For the second time at Waunakee municipal meetings to review a proposed subdivision at Hogan Road and Uniek Drive, community members questioned the use of Planned Unit Development, or PUD, instead of the standard zoning classifications.

Developer Don Tierney has proposed using PUD or Planned Unit Development for the Arboretum Village subdivision south of Octopi Brewing.

Planned Unit Development is described as follows in the village’s zoning code:

“The PUD Planned Unit Development District is established to encourage and promote improved environmental design in the village by allowing for greater freedom, imagination and flexibility in the development of land, while ensuring substantial compliance with the basic intent of this chapter and the general plan for community development. The PUD district allows diversification and variation in the relationship of uses, structures, open spaces and heights of structures in developments conceived and implemented as comprehensive and cohesive, unified projects. It is further intended to encourage more rational and economic development in regard to public services and encourage and facilitate preservation of open land.”

But during a public hearing on the Arboretum Village plan at the Sept. 16 Waunakee Village Board meeting, some Waunakee residents questioned whether the Arboretum Village proposal met the criteria for PUD.

“When you look at other PUDs in the village, they provide some sort of unique service, something interesting to the homeowners, something interesting to the village, something that helps the village,” said resident Robert McPherson.

But McPherson said nothing in the Arboretum Village plans were creative or innovative.

Instead, McPherson said the PUD could be used by a developer to “get around the rules.”

“I don’t think it’s really necessary for the public good that you’re, in effect, bending the rules, giving everybody a PUD,” McPherson said.

Tierney said PUD allowed him to incorporate several unique features in other subdivisions, such as a covered bridge and a gazebo in Savannah Village. He noted his other developments in DeForest and Deerfield were also designated PUD.

Arboretum Village would be unique in that it would provide some affordable housing, he said.

Like McPherson, Waunakee resident Linda Ashmore asked how this PUD differs from others.

Village Engineer Kevin Even noted that PUD developments allow for lots of different size.

Even pointed out other developments with PUD zoning, noting the differences between them and those with the traditional R-1 zoning, where every lot is identical in size.

“What this development does, and some of these other PUDs, it creates different levels of development, so that you can have a large lot next to a small lot. You get that very uniqueness in what that subdivision looks like,” Even said. “It’s not cookie cutter.”

PUDs can have a $700,000 home next to a $300,000 home, Even said.

“One thing Don and his standards of development have done is created a front yard space,” Even added. “It’s created a front porch and a front yard setback.”

That creates a space where people want to be in the front yard as opposed to the backyard, Even said.

The village board took no action after the Sept. 16 public hearing as the general development plan is being revised to remove the architectural standards. Following the plan commission’s recommendation, village board members agreed that the general development plan should include only the zoning. Architectural standards, along with maintenance of fencing in the subdivision, should come under the authority of the homeowners association.

Also, one lot designated as multi-family will remain zoned for agricultural use until the village decides on its policy for multi-family housing. Village officials plan to review recommendations from the recent Housing Task Force as they examine the policy.

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