A proposed development project on Sun Prairie’s east side that would include Habitat for Humanity homes received both praise and concerns from neighboring residents this week.
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County Inc. is proposing the development of 62 acres at the intersection of Town Hall Drive and State Highway 19. The plan is for 125 single-family lots, parkland and mixed-use area north of the railroad tracks. Commercial development is proposed for south of railroad tracks.
The project is slated to bring 50 single family Habitat for Humanity homes to the city as part of the four-phase project built out over eight years. Construction of the first home is expected in fall 2020.
Alders had their first peek at the project at the June 4 Committee of the Whole meeting.
The Sun Prairie Plan Commission during a special May 28 meeting recommended conditional approval of the proposed concept plan. A general development plan will bring more details on the project at a future plan commission meeting.
At the June 4 Committee of the Whole meeting, Paul Schulte, a Sun Prairie Plan Commission member and Gardens at Willow Brook Homeowners Association member, said he wanted to pass on residents’ comments for the project.
“The homeowners association is in support of the development,” Schulte said.
But he said there were concerns about traffic impact, construction entrances, lot sizes, carriage lane use, and if the neighborhood would have a homeowners association that would set standards. There was also opposition to retail being located at Town Hall Drive and State Highway 19 because of safety and traffic.
Elizabeth Kacizak, who lives in the Willow Brook neighborhood opposes the project that she said would destroy the green space in her backyard—displacing wildlife and creating congestion.
“I do oppose this development—nothing against Habitat for Humanity—I just like the green space and I don’t want more people in my neighborhood,” Kacizak told city alders, questioning if the development was even needed in the city.
Kacizak requested that there be more green space and parks in the plan, a bike/pedestrian lane off of the carriage lane, and no compromise on creating smaller lot sizes. She also asked the city to do a traffic study to gauge the impact of the extra cars the development would bring.
Alders mulled the early details of the plan--traffic congestion, phase development, and other logistics. Some showed support for the development’s affordable housing options.
“I think it is very important for our city to create an environment of different types of housing, at different price points, because I hear from residents all the time that they are being priced out of their home,” District 1 Alder Emily Lindsey said.
The average home costs $258,000 in the City of Sun Prairie.
A Habitat for Humanity representative said there were no estimates on how much the Habitat homes would cost in the proposed development.