Lisbon ‘interested’ in 150-acre development
Sewer and water service are big issues

By Kelly Smith - Special to The Freeman

Dec. 11, 2017

 Neumann Developments President Steve DeCleene presents a 150-acre development proposal to the Lisbon Plan Commission.
Kelly Smith/Special to The Freeman

TOWN OF LISBON — Plan commissioners are willing to consider a proposed 150-acre residential and commercial development located along Highway 164 between Good Hope Road and Jay Lane, north of the Sussex border.

However, town officials and the developer are concerned there might not be enough sewage treatment capacity to serve the development as proposed.

The development includes 105 residential lots between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet, 240 senior housing units and 152 multifamily units, as well as more than 5 acres of commercial and retail space.

Steve DeCleene, president of Neumann Developments, described the development to the Plan Commission at its meeting on Thursday.

Town Administrator Matt Janecke explained to commissioners that the meeting's purpose was to provide them with a “conceptual review” of the project and provide the developer with the commission’s initial reactions to the proposal.

Commissioner Bryan Oelhafen, the town building inspector, told DeCleene, “All you are looking for at this meeting is for us to tell you whether we are interested in or it or whether we hate it.”

“I would be interested in a mixeduse development like this,” Oelhafen continued.

Town Chairman Joe Osterman, who presides over commission meetings, polled the commissioners and they all indicated they would be interested in further review of the project.

“This is very, very preliminary,” Osterman emphasized after the meeting.

During the meeting, Osterman and Town Engineer John Stigler of Jahnke & Jahnke Associates made preliminary calculations indicating the development, as proposed, may be too large for sewer service.

Stigler explained to the commission that the town owns two sewer lines buried along Hwy 164 from the village of Sussex border to near the development site.

Osterman said according to a border agreement with Sussex, the town has 173,000 gallons of sewer capacity at the village sewer treatment facility to serve the area where the development site is located.

Stigler estimated that capacity is large enough to serve approximately 1.5 units per acre.

However, the density of the proposed development may be as high as 3 units per acre, nearly double the sewage treatment capacity, according to Stigler.

Uncertainty about sewer service

And there may be a dispute over the sewer service.

Sussex Village Administrator Jeremy Smith says the town purchased in the early 2000s sewer capacity, not a sewer line.

He does not believe a Lisbon-owned sewer line exists beyond the village borders.

He said the town and village would have to negotiate how the sewer service to the proposed development would be delivered.

Stigler disagrees.

He told The Freeman he saw portions of the Lisbon sewer line being installed.

“We will have to do some work on sewer service,” DeCleene mused during the meeting, adding the development proposal could be redesigned to match the sewer service capacity.

The source of water for the development may also be an issue, some commissioners noted.

Janecke indicated the development would require either a municipal water source or large private wells.

DeCleene told the commission that one of the goals of the development was to provide affordable housing for millennials and “empty nesters.”

He said Neumann Developments is concerned about the lack of housing available in the region that costs less than $400,000.

He said the development could provide an opportunity for “someone in their 30s” to own their first home.

He said senior empty nesters are also interested in affordable housing located on smaller lots.

He anticipated the price ranges of the homes would be between $350,000 and $400,000.