TOWN OF WAUKESHA
Condos pitched for 164 and Glendale Road
Property would have to be rezoned

By Cara Spoto - Freeman Staff

Jan. 31, 2018

TOWN OF WAUKESHA — Developer and Waukesha Town Chairman John Marek is seeking approval to turn a roughly 20-acre swath of farmland off Highway 164, south of Glendale Road, into a 40-unit condo development.

The proposal is still in the earlier phases of the review process but would require the land, which is owned by the Waukesha School District, to be rezoned from lower density residential zoning to a higher density residential. The current concept proposal calls for 22 family townhomes, most with two units.

The land proposed for rezoning is actually two parcels: a roughly 20-acre piece of land that Marek plans to build on, and roughly 15 acres of wetland that the developer would give to the county for conservancy once he secures ownership.

The school district owns both parcels. Asked about the proposal on Monday, district spokesman Terry Schuster said the district “could not comment.”

The Waukesha County Park and Planning Commission is set to hear information about the rezoning request at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22, as part of the annual public hearing on proposed comprehensive plan amendments.

The Town of Waukesha currently has the land zoned commercial, and will be considering a request to amend its own land use plan at another time. Waukesha County officials would wait for the town’s rezoning process to be resolved before voting on changes to the county’s zoning plan, Waukesha County Planning and Zoning Manager Jason Fruth said.

Previous attempts to rezone the land, which lies just south of Stiks Academy & Sports Training and the Waukesha Bible Church, have failed, but Marek believes the time is right to move ahead with his project.

“Everybody wins. The school district is going to have hundreds of thousands of dollars going into their coffers to help with other projects, and the Town of Waukesha will have millions of dollars in extra tax base, and additional housing,” Marek said.

Not everyone is pleased with the proposal, however.

Everett German, a former town supervisor, said Tuesday that he believes rezoning the land to allow for such a dense development could hurt the town’s groundwater supply, because the land has a high water table. German is also concerned about potential stormwater runoff that could hurt nearby wetlands, including a fen habitat on property he owns.

“It is too dense of a plan for that area,” German said.

Although Fruth has only reviewed a concept plan that was submitted as part of a comprehensive plan amendment request, he said other aspects of the project, including anything that might impact the groundwater or create stormwater runoff, would receive vetting.

“There will be a couple of different approvals needed here before a plan can come to fruition,” Fruth said. “The county has a stormwater management and erosion and control ordinance that has standards for all those types of things. Every development project of any size has to comply with those standards. Another county division will have to review the septic proposal.”