Richfield map could aid developers
Will help emergency vehicles too

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

April 21, 2015

RICHFIELD - Instead of having to consult several maps, Richfield is creating one that could answer dozens of questions for property owners, residential developers and public safety personnel as well as save time and money.

During the next month, village staff will create a “Road Connectivity Map.”

Administrator Jim Healy said the map will be a resource to help property owners envision potential single-family residential development options and to understand how their roads may one day be connected to adjacent subdivisions.

“Our intention is that this would be a collaborative effort with the Richfield Volunteer Fire Co., the village’s Department of Public Works and Planning Department,” Healy said.

The village fire chief and developers like the idea.

Fire Chief Terry Kohl agrees the information will improve response times for emergency vehicles and help where subdivisions have a single entrance and exit.

“It will show us where there are cul-de-sacs that will make it easier and safer to turn our big rigs around. Those aren’t indicated on existing maps,” Kohl said. “It’s very hard to jog the units around at a T-intersection. There’s questions of safety involved when you have to do that kind of a turnaround. It should be a valuable tool for us.”

Healy said the village has 50 or more places on the adopted zoning map where roads abruptly end.

“With the creation of this map and by taking into consideration such things as existing subdivision plat maps where future road reservations may be indicated, topography, environmentally sensitive areas, neighboring land uses, and the type of termination currently used (dead end, T-turnaround, etc.) village staff is able to more effectively assist property owners with the development of their land when and if the time comes,” Healy said.

Norb Weyer of Weyer Realty in Richfield said having one map that contains all that information would save a developer time and money.

“It would make it easier for everyone involved,” Weyer said. “Access to streets and roads and the land’s topography are some of the first things you look at after you check out the price of the property.”

Thomson Co. Vice President of Development Dean Frederick said his Pewaukee company needs the information to help them make important decisions.

“It would certainly save us plenty of time in the initial stages,” Frederick said. “Being able to answer questions quickly about the environment, topography and the connection to infrastructure is needed as soon as possible when you’re looking at property for development.”

Healy said he expects about 30 hours of staff time to complete. It could be presented to the Village Board in May or June.