The Town Board of West Point moved forward with rezoning a future subdivision Aug. 10, but it wasn’t without some hesitance among certain board members.
The proposed new 12-lot subdivision is called “Ryans Haven” and it’s located on Unke Road in the Town of West Point near Lake Wisconsin. Some of the lots will back up to Lake Wisconsin but are separated by a narrow strip of land owned by Wisconsin Power and Light Company. None of the lots directly touch Lake Wisconsin or have pier rights.
During the Thursday evening meeting, the board discussed and conditionally approved a resolution for a preliminary plat of Ryan’s Haven, where the Amalia W. Ryan Revocable Living Trust initiated the process for the major land division.
One lot with the existing farmstead will be classified as agricultural and open space area, or AO-1, rather than A-1 the pure farmland that isn’t to be developed. That will allow continuation of limited agricultural activities on that lot. The remaining 11 new lots will be zoned for single family development or R-1. The remainder of the farm will be restricted so that it remains as farm land and can’t be developed.
“AO-1 is a special agricultural area where under state law, it’s not eligible for agricultural tax credits because it’s been withdrawn from a transition area that might eventually be developed,” said Plan Commission Chair Kevin Kessler after the lengthy discussion. “In this case, because the area is surrounded by residential land, that parcel referred to as Lot 1, there will be restrictions on the number of farm animals that can be kept there.”
While the zoning has not been a big issue, Kessler said the plat has been met with some controversy during Plan Commission and board discussions in recent months.
Those discussions have centered around “conservation subdivision” provisions of the Town ordinance and proposed ordinance waivers that are required for allowing the project to commence.
West Point ordinances state that all culs de sac must be 500 feet, residential areas must utilize 10 percent of the land for active recreational purposes, common space must be properly managed and proportionately distributed and building must be set back a minimum of 100 feet from the start of a 15 percent slope or hill.
The Town Board conditionally approved all the requested waivers and established alternative requirements reflecting the unique site conditions.
Gordon Carncross, town board member for District Two and plan commission member, dissented on two of the waivers in a 3-1 vote, but he did wish the developers well as they proceed.
“If everybody warmed to our ordinances, this area could have been a nice high-end subdivision,” Carncross said, referring to Outlot 2 of Ryan’s Haven. “It holds up a lot of possibilities for the future.”
The board unanimously approved all other waivers, but only after much deliberation.
In addition to approving the waivers, the Town Board approved the “preliminary plat” for the proposed subdivision. Under state law, a final plat must still be approved, but as long as the final plat proposal conforms with the preliminary plat, it must be approved.
The board also discussed and approved a resolution that authorizes an adjustment to municipal levy limit increases in Sauk Fire District charges.
The exact percentage increase will not be known until the district’s budget is discussed, according to Kessler.