an updated rendering of proposed housing on Hamilton
Road looking south, the shaded third floor shows what
was taken out of the original design. The result is
two-story townhomes with 19 fewer units than originally
CEDARBURG — A plan for a multifamily housing development
that was last seen at the Nov. 14 Cedarburg Common
Council meeting as three, three-story buildings totaling
89 units, has returned anew, and this time it has a
Arrabelle will offer a blend of apartment units,
townhome rentals and even a plot for a potential
single-family lot at the former St. Francis Borgia
property on Hamilton Road and Washington Avenue.
Opponents of the previous plan expressed concerns over
the development’s size in an area surrounded mainly by
two-story, single-family homes, and the congestion it
would bring. In addition to the introduction of an
online petition and “Vote No” yard signs, the city has
received enough official protest petitions that, in
accordance with state statute, will require a
3/4-majority vote from council members for the plan to
An HSI Properties comparison shows that the three-story
apartment will still be considerably shorter than the
top of St. Francis Borgia Church.
Following the Nov. 14 public hearings and council
meeting, at which aldermen ultimately tabled votes on
three zoning requests, HSI Properties announced it would
submit revised plans.
developers met with city officials, neighborhood
representatives and their respective attorneys in early
January to gain feedback for an endorsable plan. HSI
Properties developer Tony W. DeRosa said the three
takeaways from that meeting were that the neighborhood
is OK with it being apartments and with some parts of it
being three stories. They were not OK with the density,
however, and asked for 36 units, according to DeRosa.
“We’ve listened and we’ve made substantial changes,”
start, there will now be 69 total units – a 30-percent
reduction from the 98 originally proposed – and the
overall density has been reduced to 18.24 units per
development’s density has been called into question
recently by residents who were concerned that the
previously proposed 26.2 units per acre was too large
and exceeded the 16.1 units per acre allowed in
high-density areas by the city’s zoning code and land
use plan. City Planner Jon Censky, however, said those
specifications are guidelines and can be adjusted as the
city sees fit under the Planned Unit Development overlay
district that exists in the area.
There will still be three buildings, titled Buildings A,
B and C. Buildings A and B will still offer apartment
units over underground parking stalls, but the building
heights have been
reduced from three stories to two in some
areas. The developer also increased building setbacks
and reduced the length of Building B by 40 feet, making
way for more green space. Building C is now proposed as
townhomes, reducing its total units from 28 to nine and
its height from three stories to two. Space for a
potential single-family lot is now designated near the
corner of Spring Street and Hilgen Avenue.
TOP, Developers say the new plan for the Hamilton Road
parcel that was long home to St. Francis Borgia School
has been scaled back from the original plan, ABOVE, and
provides more space between the southern end of the
building and the adjacent home than was there before.
Monthly rental costs will still fall in the $1,200 to
$2,000 range, and the plan still hinges on razing the
school and rectory on the property.
the end of the day, it’s about finding compromise and
balance between the city, the neighborhood and the
developer,” DeRosa said. “No one is going to get
everything they want.”
some neighbors who have been active in opposing the
proposal, the townhomes are a fit, but the rest is not.
obviously shows that the developer is trying to work
with us, but if we look at what’s currently zoned, those
two buildings on the grounds are clearly out of
proportion,” said Cedarburg resident Bill Bujanovic.
zoning and land use requests previously on the table
would, in part, allow for high-density residential use
(26.2 units per acre), according to city records.
DeRosa said the newly proposed density is as low as the
developers could go to make the project economically
feasible, especially considering some of the higher-end
services the company plans to offer to its residents.
don’t just leave when we’re done building,” DeRosa said.
“We offer valet dry cleaning; if you’re out of town and
you need your plants watered, we’ll do that for you; if
you need your dog walked, we’ll do that. To get that
level of service, you have to have some density.”
said this housing is for the people of the community,
such as empty-nesters, snowbirds and baby boomers who
don’t want to worry about furnaces or broken water
heaters, or who want to lock their doors and head to
Arizona for the winter. Though specificities aren’t set
in stone for Arrabelle, HSI said amenities such as
elevators and underground parking, quartz countertops,
custom cabinets and stainless steel appliances, along
with walk-in closets and large balconies, are part of
the brand the company builds.
“This is about community and lifestyle. These aren’t
just apartments, these are homes,” DeRosa said.
Cedarburg resident Aaron Schultz, who has headed much of
the opposition, said he thinks those amenities only
apply to the residents who would live at the development
and don’t create anything for the rest of the community.
don’t think the city or community really needs to
consider what the developer’s economics are going to
be,” he said. “This is about the character of the
community. It’s going to have a lasting effect on the
revised plans will be posted in Cedarburg City Hall and
the public library. DeRosa said he will come before the
Plan Commission March 6 and the Common Council the
following week for a vote on zoning and land use plan
amendment requests. If approved, there would still be a
considerable number of steps before any shovels could
hit the dirt.
that the revised plan has been submitted, I would
encourage all residents to go see the plans (when they
are posted) in the library or in city hall and let your
council members know what you think,” Council Member
Jack Arnett said.