Positive reviews for proposed development at Hwy C/94
Neighbors express both praise and concerns

By Kelly Smith - Special to Conley Media

Aug. 23, 2019

DELAFIELD — A proposed development including doctors’ offices, medical clinics, a small hospital, senior living center, and a hotel, near the interchange of Hwy C and Interstate 94, has earned positive reviews from neighbors.

The meeting at City Hall Wednesday night was the first time in at least two decades that neighbors and developers had an amicable discussion about a development proposal near the interchange that might have a chance of city approval.

About a half dozen previous proposals were blocked by neighborhood opposition following meetings with developers that nearly evolved into shouting matches.

According to the plans, a half dozen one- and two-story buildings housing medical offices and clinics will be scattered throughout the 27-acre development site along Indian Spring Drive, immediately south of the interchange.

A 15-room hospital, 60-bed senior living center and 60- to 90-room hotel would be clustered in the southeast corner of the woodlands site.

The plan envisions relocating the intersection of Indian Spring Drive and Highway C, which state and local officials have wanted to do for years.

The developers, MSI General and The Property Advisor, both of Oconomowoc, will pay for streets, sidewalks, stormwater control and city sewer services that will be extended beneath the interstate to the development site.

The plan faces some significant zoning issues.

It is in a zoning district that does not permit hotels or allow businesses to operate 24 hours a day, a necessity for the hospital, senior living center, and hotel operations.

However, neighbors interviewed by Conley Media after the meeting praised the developers for being polite, respectful and willing to listen.

 “I like the plan,” said Jim Zahorik.

He and his wife, Mary, operate a nursery near the site and are veterans of city development battles.

“I like the way it is laid out. I like the idea of the buildings being kept to one and two story,” said Lynda Holton.

She and her husband Gerry have helped block previous proposals.

“But I have concerns about the 24/7 hours and the hotel,” she added.

“I will give them (the developers) credit. They have respected the land and they have respected the neighbors,” added Plan Commissioner Laura Schult, who lives in the neighborhood.

However, John Kircher and Nicholas Cera warned the developers the hotel is a “big concern.”

The neighbors are concerned about the potential traffic and noise pollution that might be generated by weddings and other large events that would be held in the hotel.

Dirk J. Debbink, chairman and CEO of MSI General, told the neighbors most of the hotel customers will be patients, family members, and medical professionals, although the hotel will available to the general public.

Debbink later told Conley Media small hotels and hospitals are among the latest trend in the development of medical service campuses.

The small hospitals provide a comfortable and efficient venue for some specialized medical procedures and the hotel compliments the operations of both the hospital and the senior living facility, according to Debbink.

There is another potential glitch.

Waukesha County officials want the improvements on Highway C included in the proposal paid for by bonds issued by the city, according to Debbink.

However, if the estimated cost of the city financed road project exceeded $1 million, it would have to be approved in a referendum, according to city ordinance.

The project would be jeopardized if the referendum failed.

Debbink said the developers would prefer to pay for the road improvements without government assistance.