Subdivision gains approval in Merton
Groundbreaking expected this summer

By Kelly Smith - Special to Conley Media

March 8, 2019

MERTON — The developers of a 73-lot, high-end subdivision in the midst of Lake Country hope to break ground in mid- to late summer.

The Plan Commission unanimously approved Wednesday night the preliminary plat map for the Stone Ridge Subdivision, which extends for 135 acres north and east of the intersection of Winkelman and Ainsworth roads.

Administrator Tom Nelson said the Village Board would accept the commission’s recommendation this week.

Approval of the preliminary plat map means the developers can begin construction as soon as they complete engineering plans and the land is rezoned, according to Nelson.

Keith Kindred of Short Elliott Hendrickson, consultants for developer Albin “Chip” Halquist, said he expects construction will begin in July or August.

Halquist is one of four grandsons of Albin “Stoney” Halquist who own the farm land.

“Stoney” Halquist was the founder of the Halquist Stone Company, although the four brothers are no longer associated with the company.

Quick approvals for the development were assured late in 2018 when the board unanimously agreed to rezone the land after annexing it from the Town of Lisbon as part of a border agreement between the municipalities.

The subdivision’s plans are compatible with the village’s long-range land use plan and do not require conditional use permits or approvals as a planned unit development, Nelson explained The land touches the borders of the village and Town of Merton and the Town of Lisbon in addition to being less than a half mile north of the Hartland border.

Initially, the plans called for 90 homes on lots ranging in size from one to three acres.

However, the number of homes was reduced to 69 after real estate agent Liz Tobolt convinced the developers the land would be more valuable and generate more revenue if there were more threeacre lots in the plan.

Kindred explained Wednesday that four lots were recently added to the plan after the developers decided to replace a private drive with a cul-desac.

The development will also include two village parks and an all-purpose path around its perimeter that will connect to existing biking/hiking paths in adjoining subdivisions.

The main entrance to the development will be at the Walnut Grove Drive and Ainsworth Road intersection in the Walnut Grove subdivision in the Town of Lisbon.

There will also be access and egress into the development from Serenity Drive, located on the west central edge of the Beaumont Ridge residential development on the west side of the proposed development.