Muskego - A proposal to build 34 ranch-style condominiums in rural Muskego brought 40 people to a public hearing, triggered a petition that will require a super majority for approval and the scheduling of another neighborhood meeting with the developer.
Despite all that, some think it's a good idea, saying the proposed condos would attract empty-nesters rather than families with children who generate more traffic.
The Pellmann Farm Condominium plan must still win favor with the plan commission and must have a super majority approval from the Muskego Common Council. The petition has enough signatures to require that six out of the seven aldermen voting in favor are needed for approval.
The nearly 11.5-acre tract along Woods Road south of the Parkland Drive intersection is zoned for medium density and 34 homes could be built there. The condos, selling for $320,000 to $400,000.
Traffic impact was a major concern of those coming out against the plan. However, Alderman Kevin Kubacki who represents the area, said, "The average age of their other developments is in the 60-year-old category. They don't have kids so there is less traffic, less pressure on school system than single-family homes."
Alderman Bob Hammel, whose district is very close to the proposed development, tended to agree, although he said he is not at all a fan of multi-family housing. Siting his family as an example, he said, "We have two kids who drive so we have four cars."
"And we're not the only ones," in the subdivision with several cars, he said.
Three of the approximately eight speakers questioning the project at the recent hearing feared loss of access to Bass Bay. That won't happen, Kubacki said. Confusion had arisen because the owner also owns property along Bass Bay, he said. However, that access is not at all involved in the condo proposal, Kubacki said.
The area carries medium density RS-3 zoning. That zoning allows slightly higher density and smaller lots and homes than RS-2 zoning. With the lower requirement of at least 15,000 square feet per lot, the proposed development falls a bit short, with 14,708 square feet being the average.
However, the proposed project does meet the requirements of the city's 2020 Comprehensive Plan that defines medium density differently. The 2020 plan requires a maximum of 2.99 units per acre, which calculates out to 34 units for a tract of this size.
Cornerstone Development is asking the land to be rezoned to planned unit development zoning because the condominium style development would have no exact property lines, various owners would have private and common spaces and structure setbacks would vary.
The rezoning will need Muskego Common Council approval.
The plan consists of 11 two-family structures, three four-family structures, a clubhouse and internal private roads coming off Woods Road and Kurtze Lane. The two-family units would be about 5,000 square feet and the four-family units about 9,000 square feet.
In Kubacki's view, many of those who came to the rezoning hearing with a negative view of the project changed their minds when they saw the artist renderings.
"They saw how absolutely gorgeous they are," Kubacki said.