Keup Road subdivision clears next hurdle
Opponents could not sway Grafton Plan Commission from approving rezoning, annexation

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

March 1, 2018

GRAFTON — After nearly an hour of opposition voiced in public hearings, the Grafton Plan Commission approved the annexation and rezoning of the 84-acre Kohlwey farm on Highway 60 and Keup Road, making way for a subdivision plan to take its next steps.

The Plan Commission met Tuesday to consider four items connected to Stonewall Reserve, a subdivision being planned by Towne Realty for 76 acres of the Kohlwey property. The annexation and property rezoning both required public hearings, after which the Plan Commission voted 5-1 to recommend both items to the Village Board, which has final approval authority. David Liss voted against the items.

“The annexation is consistent with the village’s future land use plan … which designates the parcel as planned neighborhood,” Village Planner Jessica Wolff said during the meeting.

About a dozen people spoke against the subdivision – slated to include 91 single-family lots and 25 duplex lots, for a total of 141 households – during the public hearing. The first to speak was Thomas Schmitzer, a lawyer representing residents of Cedarton Estates, an adjacent town of Cedarburg subdivision, across Keup Road.

“My clients’ main concern is the density. It seems to be denser than what infrastructure allows,” Schmitzer said.

He continued that the residents of Cedarton Estates do not see the Stonewall Reserve plan as orderly development or in the interest of the community’s health, safety or well being.

Other resident concerns included increases in traffic and safety concerns for the Highway 60-Keup Road intersection, which is Cedarton’s only access and will be Stonewall’s as well, at least initially. Several Cedarburg residents have suggested Stonewall should have access to the east by connecting to First Avenue in Grafton.

Wolff noted that the plat does include space designated for future additional access, including one to the north and two to the east. Such access would be connected when the

properties surrounding the Kohlwey farm are developed. Immediately, however, the village considers Keup Road sufficient for access, until the private landowners in the area choose to sell for development.

Jim Doering, representing Towne Realty and the project, said the developer is expecting a three-phase build out. The timeline for the entire subdivision will depend on market demand.

A traffic study shared with the Plan Commission indicated the intersections of Keup Road with Cedarton Parkway – Cedarton Estates’ current access – and Hawk Drive, the street planned for Stonewall Reserve, would operate well with the second subdivision.

“Both will operate at level of operation A, which is the best level possible,” Village Engineer Amber Thomas said of the study.

Thomas said the study shows the controlled intersection of Keup Road and Highway 60 is currently operating at level B, and projected that in 10 years, with full build-out of Stonewall Reserve, it could drop to C. The Department of Transportation recommends at least level D, according to Thomas.

The traffic study was done at the village’s request and at the developer’s expense. Several Cedarton residents disagreed that traffic would be manageable, as the 141 planned homes would increase traffic on that section of Keup Road between five and seven times what it is now, according to traffic projections.

“I’m concerned about cars that miss that subdivision and use our neighborhood as a turnaround,” said April Hosack, Cedarton resident. She said Cedarton Estates includes children and many ride their bikes.

“Would you be comfortable riding your bike (at Keup and Highway 60)?” Cedarton resident Chris Cotton said.

There were also concerns expressed about a wetland area at the west edge of the subdivision property, with several area residents saying they thought the wetland was larger than Towne Realty’s plat allowed for, though Doering said a professional surveyor delineated the wetland, and a Department of Natural Resources representative was onsite to confirm it.

“At least to my mind, the developer has addressed the issues,” Plan Commissioner and Village President Jim Brunquell said.

In spite of objections, the Plan Commission approved the annexation and rezone. Liss cited some concerns with layout, water and sewer and design in his dissent.

The Plan Commission also approved the certified survey map for the property, and tabled the preliminary plat. The plat shows the 141-home subdivision layout.

The motion to table was approved so the preliminary plat could be considered once there is greater detail available about stormwater plans and several other items.

“I would like to see more information coming back,” Commissioner Randy Silasiri said.

<<EARLIER: Highway 60 subdivision moving forward

<<EARLIER: Town considers options on Kohlwey development