The Waunakee Village Board is beginning to consider whether and how to proceed with 12 recommendations from the Waunakee Housing Task Force, mainly aimed at providing a greater mix of workforce and affordable housing in the village.
At Monday’s village board meeting, Village Administrator Todd Schmidt proposed resurrecting the Community Development Authority (CDA) and Waunakee Economic Development Commission (WEDC) to meet one recommendation – the creation of an ongoing committee to address long-term affordable home ownership and rental options.
The CDA was created in 2011 when the village sought to help finance the Ice Pond. By state Statute, the CDA’s functions include blight elimination, urban renewal, community development programs and projects, housing projects and other duties.
Waunakee’s ordinance related to the CDA would require revisions, but when Schmidt pressed the board members to learn if this process should begin, some said they first needed to discuss the Housing Task Force’s recommendations more fully.
“It would be good to for us to have a discussion at our level,” said Trustee Gary Herzberg, adding he was concerned about the level of services and impact to the community and the cost of affordable housing.
The task force began meeting in late 2018 and concluded its nine-month study this summer. While the recommendations have been presented to the plan commission, the village board has not yet discussed them.
Village Engineer Kevin Even listed the recommendations, noting that taking them to the next step will require “a lot of work.”
They include addressing senior housing, building 160 units of workforce housing, building 25 qualified income homes, working with developers, working with the UW Business School students on a study this spring, addressing Waunakee’s ordinance allowing just 25 percent of the housing units to be multifamily, seeking a wide range of housing from developers, and implementing an educational program on housing.
Asked about the make-up of the CDA, Schmidt said the statute requires seven members, including two village board members although he envisions subcommittee or advisory representatives. Members should have sufficient experience in urban renewal and community development.
Village President Chris Zellner said he would like to add an historic preservation portion to the CDA’s function. That function currently lies with the plan commission, Schmidt noted.
Zellner suggested the board could hear a presentation on the recommendations and then have a longer discussion at their retreat.
Village Trustee Kristin Runge chaired the Waunakee Housing Task Force. The village’s attorney requested she abstain from Monday’s discussion.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board:
-approved the General Development Plan, final plat and zoning, along with a developer’s agreement, for the Arboretum Village subdivision at Quinn Drive and Hogan Road.
-approved the 2020 Health Insurance Plan which keeps the village’s contribution to the employees’ HSA the same.
-heard the Waunakee Area EMS budget proposed for 2020.
-agreed to purchase electronic poll books for upcoming elections.