YORKVILLE — With big changes ahead due to the planned construction of the Foxconn manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant, the Town of Yorkville is looking to be ready for the spread of related developments.
In the near future, Yorkville is looking to amend its comprehensive plan, as well as to incorporate as a village. Yorkville voters will decide via an April referendum whether the town will become a village — a change that’s possible due to Foxconn-related legislation.
“Updating our comprehensive plan will assist our long-term planning efforts and provide our residents with control over what happens to our land,” said Yorkville Town Board Chairman Peter Hansen in a press release. “The proposed amendment, along with the town’s plans to incorporate into a village, will best position Yorkville to benefit from the development happening around us as a result of Foxconn.”
Yorkville is located just across Interstate 94 from where the Foxconn manufacturing campus is planned in neighboring Mount Pleasant.
The town has joined with Racine County, the City of Racine and Mount Pleasant to apply to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for permission to supply Lake Michigan water to the Foxconn campus, as well as to portions of Yorkville. Yorkville will be responsible for the $30,000 cost of being added to the application, which the entities plan to submit later this month.
“Participating in the application with our neighbors enables Yorkville to complete this process faster and with less expense than if we did it on our own,” Hansen said in the release.
Some changes in Yorkville’s amended comprehensive land use plan — specifically, the addition of more space slated for residential development — make it more likely that the application will be accepted, Hansen said during a Dec. 11 Plan Commission meeting.
The proposed amendment
The amendment to the comprehensive plan proposes the designation of an area within two miles of Interstate 94, between Highway KR and Braun Road, as medium-density residential. Another change is the designation of land near I-94, between Braun Road and south of Highway C, as “urban reserve territory.”
While the proposed urban reserve areas might have future urban uses, they are designated as such since they could prove difficult to develop. Challenges to development include limited highway access and the cost of providing sanitary sewer service. No matter what types of urban development might be proposed in these areas, the comprehensive plan recommends that development should occur only with the provision of public sanitary sewer service.
Hansen said that any developments in these areas won’t happen overnight. Even after the comprehensive plan is updated, potential developers will still have to go through several steps before any construction begins.
“Those things are not happening today, they’re not happening tomorrow, they’re not happening next year, but we have to think about what’s coming in the very distant future,” he said.
Even if the amendment to the comprehensive plan is approved, land along the interstate that might prove attractive for developers would have to be sold to an interested investor and be rezoned before any development takes place.
In order to inform the public of the change proposals, the town has scheduled an informational meeting from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 11 in the first-floor community room at the Union Grove Municipal Center, 925 15th Ave., Union Grove. The meeting is to have an open-house format to help locals learn more about the proposed comprehensive plan amendments. A short presentation is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.
“Once the presentation has concluded, participants will be able to review several exhibits and converse with subject-matter experts regarding the proposed comprehensive plan amendment,” Hansen said. “Town staff and elected officials will be available to help explain both the challenges as well as opportunities the town will be facing over the next several decades.”
A joint Yorkville Plan Commission and Town Board public hearing on the comprehensive plan amendment is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the Town Board Room, also at the Municipal Center.
In December, town officials issued letters to residents who live within the areas affected by the land designation changes and invited them to the two meetings.