Members of the Sun Prairie Plan Commission on May 14 recommended city council approval of a General Development Plan (GDP) amendment for Smith’s Crossing to include designated on-street bike lanes – despite objections by the developer.
City Planner Sarah Sauer said in December 2018, the Council approved a GDP for the McCoy Addition to Smith’s Crossing, a 489-unit mixed residential neighborhood, and a Precise Implementation Plan (PIP) for single-family residential and open space uses, located southeast of O’Keeffe Avenue and west of Clarmar Drive. The approved GDP contains development standards for four residential districts that include street and alley accessed single-family lots, twin home lots, and one 5-acre multi-family lot.
The applicant is requesting an amendment to the GDP to change the designation of 44 single-family residential lots in District 2, located in the southwest quadrant of the McCoy Addition, to allow 37 twin home lots (74 dwelling units).
The amendment, if given final approval by the Sun Prairie City Council, would also add a District 5, with development standards for street accessed twin homes and a District 6, with standards for new alley accessed twin homes located southeast of Leopold Way and Koshkonong Way, to the GDP.
Standards for District 6 will be similar to those established in the GDP for District 3, with 5,600 sq. ft. minimum lot sizes while District 5 will have larger lots at a minimum 9,600 sq. ft. Lots in both districts may be subdivided into zero lot line homes. According to the applicant, the addition of District 5 and 6 will create housing opportunities in Smith’s Crossing with in home services and amenities for aging residents at an affordable rate.
A representative from Veridian Homes asked for reconsideration for a staff recommendation for on-street bike lanes, instead intending for bicyclists to use shared right-of-ways, or sharows. Both City Planning Director Tim Semmann and City Planner Phil Gritzmacher objected to the change, but for different reasons. Semmann said allowing current, off-street bike paths to serve bicycle commuters would not be the most efficient way to move bike traffic. Speaking from his use of the current multi-modal paths, Semmann said bicyclists commuting into Sun Prairie have to contend with runners, walkers and children on their way to school. Designating on-street bike lanes along Legacy Way will allow a more direct route for bicycling commuters without competing with multi-modal bike path users.
Gritzmacher and Community Development Director Scott Kugler said failing to plan for on-street bicycle paths now would be disregarding the proposed additions to the city’s 2019-2039 Comprehensive Plan.
Commissioner Paul Schulte agreed, saying the city should implement the on-street paths now, before the new construction takes place.
Commissioners agreed, recommending approval of the plan as proposed, with the on-street bike paths included.
Drive-through vet clinic OK’d
The same applicant who proposed a drive-through veterinarian clinic in the Bunny Trail development, near Woodman’s, in 2016 returned to the city to propose nearly the same proposal for city approval again in 2019.
Innovative Veterinary Services is proposing to construct the clinic in two phases.
Kugler said phase one will include 4,524 sq. ft., including two garages with four drive-up lanes. Phase two will include full build-out for a total floor area of 5,644 sq. ft. Construction for phase one will begin upon approval while phase two will begin at a later unknown date.
The site is designed to minimalize interaction between pets by separating patient access to exam rooms. Each drive-thru lane and garage space provides a confined, secure space for loading and unloading pets, that can be brought directly to examination rooms with no interaction with other animals. Access to the property would come from Prairie Lakes Drive.
A total of four fenced animal yards will be loated on the property. Three small yards adjacent to the clinic will serve as waiting rooms with one larger yard northwest of the building to be used as additional exercise and educational space. Each yard will be enclosed by a 6-foot high white PVC fence.
Mayor Paul Esser confessed that he was excited about the proposal – and he doesn’t even have a pet. Commissioner Analiese Eicher joked that someone could change that by getting him a puppy, and the mayor quickly declined.
Commissioners voted to recommend council approval of the proposed PIP.
Senior housing proposed on west side
Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies, working with Kraemer Development, is proposing construction of a senior housing facility on property located at the northwest corner of W. Main Street and N. City Station Drive (275 and 291 N. City Station Drive). The facility, if given final approval by the Sun Prairie City Council, would provide a continuum of care and contain between 135 and 150 units, including independent living, assisted living and memory care units.
A representative from Ryan Companies said the firm has constructed 33 different housing communities. The new senior housing is proposed to be located between a mixed-use parcel being developed by Kraemer and one with residential housing being developed by Ray Yunker. Both the city and the Ryan Companies representative said they have been in contact with Yunker about any possible setback concerns or other possible issues associated with the development, and that Yunker is OK with the proposal.
“Overall, our aim is for this to be a community asset. From a market perspective, our research shows that the Sun Prairie market is undersupplied for senior housing. From a land use perspective, we feel senior living is a perfect fit for this site,” the Ryan Companies marketing materials read.
“Despite the density, senior housing is a low-impact and quiet use – this is a win-win for taxpayers and the neighbors nearby. Our marketing plan also relies heavily on high visibility and easy access. We achieve both of those here. Additionally, residents of our projects love feeling connected to the community, so it’s proximity to retail and the new school (s) is highly synergistic . . . the site is conveniently located for staff and adult children of our residents, who frequently use the retail and community amenities nearby.”
If given final approval by the council, Ryan Companies plans construction to start in December 2019 or January 2020, with occupancy in March or April 2021.
Thrive proposal withdrawn
A proposal by Thrive Properties Group to redevelop the former Masonic Lodge property at 152 N. Bird St. was withdrawn from the May 14 commission agenda, without any comment about potential rescheduling. Thrive planned to change the land use classification on the property and rezone the property from Suburban Residential (SR-4) to Urban Commercial (UC) to allow the construction of commercial/office uses.
Next meeting May 28
The commission is planning to meet on Tuesday, May 28. The agenda includes:
• A proposal from developer Dave Baehr to construct a commercial apartment at 107 S. Bristol St.;
• Consideration of a campus plan by Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church to include construction of what the plan refers to as Building #1;
• Considering Legacy Builders’ proposal to construct a commercial car wash on the northeast corner of Blue Aster Boulevard and S. Grand Avenue;
• Reacting to a concept plan for a mixed-use development by Habitat for Humanity near the intersection of Town Hall and West Main Street;
• Considering a proposal to construct an 8-unit and one 6-unit townhouse at 1421 Smithfield Drive; and
• A proposal from Royle Printing to construct a 60,000 sq. ft. addition to the company’s building at 1750 Success Way in the Sun Prairie Business Park.