In particular, the city’s planning
department has been busy with plans submitted for
residential development, as evidenced by the most
recent Plan Commission meeting.
On Tuesday, commissioners considered
three different proposals that in some way
incorporated multi-family housing. Between the three
plans were 217 potential new units.
But when residential developments are
brought in front of the commission, members tend to
meet with skepticism those that are next to
As has been shown at meetings this
summer, some homeowners have a strong distaste for
apartments coming in next door.
Keeping both perspectives in mind,
they are at odds with each other,
results in a balancing act for the commission.
Jed Dolnick joined the Plan
Commission in 2004, with his current term running
“I’ve been on the commission a long
time, and the tradition is we try to have a buffer
between multi-family housing and single-family,” he
Typically, they like to see
two-family housing in between to act as that buffer.
In other instances, landscaping or other features
may be enough.
So what’s the fuss when multi-family
housing plans, especially larger project adjacent to
single-family neighborhoods, come to the commission?
“There’s a perception on the part of
some people that multi-family housing detracts from
the community,” he said. He emphasized that’s a
stance he doesn’t necessarily hold, saying it’s up
to owners to provide building upkeep.
And the bottom line is that aldermen
are the ones ultimately determining how much land is
zoned for multi-family housing.
“It’s a political decision on zoning
multi-family, because it’s ultimately City Council
approving (those zoning plans),” he said.
The Plan Commission’s
responsibilities are narrowly focused by state law,
Dolnick said. It has to take into account what the
proper land use is for a given area.
Developers of multi-family housing
taking an interest in the area say it’s a profitable
venture. The smallest of the three residential
development proposals Tuesday evening came from a
developer looking to add nine units to the Valley
View apartments on South Main Street.
Greg Kost, managing principal with
AcQuest Property Group, said the developer planned
to get rid of a single-family home and one of two
duplexes, replacing them with two six-unit
buildings, on a parcel which already includes other
“We own the property there, so we
have other residents,” Kost said. “Based on their
comments and needs … I don’t think we will have a
problem filling them.”
Not all the development plans have
gone through the commission without scrutiny.
After commissioners expressed concern
with the 168-unit development from BASCO Development
Tuesday night, they did not propose an action to set
a public hearing date for them.
Charles Boysa of BASCO Development
was out of the office Friday and wasn’t available
for comment before press time on whether the
Watertown-based developer was planning to submit an
alternative concept to the city.
Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, inviting
Boysa to submit another plan, asked at Tuesday’s
Plan Commission meeting if there was anything he
wanted to say before commission members. Boysa
declined to speak.
In a previous Daily News article,
Boysa said the developer was interested in the area
because they saw a high demand for more high-quality
At a Plan Commission meeting this
summer, he told commissioners duplexes were not very
profitable, hence the reason BASCO Development was
pursuing multi-family housing.
This was back when they submitted a
concept for 144 units.
And it’s not just residential
development plans the city has been getting this
West Bend has seen plans for a Meijer
store, Gardner Pet Group and Delta Defense LLC
headquarters this year, among other large
There was also the announcement that
Gardner Pet Group was moving operations to West Bend
In a previous Daily News article,
City Administrator and Director of Development T.J.
Justice attributed a spike in development,
residential in particular, to a rebounding market.
He said economic conditions have
changed drastically over the past year, which has
set developers’ sights on more projects.
Reach reporter Alex Zank at