Delafield Plan Commission votes against multifamily development
Incompatibility, negative effects on neighbors cited as reasons

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

Oct. 30, 2014

DELAFIELD - Residents on Vettelson Road whose properties would border a multifamily development at Village Square dusted off their notes from when the project was previously before the Plan Commission and again voiced concerns Wednesday night about the density of the project, the buildings’ height and possible negative effects on their single-family homes.

In a 6 to 1 vote, the commission on Wednesday voted to deny recommendation of the proposed project that includes three multifamily apartment buildings with underground parking on a 6.417-acre parcel near Highway 16 and Highway 83 in the Village Square development, which already includes a Pick ‘n Save and other retail.

Alderman and Commissioner Tim Aicher cast the only vote opposed to denying the recommendation to the Common Council. The council will still have the opportunity to discuss the project at an upcoming meeting.

A prior request to amend the conditional use permit for the planned development was approved by the commission in November 2013, but the council denied it because the aldermen determined the proposed multifamily development was “incompatible with the neighborhood, the buildings were too tall and the building area exceeded the approved building area of the original commercial site plan.”

During the public hearing at Wednesday’s meeting, several neighbors spoke against the project, while some owners of businesses in the Village Square supported it.

Vettelson Road resident William Restock provided a packet of information to the commission and described several reasons why the project should be opposed. He said the land was never zoned to be residential, it remains incompatible with surrounding buildings and there aren’t any other three-story buildings in the area.

He also contended that the project is not legally possible under a settlement agreement the city signed with the developers in 2005 after the city was sued for denying the project. The settlement contained provisions about what the project could contain in the future.

Judy Hansen said she would be able to see every bit of the apartment buildings from her Vettelson Road if they were to be built.

Greg Straub, owner of Sola Salon Studios in Village Square, said he has liked working with the owners of Village Square and having more residences nearby would help business.

“The opportunity to put more people, the opportunity to enhance and improve the area is something that is essential to business,” he said.

People living in the Village Square Apartments could walk to do their shopping, Straub said.

Grant Lemke, owner of Cloud 9 Dentistry in Village Square, said the empty land would eventually be developed, so having a residential development with a lower impact on neighbors would be a good addition.

Developer Joe McCormick told the commission that the project’s plans were adjusted to meet the neighbors’ requests and his development would not cause as much disruption as another type, such as retail.

Commissioner Wayne Dehn moved to deny approving the conditional use and general development plan because it would have adverse effects on the surrounding neighborhood, was not compatible with the surrounding area and the proposal was not permissive under the settlement.

Aicher said he felt the apartments would have lower impact that some other projects.