Menomonee Falls paves way for single-family housing

Officials change density requirements after resident objection

Dec. 17, 2013

Menomonee Falls — The Menomonee Falls Village Board on Monday designated lands on the west side of Pilgrim Road for low density residential development, denying the developer's request for a medium density classification.

Aero Park Development requested the village adopt an ordinance amending the land-use component of the village's comprehensive plan for 38 acres of land located west of Pilgrim Road between Chateau Drive and Wildflower Drive, changing the classification from park and open space land to medium density residential. Though the village has planned for single-family residential development in this area of the village since 2010, the Plan Commission and Village Board approved low density development to match the density of surrounding subdivisions, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said.

The Falls Plan Commission last month was provided a petition signed by 20 residents citing their objection to the medium density classification.

Aero Park requested a medium density land-use classification, which allows between two and six dwelling units per acre. The concept plan submitted would connect Tamarack Trail with the development to the north and south, and provide a road connection to Pilgrim Road, according to village documents. The typical lot in the concept plan would have 10,800 square feet, which would be consistent with the R-5 single-family residential district. The entire development was proposed with 82 lots on 38 acres, creating a density of 2.15 dwelling units per acre.

The low density designation means there must be fewer than two dwelling units per acre. Development plans will have to adjusted, though Fitzgerald said he is unclear at this point how many lots will be brought forward with that land-use classification.

The subdivisions to the north and south — Sierra Heights and Wildflower — have an average density of 1.37 dwelling units per acre.

"(The Village Board) wanted to keep it relatively uniform," Fitzgerald said.

The village originally purchased 107 acres of land along the west side of Pilgrim Road in 1995. Approximately 38 acres have been used for agriculture purposes, with the remaining lands located within the Tamarack Preserve. Over the years, officials discussed using the lands as possible sites for the police department, library or a public works facility. The village selected other sites for these buildings and officials started evaluating the land as a possible park site.

In 2010, the village traded that land for acreage in the southwest corner of the village that officials felt would be better served with a park.

"This is so close to other parks of the village, so when we traded it we traded it to a residential developer with the understanding that it would be changed to single-family residential land-use plan and because of the economy, things didn't happen right away and it's now just happened," Fitzgerald said.

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