Despite opposition, the concept plan for the proposed 482-unit McCoy Addition to Smith’s Crossing received an approval recommendation June 12 from the Sun Prairie Plan Commission.
During a presentation to the commission, Veridian Homes officials and consultants outlined the mixed-residential neighborhood that will be located on lands west of Clarmar Drive and southeast of O’Keeffe Avenue. The subject area, consisting of roughly 118.87 acres, includes lands within portions of Smith’s Crossing First and Sixth Additions and land located in the Town of Sun Prairie and the Town of Burke.
City Planner Sarah Sauer said the proposed concept plan will be an amendment to the Smith’s Crossing General Development Plan (GDP).
In her staff report, Sauer said the concept plan shows multi-family and twin home units located closest to the existing roundabout on O’Keeffe Avenue. The previously approved 48 multi-family units in Smith’s Crossing First Addition will combine with 92 new units on a single lot.
Ten twin home units will be alley accessed and meet the standards in the Twin Homes I District in the existing Smith’s Crossing Low-Density Residential Precise Implementation Plan (PIP).
Single-family lots varying in size will include both alley and street accessed configurations, and will also follow existing standards in the Low-Density Residential PIP.
Of the 332 single-family lots proposed in the concept plan, 32 are currently platted in Smith’s Crossing Sixth Addition, according to Sauer.
Requests must be approved to annex the land from the Town of Sun Prairie and attach land from the Town of Burke prior to the plan moving forward.
Among new amenities proposed as part of the McCoy Addition are a pocket “tot lot” park located southwest of a group of single family homes along O’Keeffe, a dog park proposed for one area near the Clarmar warehouses, and a boardwalk that would take pedestrians over a wetland area in the new development.
Jeff Rosenberg from Veridian recalled the history of Smith’s Crossing, which was proposed nearly 20 years ago as Project New Town, and marked a revival of traditional neighborhood development in Sun Prairie.
With the acquisition of 115-120 acres in the McCoy Addition, the development will total roughly 660 acres when the new addition is completed, according to Rosenberg.
The timeline for the project includes a presentation to the Sun Prairie City Council’s Committee of the Whole in July; annexation anticipated in Spring 2019; Preliminary Zoning approvals in the Fall 2018; Final Plat approvals Early 2019 and Project Start in the Spring 2019.
But opposition to the project came from Chad Fedler, whose Goldleaf Management manages the Hunter’s Ridge Apartments near the proposed development that backs up to Hunter’s Ridge.
Fedler said he was not opposed to the development as much as he was opposed to the multi-family units being located as close to other multi-family units in the area.
“We think competition is actually good for the consumer . . . because it causes the best product at the lowest price,” Fedler told the commission.
But there is a reason why Goldleaf and FC Land does not construct apartments near other apartment developments: Saturation and manageability.
If the apartments are constructed and they “go south,” Fedler said, Goldleaf will have no choice but to sell its apartments. He suggested the apartments be moved west, further into the neighborhood.
Fedler also said he wanted to make sure that storm water drainage is properly maintained to the south because of a large amount of storm water that comes from the Walmart development near O’Keeffe and Main streets.
Adam Frey, a Goldleaf Development manager who works at Hunter’s Ridge, pointed to two properties — one in Fitchburg and one in Madison — where management lost control of the apartment rentals.
The result was that problem tenants rented at both properties, even though they were separately owned. He said he does not want to see that kind of a problem near Hunter’s Ridge.
“There is no data to suggest anything of what they’re talking about,” Rosenberg replied.
He said, besides the disingenuous concern for too many apartments (Veridian plans 148 units in its multi-family area near the O’Keeffe roundabout), the other successful apartment buildings located further south in Smith’s Crossing along O’Keeffe Avenue should demonstrate Veridian’s commitment to quality multi-family housing in the neighborhood.
“This is the perfect location [for multi-family units], rather than putting it into the center of the development where you have traffic concerns,” Rosenberg told the commission.
Commissioners voted unanimously to find that the commission reviewed the concept plan and recommended the development proceed to the general development plan stage.
The item will next be considered by the Committee of the Whole on July 17, according to Sauer.