PLEASANT PRAIRIE — For the second time in as many months, plans for a proposed mixed residential development planned for the Whittier Creek neighborhood north of 93rd Street and Old Green Bay Road will go back to the drawing board.
On Monday night, the Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission turned down five options for developing The Vista at Creekside, four of which include different configurations for the development ranging from 41 to 57 single-family lots, a two-family lot, and seven 20-unit apartment buildings with a clubhouse. A fifth option included 30 apartment buildings with a variety of rental units.
The Vista plans proposed by Bear Development have come under fire as residents of the nearby Creekside Crossing condominiums have said the rental housing would come with problems including crime, decreased property values and increased maintenance costs for planned sidewalks and infrastructure. They have not, however, objected to owner-occupied homes.
According to the plans, the rental units are considered “workforce housing” and are not subsidized through the government, as the full monthly rent is paid by its residents, according to Jean Werbie-Harris, the village’s community development director.
Workforce rental housing annual incomes range from just over $25,000 to more than $64,200, in accordance with IRS requirements and the type of unit being rented.
Of the 140 units proposed, 56 are offered at “market rate” rents, while the remaining units are discounted at 35 percent of the market rate, she said.
Other concerns included the apartments’ proximity to the condos, which the developer addressed in at least two options — moving them from the north to the west near Old Green Bay Road.
Plan Commission Chairman Michael Serpe said commission members were “leaning” toward the two options, but wanted more information. One of the two options had an apartment structure within Creekside Circle where the single-family homes were to be placed.
“They’re going to have to work on it more before it’ll come back to us,” Serpe said Tuesday. “The buildings that they’re proposing are not going to be ugly. People have this idea in mind who are workforce people. And I don’t think that’s fair.
“Not everybody can make $100,000 a year,” he said. “But, I’m sure this will come back to us.”
Bear Development President S.R. Mills believed any issues could be worked out.
“The proposal and it’s various iterations is a great example of how feedback from neighbors, staff and elected officials creates better development.,” Mills said. “From the various options presented I believe we have a good solution that includes a mix of multifmaily and single family that works for the neighborhood, Village and Bear.
“We’re hopeful that we continue to receive feedback from the neighborhood at the upcoming Village Board meeting Monday and can advance the best plan possible,” he said.