Waukesha Common Council gives condo proposal initial approval
Zoning change could pave way for other nearby apartment complex

By Cara Spoto - Freeman Staff

Jan. 17, 2018

WAUKESHA — A proposal to create a six-unit condo development on a vacant patch of land near the northwest corner of East Main Street and Perkins Avenue has gained initial Common Council approval.

The council voted 13-2 on Tuesday to approve the preliminary site plan for the project, which calls for constructing a single building housing six three-bedroom condos. Each unit would be two stories high, and have a one-car attached garage.

An existing, adjacent parking lot would be removed as part of the project, and sidewalks would be extended around the development onto Perkins Avenue, city planners have said.

“They have included some small front porches at each of the front doors to try to create three separate looking buildings,” Community Development Director Jennifer Andrews said.

Larry Erlich, the chief executive officer of nearby Waukesha Iron & Metal, owns the property.

Before the project can go forward, council members must approve a final site plan and a rezoning request.

Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings voted against the site plan, expressing concern that the city might not have enough right-of-way in the intersection where Cleveland and Perkins avenues converge with East Main Street.

Alderman Eric Payne, who also voted “no,” said he didn't think the project fit in with the residential neighborhood to the west, which is home to single-family houses.

“Here we are looking at putting up a six-family (building) that totally doesn't fit in with that neighborhood,” Payne said. “Now if we would go over to the old Aeroshade lot (on North Greenfield and Ellis Street) the homes were asked to fit into the neighborhood so they didn't look so out of place. We asked for that over there, but over here where we have older homes, we are being asked to approve something like this. It's a nice building, but I think it's in the wrong spot.”

Nearby project

The council also approved a request from a Cleveland Avenue condo developer to rezone a vacant parcel along Main Street that originally had been slated for a office building development. The developer feels the market will not support an office development at the location, and would like to construct more residential units at the site, city staff explained Tuesday.

The developer is currently proposing to construct a 20unit apartment building at the site.

City Planner Maria Pandazi said the developer came up with the plan after hearing from people who were seeking more modest units.

Each of the one-bedroom units would have a separate entrance, an attached garage, and room for a single parking space outside the garage.

The council must still consider whether to give final approval to the project itself.