Prestwick wins key votes
Development faces major hurdles

By Kelly Smith - Special to The Freeman

Feb. 1, 2018

DELAFIELD — Although the Prestwick Group won some key votes during a nearly four-hour Plan Commission meeting Wednesday night, the Sussex-based company’s plans to build a corporate headquarters near the interchange of Hwy C and Interstate 94 still face some major obstacles.

Despite nearly two and a half hours of citizen testimony against the project, the commission nearly unanimously approved land use and zoning changes as well as the creation of a special development district. Proponents of the development argue it will help expand the city’s tax base and make an attractive gateway to the city because the design of the buildings will compliment the quaint and historic theme of downtown Delafield.

The company wants to build a 71,000 square foot corporate headquarters along with a gathering center and event barn during the first phase of the project and another 68,000 square feet in office space to developed for lease or sale in the second phase.

The company withdrew plans to include a 63,000 square foot assembly plant on the development site.

Commissioner Jeff Krickhahn, a former alderman, cast the only dissenting votes when he opposed changing the city’s master land use plan to allow land now zoned for agricultural to be used for commercial offices.

He also voted against changing the zoning from agricultural to business use of an approximately fiveacre parcel in the 28-acre development.

Matt Morse, who founded the company in 1997, said he was pleased with the recommendations and expressed confidence the commission’s actions would be ratified by the Common Council.

The company uses recycled materials to assemble outdoor furnishings and equipment for corporate clients, including some of the world’s most prestigious golf courses.

Council could consider recommendations on Monday

Mayor Michelle DeYoe said the council may consider the commission recommendations at its next meeting on Monday.

There is a possibility that six affirmative votes will be needed on the seven-member council to adopt some of the commission recommendations.

The super majority may be required if enough neighbors have filed a protest to the zoning change and creation of the special district.

City officials are still reviewing the protest documents to determine if the super majority will be required, according to City Planner Roger Dupler.

Final approvals of the project may also be contingent upon the city being able to extend sewer beneath the interstate to the development site.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) will have to approve the expansion of a sewer service district that now serves most of the development site, according to city officials.

“You are talking about a process that could drag on for two years,” said Commissioner Tim Aicher, who is also Common Council president.

There is a proposal for the city to include the development site in a tax increment financing district that would help generate real estate tax revenues to help pay the cost of installing the sewer.