MEQUON — Plans to build a 13-lot subdivision in a
neighborhood on vacant land north of Mequon Road ran
into a flurry of neighbor opposition Aug. 7 before it
cleared an initial hurdle by a divided Mequon Planning
Developers Fred Bersch and Paul Apfelbach represented
longtime landowners as they requested rezoning and
presented a concept plan for the 21-acre property in the
2100 block of West Ranch Road.
neighbors filled the council chambers at City Hall. Six
spoke against the proposal; none spoke for it. Others
registered in opposition, but did not speak. Several who
spoke said they appeared 20 years ago to oppose a prior
attempt to build homes there.
time, one speaker said a 22-home development was
proposed. While the homes never were built, the speaker
said the city reached a “compromise” by changing the
zoning to a conservation subdivision zoning category
that would not allow as many homes.
Under that C-2 zoning, Assistant Director of Community
Development Jac Zader said about five or six homes on
5-acre lots would be possible. He added that those homes
likely would use wells for water, rather than the city
city recommended approving the rezoning request with a
variety of conditions. After hearing from the residents
and a lengthy discussion, commissioners agreed in a 5-3
vote with Mayor Dan Abendroth and Commissioners Becky
Schaefer and Brian Parrish opposed.
prior to the vote, the mayor – who was an alderman the
last time an attempt was made to develop the property –
urged everyone to find common ground. He said the plan
still must go to the Common Council and likely will be
the subject of a protest petition, meaning
three-quarters of aldermen would have to vote in favor.
“Maybe there’s another look at this we can try,”
Abendroth said. “If this is going to end up being a
controversial project, it’s not going to fly.”
disagreement centered on whether the property is
suitable for development. Apfelbach argued that it was
considered part of an environmental corridor in the
1970s due to “a mistake of information” and the parcel
is “certainly very buildable.”
of the residents who spoke said their neighborhood
already is prone to flooding and argued that adding more
homes only will make matters worse.
“This is a bad idea,” said Howard Schlei. “This was a
bad idea 20 years ago – and it has not improved with
called the area “a peninsula of very wet land” and said
there have been occasions in the past where homeowners
in the neighborhood have had 2 to 3 feet of water and
sewage in their basements.
rezoning request likely will be taken up by the Common
Council Sept. 12.