Construction exception sought for Summit subdivision
Work needs to be started to make Parade of Homes deadline

By Eileen Mozinski Schmidt - Special to the Enterprise

Dec. 14, 2017

 Matt Neumann of The Neumann Companies presents at the Summit Village Board
meeting last Thursday.

Eileen Mozinski Schmidt/Special to the Enterprise

SUMMIT — Building plans for the Lake Country Village subdivision were the subject of discussion at the Summit Village Board meeting this month, with trustees divided over whether to allow the developer to start construction with some infrastructure still in the works.

The Neumann Companies, the developer of the site, requested approval for building permits on five lots where asphalt has yet to be installed.

Matt Neumann, a principal with the company, said the asphalt work had been expected to be completed in September and in that same month utilities were paid for and slated for installation, but heavy rains in May and June pushed some of the groundwork back.

“We didn’t really think this was going to be a particular issue but now we’re sitting here and we really need to get these homes started as soon as possible,” Neumann said.

The site has been approved for a Metropolitan Builder’s Association Parade of Homes in August, and Neumann said having starts in the ground by January is critical to meeting that deadline.

Change of terms sought

Neumann said his company has previously worked with communities to start early on gravel and is expecting We Energies to install gas in mid-December and electric in January. He said the main objective of the development firm in asking for the permits is to get the subdivision entrance ready for the Parade of Homes.

Board president Jack Riley said he was cautious about setting the precedent of changing the terms of a development agreement, but suggested an amendment could be added explaining it as a special arrangement for the Parade of Homes.

Trustees Sandy Casterline and Kraig Arenz Sr. voiced support for similar ideas, while trustee Scott Piefer disagreed.

“If the developer has done all its due diligence with us and has proof of signed agreements with utilities, that would be enough to allow it,” he said.

Casterline expressed concern that making the change a matter of policy was too much of oversight burden to put on village staff.

“It’s very important that we do have inclusion that we are trying to find a way to make it work for Parade of Homes. Otherwise, I don’t think we should be taking on this much responsibility,” she said.

Arenz was worried about changing the development plan “midstream,” but Piefer said later he would like the village to be “as open for business as possible.”

“The longer you delay this and stage it and do all these things it becomes a 20-year build process. I’d like to get it done,” he said.

John Macy, village attorney, recommended that the development agreement be altered before issuing building permits so as to avoid any liabilities if problems should occur at the site.

He added that any modified development agreement should note private utilities installation as the only item waived.

Plowing and safety concerns

Neumann said the goal of the development company is to get curbs and asphalt in as soon as possible.

“The intent is to make sure when we have 20,000- plus visitors to show what the future is going to be,” he said, referencing the Parade of Homes. “We’re extremely motivated to get it done.”

But Macy added that once building permits are issued, the village would be responsible for plowing and raised safety and logistical concerns about the potential change.

Trustee Richard “Curly” Wentland also advocated allowing Neumann Companies to move forward.

“I always have a problem with municipalities that get in the way of business,” he said. “For those lots to get things rolling; let’s do it.”

Neumann answered questions raised by saying Neumann Companies be willing to plow or pay for plowing of the area, and he could meet with local police and fire departments to set up a plan for access.

The board, with the exception of Casterline, approved a motion directing village staff to draft a modified development agreement and bring it back to the board for final approval.