Falls creates new zoning district to spur development

Village Board creates category for conservation subdivisions

Nov. 5, 2013

Menomonee Falls — To pave the way for future subdivisions on undeveloped lands in the village, the Menomonee Falls Village Board created the conservation development zoning district to allow for housing on open spaces requiring private septic systems and wells.

The northwest side of the village is not served by municipal sewer and water and most likely will not be connected to those services in the future. Currently, there is no zoning district that allows for residential development in those areas.

The new zoning district will allow for single family residential development on lots in large, open areas with private wells and sewage systems where it would not adversely affect water wells and natural resources.

There are currently no development plans on the table for that side of the village, but the hope is the development district could bring something forward, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said.

"(The zoning district) is unusual for us because we have sewer and water throughout much of the village, but it is unique for us, and it will be very interesting to watch to see what developers come forward in the coming months and years," he said. "We have not had that type of development and it will be interesting to see what the market can bear."

The maximum density is one dwelling unit per three net buildable acres. Residential development could be clustered on parcels 35 acres or larger in size, according to village documents.

Barber and beauty shops, insurance offices, photographic studios, and professional home offices are among the uses permitted in the conservation district through a conditional use permit.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the village approved several isolated subdivisions on private wells and septic systems. One of the subdivisions, with 93 single family lots on 73 acres of land, contaminated the private wells. The subdivision was outside of the Menomonee Falls Sewerage Service area and would have had to connect to Sussex. At that time, the cost of connection was higher than the the value of the homes, according to district documents.

Increment from the Silver Spring Corporate Park tax incremental finance district ultimately paid to fix the issue. The conservation development district was created to allow for development on private systems, while preventing well contamination from occurring in the future.

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