Residential development boom in Lisbon

By KELLY SMITH - Special to Conley Media

May 4, 2019

These are two of the houses under construction in the Twin Pine Farm subdivision to be featured in the Milwaukee Buildings Association Parade of Homes in September. There are nearly 250 new homes in Lisbon that are either under construction or planned as part of four new subdivisions.
Kelly Smith/Special to Conley Media

TOWN OF LISBON — A growing economy and a string of coincidences have triggered a residential development and home building boom in Lisbon.

There are nearly 250 homes either included in future residential development plans or already under construction, according to town officials.

Although it is likely to take years before all of the new homes are built, when completed, they will represent an 8 percent growth in the number of homes in the town, according to Town Clerk Dan Green.

Green told Conley Media that based on town tax records he believes there are approximately 3,556 residences in Lisbon.

About 214 of new homes are planned in four residential developments that are either under construction or in the process of being approved by town and Waukesha County officials, according to Green.

There are an additional 13 residential building permits, according to Town Building Inspector Bryan Oelhafen, that have been issued since January.

Four of those permits are for homes under construction in the existing Twin Pine Farm development along Lake Five Road, between Plainview and Hickory roads, that will be featured in the Metropolitan Builders Association Parade of Homes in September.

The remainder are for home construction in various other town locations.

There are 16 additional new homes under construction as a result of building permits issued in 2018, according to Oelhafen.

Oelhafen believes a “hot” economy is driving the boom.

“The economy has really been busy. I thought when interest rates were raised it would slow things down, but that hasn’t happened,” he said. “People seem to have money to spend and they feel confident.”

One indicator of people having money to spend, according to Oelhafen, is the number of in-ground swimming pools installed in the town.

There were 13 such pools installed during the last two years, he said.

“The minimum cost of an in-ground pool is around $35,000. That tells me that people have decided they like living in the town and they want to stay here for a long time or they have money to spend,” he said.

Other factors

However, Town Chairman Joe Osterman described a string of coincidences that he believes may have had a bigger impact on the development boom than the economy.

Approvals of the Barnwood Conservancy on the corner of Lake Five and Silver Springs roads, which contains 52 lots, was delayed while town authorities revised town zoning codes as a result of a new state law.

Consequently, the final approvals for the development did not come until late last year, about the same time the town was selling the Pauline Haass Farm land, Osterman noted.

Karek Homes began the approval process for the 43home development on the Haass Farm about the same time as ground was broken on the Barnwood Conservancy, now under construction.

Meanwhile, property owners along Lisbon Road, east of Lake Five, abandoned the idea of a hobby farm and corn maze on the property and decided to develop it for new homes at about the same time town officials were selling the Haass property and dealing with the Barnwood Conservancy proposal, Osterman added.

The Lisbon Road development includes 64 lots.

“The one that caught me by surprise was Hillside Ridge. The land had been for sale for years,” Oelhafen explained.

The Hillside Ridge Conservancy, located between Hillside Road and Hwy 164, is expected to include 55 new homes.

However, the lots in large Lake Country subdivisions or residential developments are often sold and built on in phases, over a period of years.

“It could be years before some of these homes are built,” Green noted.

He added the approval process for some of the developments could take months and possible a year.

Approval of the Lisbon Road Conservancy Subdivision will require amendments to the town and county comprehensive plans that are not likely to be approved by Waukesha County officials until April of 2020.