PLEASANT PRAIRIE — After months of contention and re-evaluation, the conceptual plan for a residential development calling for a mix of single-family homes and apartments was unanimously approved Monday by the Village Board.
In the end, the board chose an option for The Vista at Creek Side from Bear Development that calls for 54 single-family lots, a two-family lot and seven, 20-unit apartment buildings on the 62 acres north of 93rd Street and east of Old Green Bay Road.
Board member Mike Serpe said while the initial plan, submitted Jan. 28, was met with considerable opposition, the latest iteration was the best compromise.
Among the revisions was moving the apartment buildings west toward Old Green Bay Road, with just one apartment building within Creekside Circle.
“This area is a high-growth area,” said Serpe. “We have to provide housing for the residents who work in this area.”
The proposal had come under fire from residents of nearby Creekside Crossing condominiums, who said the rental units would bring crime, decreased property values and increased maintenance costs for planned sidewalks and infrastructure.
“The one thing I think we have to consider is we’re dealing with a developer who is local. We’re not dealing with someone who is from Illinois, California, Madison, Green Bay. Bear Development is local ... and that means something,” Serpe said.
Many residents said they favor only owner-occupied dwellings, which was the plan for the area four years ago.
However, according to Jean Werbie-Harris, the village’s community development director, a revised state law does not allow municipalities to restrict residents occupying housing developments based on ownership.
Board member Michael Pollocoff said the law change came about during the recession when owners of homes in condominium communities who lost their jobs found they could not rent out their condos.
“One of the things that drove the state Legislature to change that law says ... you can’t say whether they have to buy or rent,” he said. “It’s got to be multi-family housing that meets the standards of the community, meets the development standards, it looks appropriate and functions well. If it’s rental, it’s rental.”
The board also could have considered a development that included all multi-family apartment building dwellings, according to Pollocoff.
“I’m pretty positive from everything I heard that was one of things nobody wanted within that Creekside Circle, which was all apartments,” he said.
According to Pollocoff, however, there is no guarantee that future residential developments won’t have just apartments.
He credited staff, the developer and the residents who worked together on coming to a solution.
“Not everybody is getting what they want, but everybody is getting most of what they want,” he said.