Cedarburg Trail condo project earns necessary approvals
Improved design, unit reduction helped in third round of review

By Laurie Arendt

March 7, 2019

Pictured are two choices for units included in the Cedarburg Trails condominium complex.
Artist rendering

CEDARBURG — Developer Greg James’ attendance at Plan Commission meetings during the past year has rivaled that of the Cedarburg Plan Commissioners, but that tenacity was rewarded Monday night as he finally received the two approvals he needed to move the project forward on Cedarburg’s south side.

“I think we are getting close; I see a vast improvement over the original (submitted) plans,” Cedarburg City Planner Jon Censky told the Plan Commission at the start of the discussion.

James’ project, originally proposed as 28 units in 14 two-unit structures on 5.52 acres of land, would be on a long-undeveloped parcel on Evergreen Boulevard. It is the last available in the industrial park and has been for sale for seven years without securing an industrial buyer. He does not yet own the parcel, and has been waiting for the Plan Commission to approve a land use plan amendment and a rezone before the purchase.

This was the third time his plans were up for review before the Plan Commission, due mostly to commissioners having concerns about the design of the proposed condos. Staff had recommended to James that he allow a review of the most current plans by commissioners Adam Voltz, an architect and Greg Zimmerschied, a developer.

“You’ve picked up a lot of the suggestions the Plan Commission offered,” said Voltz at the meeting. “My concern is just working out the detail of the site plan … the configuration is a bit awkward and it feels a bit like a hockey stick. It’s not really an improvement.”

The complex is slated to have one private road and one access point from Evergreen Boulevard. Voltz had sketched out an alternate plan to show how he though the site could work, but it also removed one two-condo unit from the plans.

Commissioners also have been hesitant to approve James’ request at previous meetings, because doing so would lock in the footprint of the project.

“This is for concept approval; he will come back for review with details,” said Censky. “The request for the Planned Unit Development approval will lock in the footprints, layout and number of units.”

“I appreciate the changes in design … but from my perspective, I still thought there were too many units,” said Commissioner Pat Thome. “Fourteen units is too many in this space. I realize that you are putting in as many units as you can in part to reduce the association fees, but with 26 units you can still have reasonable condo fees.”

Plan Commissioners and James discussed how removing one unit will loosen up more space within the complex itself, specifically between units. James had noted at a previous meeting that his target demographic will be older residents, who are not as concerned with available yard space.

Commissioner Voltz noted that by adopting his suggested plan, the entry to the complex as well as the layout of the road would be a more accessible design. Zimmerschied also suggested that James add a partial sidewalk to the plan to improve pedestrian access off of Evergreen Boulevard. As planned, the complex does not have sidewalks.

James was comfortable with the suggested modifications and received his necessary approvals by unanimous vote by the Plan Commission.

<<EARLIER: Cedarburg condo concept plan stalls