A proposed 14-unit development in the Village of Poynette is in the beginning stages of getting the necessary approvals as it moves toward potential construction.
During the village board meeting on Nov. 9, Erica and Corey Radlund — who currently own the Sandhill Apartments in Poynette — were in attendance for a pre-application consultation with board members. The reason for the consultation was to work through potential issues or roadblocks that might deter the development.
The Sandhill Apartments sit to the east of Family Dollar on Howard Street. The proposed development by the Radlunds would sit to the east of their current apartment building.
The Radlunds had a previous consultation with the plan commission addressing a few concerns. The commission was in agreement on three items that would help the project move forward, but the Radlunds also needed the board in be in agreement. No action was taken during either meeting, as the consultation was just to see if the board would share the same thoughts as the plan commission.
The board was in favor of the same three items: to rezone the lot from R-1-M (single family) to multi-family as it fits in the Comprehensive Plan; to have the Radlunds apply for a conditional use permit; and to modify an ordinance for the density requirement. The ordinance would need to be modified because currently the most units that the Radlunds could build is nine, based on the overall lot size.
Corey Radlund said that the last thing the couple wants is a high-density complex in Poynette, creating a ton of traffic. The 14-unit building would consist of all one-bedroom units.
Village Administrator Martin Shanks also noted that the board needed to address three additional issues that the plan commission did not have authority to address. Those issues were impact fees, a sewer connection fee and possible infrastructure improvements.
Since 2006, the village has charged new developments impact fees on three services: the library; the fire and EMS station; and the parks. The fees are meant to offset the impact of the new development on the village’s infrastructure and services. Whatever is charged can only be used for capital projects (new buildings, expansions, etc.) on the three services.
The current rates are $600 per unit for the library fee, $451 per unit for the fire and EMS station fee, and $243 per unit for the parks fee. With their 14-unit building, the total amount of impact fees that the Radlunds would need to pay is $18,116. The Radlunds wrote in an email to Shanks and the board that the total amount might carry too much of a financial burden for them to move forward, and they were looking for the board to possibly waive, or cut down, some of the fees.
It was noted by Shanks that the library does not have any plans for capital projects in the coming years, and recommended that the board agree to waive the library impact fee when the time comes. If the village were to not use the charged amount within eight years, all money would transfer back to the developers. The board was in agreement to waive the $8,400 for the Radlunds on the library impact fee, but have them pay the remaining $9,716 in other fees.
Another concern by the Radlunds was the village’s sewer connection fee. All new developments are charged a fee based on connection of the sewer and potential usage. The Radlunds were to be charged $21,294.
Shanks noted that there is an exception in the village ordinance. The exception is that if occupancy is limited to no more than two people per unit, with one being at least 55 years old, the fee could be cut in half. While there is no age restriction on the development, Shanks said it is unlikely that more than two people would be living in the proposed one-bedroom apartments. He also noted that by having a small number of residents, the overall impact by the development on the sewers would be less than larger developments.
The board was in agreement to cut the sewer connection fees in half, with the Radlunds new total being $10,647. When adding the waived library fee, the Radlunds were spared more than $19,000 in fees.
As for the infrastructure improvements, the board could not give the Radlunds definite direction because plans for the proposed development have not been finalized. Currently, East Tomlinson and East Seward streets end just beyond the Sandhill Apartments. Road construction will be necessary for an entrance to the new development, but it has not yet been determined where that may be located.
The board did not want to pressure the Radlunds into doing one thing over another in terms of road improvements at this time.
The hope for the Radlunds and the village is to have all the necessary approvals done through the winter months, with construction possibly starting in the spring at the earliest.