141 new residences proposed for Grafton
Plan mixes single-family homes and duplexes

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

Oct. 26, 2017

The concept plan for a new subdivision shows the layout for 116 residential lots. There would be 91 single-family lots in the north and west sections of the 80-acre area, and 25 duplex-condominium lots in the southeast section of the development.
Map courtesy of the village of Grafton

GRAFTON — A new development being proposed could add 141 households to the village of Grafton.

The Plan Commission Tuesday reviewed a concept plan for turning an 80-acre farm into a subdivision with 91 single-family lots and 25 duplexes. The farm sits on the northeast corner of Keup Road and Highway 60. The current home and outbuildings on the farm would remain as a separate property, while the rest of the property would be sold and developed by Towne Realty Inc.

The subdivision would be accessed from Keup Road. Village documents and the developer’s submitted documents indicated that there would be five retention ponds for stormwater management and 4.3 acres of park space, though that park area includes one of the retention ponds.

“The director of Parks and Recreation, John Safstrom, and I will be looking closely at that to see that it meets the needs of the neighborhood,” Village Planner Jessica Wolff said.

The property being considered is currently in the town of Cedarburg; it came to the village of Grafton Plan Commission because Towne Realty intends to have the land annexed into the village. Wolff said that the village’s zoning allows for a subdivision of this density.

About a dozen residents of Cedarton Estates, a town of Cedarburg subdivision immediately west of the proposed development, attended the meeting. All of those who spoke were against the plan, at least in its current form. Several objected specifically to the subdivision’s access being on Keup Road, which is also the access point for Cedarton.

“We don’t understand why there isn’t an actual road (from Highway 60) being proposed,” said Cedarburg resident Jim Gibson, a member of the Cedarton Estates architecture committee.

Wolff said access from Keup Road was for safety and state regulations. She said the state Department of Transportation controls new intersections and access points from Highway 60, especially in close proximity to other intersections.

“The DOT, of course, wants to limit access points off of 60,” Plan Commissioner Mark Paschke said.

Several other Cedarton residents spoke about the subdivision being unacceptable off of their road, claiming that the increased traffic would create a dangerous situation at an already dangerous intersection.

“We see it every day, we live it, we breathe it, this is ridiculous,” Dave Hosack said.

“There’s another way to exit this monstrosity of a development I’m seeing here, and that would be to go out to First Avenue,” Don Westby said.

Wolff said that village staff are not as concerned about the additional traffic on Keup Road; the intersection is already controlled with traffic lights, which could be adjusted for timing based on increased populations using the road, and using Keup Road would be better than another intersection on Highway 60, especially on the curve where the property is located.

“Staff feels that introducing a new intersection, that close together, on that curve, would not be safe,” Wolff said.

She also mentioned again that the DOT resists such additional intersections.

The commission discussed the concept plan and possible access alternatives, though at this time no action was taken. The concept review is the first stage of proposing development. With the commission’s feedback, the developer now does more extensive design and planning work. They will have to go before the Parks and Recreation Board, back to the Plan Commission and then to the Village Board for approvals.

Towne Realty is targeting the December Plan Commission meeting for its public hearing and approval, according to Wolff.

Wolff wrote in her report to the commission that this subdivision would be the first use of the village’s new fine-grained planned neighborhood zoning. The zoning type was approved and added to the village’s future use map last year during a comprehensive plan update. Rather than specifying what type of building can be constructed on particular properties, planned neighborhood zoning sets percentage rules for what portion of a larger area must be single-family, and how much area may go to two-or multi-family development.