Ninth Avenue apartments take another step
Site plan, conditional use permit still needed before construction begins

By Melanie Boyung

March 5, 2019

The most recent incarnation of the Ninth Avenue apartment development shows two
two-story, 12-unit buildings.
Submitted image

GRAFTON — A multibuilding apartment complex at Hickory Street and Ninth Avenue in Grafton continues to march toward reality.

The village of Grafton Plan Commission last week approved a certified survey map for the Ninth Avenue apartment proposal from Bob Tillmann. The proposal’s most recent documents show two buildings with 12 units each – previous plans included 36 apartment units in three buildings – on an L-shaped lot at the northeast corner of the Ninth Avenue and Hickory Street intersection.

“Now the applicant is taking the next step in the process with the certified survey map,” Director of Community Development Jessica Wolff said.

The action allows the 4.3-acre property to be split into two lots, one at 3.17 acres on which the apartments will be built and another of 1.12 acres, which will be retained by the current property owner Tillmann is working with, according to Wolff’s report to the commission.

According to Wolff, the 1.12 acres being split from the rest of the parcel is not currently in developable condition. That area – the northern edge of the property – had fill placed in it at some point. The fill was poor quality, and that fill would have to be removed, then replaced with higher quality fill in order to build there.

“That really makes it cost prohibitive to develop that part of the site,” Wolff said.

The Plan Commission held very little discussion on the item before giving its approval to the certified survey map. Tillmann’s plan has already received the necessary rezoning for multifamily residential. The development still requires site plan and conditional use permit approvals before construction can begin.

Several earlier versions of the plan were submitted to the village at different times last year. In August, the commission gave preliminary approval to a concept plan of a three-building complex that had two 16-unit buildings and one with eight apartments for a total of 40. The original proposal, before that, called for five eight-unit buildings.

Revisions were triggered by a variety of challenges the property presented, including the odd L shape, a 1.2-acre wetland that cannot be disturbed, lining up driveway access on Ninth Avenue with that road’s median to avoid traffic complications and where to place a stormwater pond safely and effectively.

The land under consideration is on the village’s in-fill sites map. In-fill sites are individual properties or small areas within the village that require development or redevelopment. Such sites are sometimes exempt from some of the normal zoning patterns, or given their own zoning, so they will be developed rather than sitting vacant and deteriorating from lack of use. The property is surrounded by a school, manufacturing and residential properties. Village documents have not indicated a firm timeline for construction.