Waunakee’s plan commission voted to recommend a rezone to PUD, along with preliminary plat approval to the village board for 160 acres just east of Waunakee on the Breunig property.

Veridian Homes is proposing a mixed use development that would include 684 housing units in all, with a mix of multi- and single-family homes on the north side of Hwy. 19 between Division Street and Schumacher Road. The developers noted that the master plan for the site would take between 10 and 13 years to develop.

The percentage of multi-family homes in the plan exceeded the village’s policy that limits the ratio of multi-family homes to 25 percent of the housing within a Planned Unit Development. The village completed a housing study this summer with recommendations to provide a greater number of workforce housing, and a committee is forming to address those recommendations.

With other development proposals, village officials have asked developers to maintain land proposed for multi-family housing in agricultural zoning until the village implements new policies.

At Monday’s meeting, the village’s attorney, Bryan Kleinmaier advised the commission that if the Heritage Hills PUD is approved with the multi-family housing, the same offer should be made to other developers to be consistent.

“What we’ve done with Forward Development and the Tierneys, I think we could stick with that model and leave it alone until we get to the housing study, or we could go with this new model and allow 75-25 in your development with a deed restriction. But if we do that with this development, we’ve got to go back to the other ones and offer them this scenario. It’s a fairness issue,” added Kevin Even, village engineer.

The Heritage Hills development proposal includes a mix of single-family homes, twin homes, multi-family homes and a farm mixed-use center use, all with different price points. The multi-family component currently comprises about 29 percent of the plan.

Chris Ehlers of Veridian Homes told the commission that the current 75 to 25 percent ratio of single-family to multi-family homes will eventually be upheld or modified.

“We have to keep moving forward, and we fully embrace what the subcommittee comes up with as they work through this process,” said Ehlers. “But from an appraisal process standpoint, we just need to get through something that classifies this as a future potential use that’s more than just ag because it’s a multi-family site.”

Ehlers added that the multi-family portion of the development would come later.

Commission members agreed to allowing the rezone with the current multi- to single-family home ratio and to offering other developers the same option. The village board will have the final say on the matter.

Kleinmaier also brought up the matter of the potential uses for the farm mixed-use portion of the site, noting that the allowable uses are broad, and the commission may want to hone them down. Commissioners spent some time discussing this until municipal planner Jason Valerius weighed in, saying he didn’t have a problem with the uses, but would like to see language in the General Development Plan that discusses how the site will be developed.

“We’ve heard about a desire to use the existing building or have new buildings reflect the character of the farmstead buildings that are there. I think that’s a good thing. I’d like to see that the in the GDP,” Valerius said.

Plan commissioners also voted 4-3 to allow the Westport Joint Plan Commission to review the plan although the site is outside of the Joint Planning Area in Westport.

In a memo to village staff, Tom Wilson, Westport’s administrator, attorney, clerk-treasurer noted that that “there are some concerns of the effects on Westport and its citizens, especially as it regards to traffic, and even more specifically Schumacher Road.”

Other concerns relate to the historic significance of the farm buildings, buffers bordering properties in Westport and protections for Schumacher Farm Park.

The development team noted that it has hired an engineering firm and has received traffic projections from the Department of Transportation. A traffic-impact analysis is expected to be filed with the DOT and village at the end of the year.

As part of the plan, the village has requested an extension of Division Street from Easy Street through the development. During the public hearing portion of the meeting, several residents asked that the sledding hill be maintained, noting it is an important part of the village’s park system.

“We don’t need a sledding hill to be turned into a traffic nightmare,” said Nila Frye of Waunakee.

Even said village officials have been clear that the hill is important, and the road should be built around it.

Several steps remain for the development to be approved, including an annexation.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the committee recommended approval of the Specific Implementation Plan for Kwik Trip at the southwest corner of Hwy. Q and Water Wheel Drive, next to Boston’s Pizza.

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