New plan targeted for former TIF area
73-home development proposed for highways 60 and I in Cedarburg

By Denise Seyfer - News Graphic Staff

June 4, 2015

CEDARBURG — Interest and excitement is building among city officials after a new, medium-density subdivision was proposed by Cornerstone Development for land near highways 60 and I.

“It’s a critical development to get anything toward Highway 60,” said Cedarburg Mayor Kip Kinzel.

Cornerstone Development owner John Wahlen presented the development, called The Glen at Cedar Creek, to plan commissioners Monday. His proposal showed 73 single-family, ranch-style units that will be built on the former Seven Gables subdivision site that lies east of Sheboygan Road just south of Highway 60.

Wahlen hopes to begin grading later this fall, but said it “is quite dependent on the lift station,” which is a facility designed to move wastewater from lower to higher elevations through pipes.

The new, country-style homes will offer condominium-style amenities such as an activity-centered atmosphere and no yard maintenance for homeowners, along with the convenience of single-story living, according to the developer.

“We’re trying to create a sense of community in the neighborhood,” Wahlen said, adding the Cedarburg project is a new, hybrid-type of development for this area.

The homes can be built using a wide variety of exterior elevations and floor plans that can be mixed and matched to an owner’s style and wishes.

“We are excited about (the project) and think it’s a step in the right direction,” said City Planner Jon Censky.

The next steps for the Cornerstone Development project will encompass reclassifying and amending the city’s Smart Growth Land Use Plan-2025 to allow for a medium-density development. The area was originally designated as a low-density residential area. A rezoning of the land and a
public hearing in front of the Plan Commission will follow after formal plans are submitted, Censky said.

The neighborhood will be governed by a homeowners association with HOA rules and regulations, the developer said.

The company plans to first build the clubhouse for year-round gathering and exercise. The second phase consists of building homes as lots are purchased, which will probably start to the north of the property, said Aaron Koch, an engineer with Pinnacle Engineering Group in Brookfield.

The subdivision plan showed construction of an amphitheater – an open-air, neighborhood park and entertainment center – a pool and a proposed walking path to spur activities for daily socializing and holiday celebrations within the neighborhood.

If approved, Cornerstone said it would install a walking path or trail for residents use. Owners can also request walk-out basements for some of the units, according to Wahlen.

Homes can range in size from approximately 1,500 square feet to 2,400 square feet and will be priced starting in the low- to middle$300,000 range. The subdivision will be accessible by a private road, Wahlen said.

Council member Patricia Thome said she is delighted by the proposal and wants to see the city move north into that area, which sits adjacent to the village of Grafton and the town of Cedarburg.

The area was originally slated to house the 54-lot Seven Gables subdivision planned in 2005 as part of a tax incremental financing district, in addition to a business park and senior housing. In a TIF district, property taxes are collected to pay for infrastructure costs to develop the land instead of the affected taxing jurisdictions.

As a result of the TIF’s creation, the city borrowed $1.87 million in 2007 to fund construction of the developments’ infrastructure. However, the land remained vacant due in part to the economic downturn in 2008, as well as the high cost to run utilities under the creek, according to Censky.

The Cedarburg Common Council closed TIF district No. 2 March 9.

The new subdivision, similar to the old one, will have to tie into the city’s sewer main, which is located on the east side of Cedar Creek. The sewer line will have to be extended to the west side either above or below the creek. That extension will not only serve the subdivision; but also, the lift station could renew interest in future commercial or residential developments in that area.

“The lift station is a huge item for me,” Kinzel said about the prospective plans.

Ultimately, the sanitary sewer system will extend to the north line allowing for further connections, according to the initial plans.

The developer said he is willing to work with the city, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission regarding a limited encroachment of his development along the Cedar Creek Forest and nearby wetlands, or the Primary Environmental Corridor as determined by SEWRPC.

The company will additionally collaborate with the three entities as it constructs the lift station on an outlot and adds a walking path, Koch said.

The Gables property was once owned by town resident Dick Charmoli, who in September 2006, agreed to sell the town property to MLG Development, based in Brookfield. MLG Development then petitioned the city for annexation. As the city prepared for the large-scale development in its northern corridor, it annexed 252 acres, including The Seven Gables property, that prompted a lawsuit with the town. The town of Cedarburg argued the city’s annexation of town land was arbitrary and not in the public interest.

Cornerstone is based in Pewaukee and specializes in condominium developments in communities such as Brookfield, Sussex, Oconomowoc and Menomonee Falls.

For more information regarding lot and unit sales, contact Wahlen at 262691-2396.