Two McFarland developers share a boundary and similar proposed housing options on their lands. They also share opposition from nearby residents who cite traffic concerns and a decrease in home values as causes of concern.
Northpointe Development has petitioned for a rezoning of Lot 56 of Prairie Place subdivision on the northeast corner of Broadhead Street and Holscher Road from general residence to planned development district.
The proposal includes a three-story apartment building with 62 units, underground parking and surface parking, as well as 18 units in five separate two-story townhouses, each with a two-car garage.
The apartment building would be age restricted to people 55 and older. The developer intends to apply for federal and state affordable housing tax credits with the units targeted primarily to households earning 50-80 percent of Dane County median income.
The Prairie Stone Condominium Association, located at the same intersection, opposes the plan, and questioned the size and scope at the June 15 Plan Commission hearing.
“Our neighborhood has already experienced increased traffic because of the new baseball fields and from the 251 homes already built in the Juniper Ridge and Prairie Place developments,” wrote the association board of directors. “We are concerned the impact this large development will have on our property values. Besides the traffic and density, eighty rent restricted units is just too much. We would like to the see development cut in half and be all owner occupied.”
Several hundred residents signed a petition opposing the rezoning and developments as presented.
Andrew Bremer, community and economic development director for the village, said a traffic study of the intersection will be performed and action on the proposal will be postponed until it is complete.
The study is anticipated to be completed in August or September.
“Since the June 15 public hearing, Northpointe Development is coordinating with neighborhood residents to discuss potential plan revisions to address comments heard at the June 15 meeting,” he said. “The purpose of the traffic study is to investigate intersection control alternatives to the intersection to address increasing traffic demands and maximize safety. A previous traffic study was completed for Holscher Road in 2015 to aid the engineering design for the reconstruction of Holscher Road from Broadhead Street to Siggelkow Road, with construction completed in 2017.”
The date of the next public hearing before the Plan Commission on this development proposal has not been determined but will not occur at the July 20 or Aug. 17 meetings.
Directly to the north are Lots 57 and 58, on which CF Investments has petitioned for a conditional use permit. The developer proposes constructing 32 market-rate units consisting of 24 two-story townhouse units in four separate buildings, each with two-car garages and surface parking, and one two-story multifamily building with eight units and two underground parking spaces per unit.
“In combination with the expanded housing proposed … the huge increase in traffic will make the intersection of Broadhead and Holscher untenable, unsafe and potentially inaccessible for emergency vehicles,” wrote resident Megan Brown. “Holscher Road will become the major throughway for anyone going north towards Madison for Highway 51 access, and the houses along that road will be dramatically impacted. The increase in density of housing proposed does not add value to the neighborhood, but will create drastic parking and traffic issues if the proposal is passed.”
Action on this proposal was postponed until the July 20 meeting, but CF Investments has since been working with neighbors on additional plan revisions to reflect comments heard at the public hearing and through subsequent communications.
“These potential development revisions necessitate the developer to make further revisions to the previous development plans reviewed at the June Plan Commission meeting,” Bremer said. “Upon submittal of the revised development plans, and written responses to the village’s conditional use standards, a public hearing will be scheduled with the Plan Commission.”
Like the other proposal, the next date has not been determined, but it will not be at the July or August Plan Commission meetings.
Bremer also clarified comments that both proposals comply with the village’s comprehensive plan.
“The development sites have been planned in previous village master and comprehensive land use plans (1994, 2006) for multifamily development,” he said. “The village’s current comprehensive plan adopted in 2017, also identifies the subject property in the ‘multiple family residential’ future land use category. No amendments to the comprehensive plan have been approved by the Village Board for the development sites since the plan was adopted in 2017. In fact, there has only been one amendment since the latest plan was adopted and that was for a completely unrelated project.”
Bremer said the Plan Commission will evaluate the consistency of the development proposals to the comprehensive plan as part of their review of the development proposals.
“The subdivision plat for Prairie Place did go through a number of revisions over the course of many years before final approval of the existing plat in 2017,” he said. “No changes to the subdivision plat have occurred since 2017.”
Northpointe Development initially estimated construction beginning in August 2021 with completion in September 2022. CF Investments has suggested construction would begin upon project approval in 2020 with completion in 2021. All dates are preliminary and subject to change.