The Waunakee Village Board Monday gave the go-ahead for Veridian to develop the Heritage Hills mixed-use subdivision with approvals of an annexation ordinance, annexation agreement, general development plan and preliminary plat.

However, village officials stopped short of agreeing to a cost share for Schumacher Road, as requested by the developer, but did commit to paying 25 percent of the Division Street extension cost.

Veridian has plans to develop the north side of Main Street between Division Street and Schumacher Road with a mix of single- and multi-family housing. The plan calls for more than 600 housing units at varying price points.

Veridian developers had requested the cost share prior to the meeting as part of the annexation agreement, and village officials met in closed session for approximately half an hour to consider the request.

When board members returned from the closed session with their attorney, Bryan Kleinmaier, Kleinmaier announced new language to be added to the annexation agreement.

The agreement requires Veridian to cover the road improvement costs as identified in the traffic-impact analysis at the intersections of Main Street with Division Street, the road leading into the subdivision and Schumacher Road, along with improvements needed to both the east and west sides of Schumacher Road. The developers had suggested that they could cover the improvements on their half of the road.

The agreement also commits the village to work with Veridian on a plan to extend Division Street with as little impact to the sledding hill as possible, or no impact at all.

Prior to the closed session meeting, Veridian made the case for the cost share of Division Street, noting engineering would be needed at the site once used as a dump.

Chris Ehlers of Veridian said the developers had been asked to be sure they meet the price points on the homes but noted those price points were determined with the assumption that the village would pay half of road-extension costs.

Also, Ehlers said, the road extension is about two to four years out, by which time homes will be built and tax dollars going to the village.

“If we work together, I think we can do it for a very fair price and maintain the sledding hill,” Ehlers said.

Another change to the annexation agreement related to the phasing of the development.

Kevin Even, village engineer, told the board that the village has been below its five-year inventory for lots available to keep the market competitive.

Even said the goal has always been to keep the number of new homes built to 125 per year.

Veridian has asked to offer 45 lots per year rather than 30 lots per year. Even said if this were offered to Veridian, it would only be fair to offer the same to other developers.

After the closed session, Kleinmaier said language could be added to the annexation agreement allowing Veridian an additional 30 lots to develop at any time.

“Essentially, we are lagging behind a little bit on our available lots. It does make sense to let this developer and other developers to do that,” Kleinmaier said. But the phasing in place has worked to prevent the school district from being overwhelmed by new development.

Even said often, details of new developments are part of the annexation agreement.

“It’s not a surprise that it took this long for it to get flushed out because this is where it comes down to in the agreement, who’s paying for what,” Even said.

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