The city is continuing to work with JGP Land Development LLC on a developer’s agreement for 35 lots in DeYoung Farm Subdivision. Mayor Jeni Quimby at the March 24 Waterloo Planning Commission meeting spoke about a recent meeting between herself, Clerk/Treasurer Mo Hansen and developer Jeff Petry of JGP Land Development.
“This isn’t up for approval or blessing or passing,” Quimby said. “We’re just sharing with you the meeting that we’ve had.”
According to Hansen, in early February Petry initiated phone conversations with the city regarding a development agreement between the pair of parties. The city asked the developer to submit a document in writing so the city staff would have a written document to react to.
Just five days before the commission meeting, the trio met along with engineer to go over the developer’s agreement.
“The engineer had taken the 2006 developer’s agreement (drafted by the then-city attorney)… and retyped it,” Hansen said. “So that’s the basis for this document.”
The clerk/treasurer said the developer came to the meeting with changes to the agreement in an attempt to lower the costs. The changes included having rural instead of urban street design, which would mean no curb, gutter, stormwater infrastructure or sidewalks.
Quimby and Hansen used comments from the plan commission and community development authority to deny the requests made in the amended developer’s agreement.
The mayor initially thought after denying the rural street design that Petry would decide to walk away from developing lots in the city. Instead, the developer said, “You know what you need, just send me a bill” and “we just want to build homes.”
Hansen said once discussions began during the nearly three-hour long meeting, many of the provisions Petry changed from the 2006 developer’s agreement were reinstated.
Quimby said as of the meeting, the city had not heard back from Petry. She noted the developer had until April 1 to finalize the purchase of the 35 lots.
“There will be more conversations (if the sale goes through),” the mayor said. “This is just the first step, no one is signing off on anything.”
Comprehensive plan update
The city has been working on creating an update to the 2008 comprehensive plan for the past several months. Quimby said the plan is not being rewritten but wanted to update goals and objectives “we can sink our teeth into and be active on.”
The commission decided to table any action on the plan, wishing to have a completely updated document, which has been referred to as a condensed action plan.
The mayor said the goals she chose to include in the plan were things Waterloo was currently working on but wanted to put more focus on it.
“I took things directly from the comprehensive plan – I didn’t make anything up,” she said. “Quite honestly, these were things we’ve been doing all along, We just weren’t really recording it, checking it off as accomplished.”
Among the goals are engaging in proactive economic growth, minimizing land use conflicts, utilizing existing infrastructure and utilities wherever practical, encouraging a blend of housing options, improving and expanding access to the Maunesha River, and ensuring basic public services are available to all residents.
The action plan also outlines what has been accomplished since the 2008 creation of the comprehensive plan, current department plans, and priorities carried forward since 2008.
Commission member and Alder Jeanette Petts appreciated how the document used charts, making it easier to read and understand. However, not everyone shared her assessment; resident Maureen Giese would prefer the document have fewer graphs and statistics.
Other board news:
• A small light industrial business could soon be transferring to Waterloo from Monona. The commission recommended the city council approve a conditional use permit for H2Owners LLC, which produces outdoor specialty products such as lake weed blankets, bird deterrents and multipurpose fiberglass poles.
Business owner Matthew Frankey would like to operate out of the first floor of 255 Jefferson St. Due to the current zoning, a CUP would be necessary for him to operate H2Owners LLC out of the location.
Frankey would like to relocate the business to Waterloo because it has outgrown its Monona space and loves the building at 255 Jefferson St., which also houses an antiques mall and office spaces.
During a brief public hearing, a person who resides at a neighboring property asked how much noise H2Owner LLC would generate; Frankey said employees would use light equipment such as band saws but no heavy industrial equipment. Additionally, much of the space would be used for storage as opposed to production.