Almost three dozen residents of Cedarton Estates received a lesson
in state government last week, and it was a bit of a bitter pill to
The proposed plans for turning the 80-acre Kohlwey farm into a new
something that Grafton’s village board and Grafton’s Plan Commission
will vote on,” said Cedarburg Town Administrator Tim Rhode. “This
board never will. We can listen to your concerns, we can express our
opinion to the village, but when it comes down to it, this decision
is not ours to make.”
definitely talk to us, and we can certainly sympathize with you, but
we can’t do anything,” said Supervisor Tom Esser. “The first part of
what you need to do is in getting the message to the village of
Grafton, the second part is getting them to understand your
position. I don’t necessarily think it’s that you don’t want
development, but that you have definite concerns about what is being
Towne Realty is
proposing to create a new subdivision that would include 91
single-family lots and 25 duplex lots. The land is currently in the
town of Cedarburg; for the project to move forward, it will need to
be annexed into the village of Grafton.
“If the land is
contiguous to an incorporated municipality and is in an
unincorporated municipality, it is legally their land to annex,”
explained Rhode. “The property owner is able to pursue this and does
not need the town’s approval.”
residents expressed a number of concerns with both the annexation
and the proposed project itself. The most significant one was the
safety impact of adding the ingress and egress for the subdivision
to the existing Keup Road entrance for Cedarton Estates.
attendance voiced numerous safety concerns, including the fact that
an emergency situation occurring at the intersection would
conceivably block the residents’ only exit point for both
concluded that this access is acceptable,” said Supervisor Gary
Wickert, who questioned whether residents had hired a lawyer,
specifically someone specializing in municipal law.
noted that Highway 60 is a state-managed road, and with the
intersection already improved by traffic lights, the DOT is not
likely to suggest further changes. Additionally, they added that the
DOT is not likely to have an interest in adding additional access
points along Highway 60.
“We can write a
letter to the village and it will be stamped ‘received,’ and we can
write a letter to the DOT and it will be laughed at,” said Wickert.
did stress concerns with fire and safety issues and whether or not
the town would have any contribution in the annexation discussion,
since half of Keup Road would still be the town’s responsibility.
Should upgrades be required at a later date, they also questioned if
the town would be financially responsible for half of the cost. Town
officials did note that they would be discussing some of these
issues with the town attorney.
While the town
lacks the authority to prevent an annexation or request a
modification of the proposed development plan, the supervisors and
Rhode were sympathetic to the residents’ concerns and suggested
possible means for voicing opposition to the project, which
residents complained appeared fast-tracked, with the project’s
return to the village Plan Commission scheduled for December and
possible Village Board approval after that.
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