Ponderosa location) but there’s a variance.”

Volkert gave the example of a variance as something as simple as requesting a setback from the curb so a home or business could be a little bigger than what is normally allowed.

“You’d like there to be an exception to the law, so that’s a variance,” he said. “How high a building or how much space in the whole area you take up. It can be any of those things that you’re asking for an exception to the rule.”

fire, Hartford, Culver's

Volkert said the Culver’s plan would have to go through a variance and be approved by the Plan Commission. “So there’s quite a few things they have to go through yet,” he said.

The owner of the local Culver’s franchise noted, “This new location will give us enough room for a double drive thru, increased dining room and parking.”

The new 1.7-acre parcel, 1285 E. Sumner Street, was sold July 1, 2021 for $950,000 to DMD Hartford, Appleton, Wisconsin. The former location that burned on Sept. 11, 2021 was 0.9 acres.

Volkert said Hartford is “business friendly” but “we try to make everything so it’s uniform for the right reasons.”

As far as Culver’s remaining in Hartford, Volkert said, “We’re very favorable with them doing this it’s just there’s quite a few steps here yet and we want you to let everyone know.”

Click HERE to look at plans for the new Festival Foods and

Shoppes at Belle Avenue

A meeting about the plans for the proposed new Culver’s will be reviewed for variance as soon as a quorum can be called. The Plan Commission meeting has also yet to be scheduled.

Calls have been placed for a copy of the proposed plan for the new restaurant. Those designs will be posted as soon as information is available.


  1. Too bad free market doesn’t dictate where people go Jaysin— if you’d prefer to move to Mother Russia I think they do things there more similar to what you are requesting.

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