Despite getting “99.9 percent of what it wants,” the Sun Prairie Area School District’s proposal for the new Sun Prairie West High School received approval Feb. 18 from the Sun Prairie City Council — but not after considerable discussion about public road access.
Sun Prairie School Board Vice President Tom Weber made a presentation to the council outlining the concern the district has with student safety. Both Sun Prairie School Board President Steve Schroeder and Superintendent Brad Saron requested the council remove a public access agreement to the private drive that will serve the new Sun Prairie West High School.
Community Development Director Scott Kugler, during a presentation that preceded Weber’s, reminded alders that a previous apartment development proposal that included private roads with no public access by developer Terrance Wall was rejected by both the plan commission and city council.
Kugler also successfully argued that the road would be used as a cut-through, and that it would take some west side traffic that currently has to use Highway 19 for local trips off the busy highway.
The district successfully lobbied for removal of a $100,000 intersection improvement with Rebel Drive that members of the Sun Prairie Plan Commission had recommended for approval.
City Council President Bill Connors asked to remove a phrase which would give the SPASD most of what it wanted, but kept public access in the plan. That caused District 4 Alder Al Guyant to use the phrase that the district was getting “99.9 percent of what it wants” in reference to the approval.
“Do not give the school district the authority to close that road,” Connors told the council.
The agreement requires the district to receive permission from the city if it wants to close the private road for an extended period of time.
Some residents opposed using the road as a cut-through, saying it will only add to already congested local streets on Rebel Drive, Kentville Drive and Kelvington Drive (see their comments with the online version of this story at sunprairiestar.com).
When the debate concluded, the council approved both items relating to Sun Prairie West High School:
• A resolution approving a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a new high school with associated athletic fields located on approximately 126 acres south of Windsor Street, east of North Westmount Drive and west of North Grand Avenue; and
• A resolution approving a Certified Survey Map (CSM) to divide approximately 126.4 acres of land into two lots and one outlot.
Smith’s Crossing easement approved
Acting on an approval recommendation from the plan commission, alders voted to approve a public stormwater easement across a portion of Lot 956 in Smith’s Crossing. The lot is located in the First Addition to Smith’s Crossing McCoy Addition, near the eastern intersection of Leopold Way and Koshkonong Way.
Habitat for Humanity development OK’d
Acting on another plan commission approval recommendation, alders OK’d a Precise Implementation Plan (PIP) for Habitat for Humanity’s Town Hall Drive Development consisting of 118 single-family lots and six outlots.
The development will be located on lands along the west side of Town Hall Drive approximately one-eighth of a mile north of Highway 19.
Total buildout could take as little as eight years, with the goal to have 40 percent of buildable lots be developed by Habitat for Humanity families.
SPPD awards presented
Sun Prairie Police Chief Mike Steffes presented the Sun Prairie Police Department awards, featuring Officer of the Year, Employee of the Year and the Chief’s Award (watch the awards in the video accompanying this story online or in the Videos section at sunprairiestar.com).
Newly hired or promoted police officers also participated in a badge pinning ceremony, including the new lieutenant, Ryan Cox, who has been promoted from Detective Sgt. to become the SPPD’s fourth lieutenant.