Delafield officials reject third set of plans for apartment complex
Concerns of density at heart of Village Square debate

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Freeman

Nov. 4, 2014

DELAFIELD — The third time was not a charm for a Madison developer hoping to construct a high-end apartment complex near the Highways 83 and 16 interchange.

In a 4-2 vote, the Delafield Common Council on Monday voted down Joe McCormick’s revised plans for his Village Square apartment complex. The latest iteration of his proposal included 90 apartment units across three separate buildings. Underground parking spaces also were featured in the proposal.

McCormick has been eyeing the housing development as a compliment to the nearby Village Square shopping center, 3130 Village Square Drive.

The latest plans submitted to city officials closely mirror the ones that ultimately were rejected by the council in February after extensive debate. McCormick’s revised proposal included a reduction in lighting and a revised parking plan.

The council’s decision to nix McCormick’s latest set of plans came on the heels of a recommendation from the city Plan Commission. The appointed body took the issue up last week, and members voted, 6-1, in favor of denying the application.

Nearly a half-dozen residents, many living adjacent to the property, came before the council Monday and implored officials to reject the latest sets of plans.

Resident Alyce Schouten participated in a task force group that created the existing agreements and zoning for the parcels contained within the area of the proposed Village Square housing development.

Regarding amending the agreement to accommodate McCormick’s proposed plans, Schouten said, “Please do not change a word of the out-of-court settlement. Please do not open a Pandora’s box because it cannot be closed again.”

As McCormick’s latest request was debated, a question of what ultimately would be suitable for the property ensued. Alderman Gerald MacDougall unsuccessfully made a motion to postpone a decision while a developer’s agreement was reviewed.

But other aldermen said the voices of nearby property owners need to be heard.

“We, as a council, need to maintain some credibility with the entire city,” Alderman Al Zietlow said.

Despite rejecting McCormick’s plans, the council has agreed to review city codes and make recommendations of suitable uses for the property.

If McCormick’s apartment proposal had moved forward, it would have exceeded the threshold of multifamily units contained in the city’s 2030 master plan. But several members of the council asserted that plan might be outdated.

Mayor Michele DeYoe said a marketing study revealed a vacancy rate of 1.9 percent for existing multifamily housing units. She favored a more comprehensive review of the site.

“I do agree we need more clarity,” DeYoe said. “I just don’t want to have to go down this path again. We need to get our act together so people don’t go and spend time and money on (drawing up proposals).”

The review is expected to take place early in 2015.