MOUNT PLEASANT — Two large developments in Mount Pleasant both advanced toward the construction phase this week.
The Village Board voted 5-1 on Monday to approve a rezoning of about 20 acres of land along 90th Street and Campus Drive to allow for multifamily housing. Trustee Gary Feest was the lone “no” vote.
The developer, Wangard Partners, plans to build a 269-unit apartment complex on the land.
Some area residents voiced their disagreement with the project during the public comment period.
Village President Dave DeGroot said the Foxconn Technology Group development has spawned interest from other developers for different projects, but the village still has a need for housing.
“Interestingly enough, there has not been a lot of developer interest in single-family homes on half-acre or acre lots,” DeGroot said. “The immediate need, and this has been echoed time and again, is that we need to increase our higher-density housing.”
DeGroot tried to assure residents by saying this is only the first step in the development, and the village still needs to see blueprints and other plans for the project.
“This is not your father’s apartment complex,” DeGroot said. “These are apartment complexes that people (will) want to live in. High income, young folks, neighbors that you’ll love to have.”
Trustee Anna Marie Clausen told residents the board took considerable time researching and evaluating the project’s potential outcomes.
“It takes a long process for these projects to come through to development,” Clausen said. “No, we do not have our minds made up and I think I speak for, if not all the trustees, the majority: There’s a process, and it takes considerable time and research for us to come to a decision.”
Clausen said this project will fill a need in the village.
“The original developer had planned for apartments,” she said. “Currently, there are no quality rental options, and we need these housing options.”
Feest admitted there is a need for more housing in the village as more people come to the area to work for Foxconn or at other jobs.
“This is a really good project,” Feest said. “We’re not used to something like this in this village.”
However, Feest said his main issue is road capacity, specifically whether the immediate area roads can handle that many people driving there without causing significant traffic delays.
“I don’t know where this group gets their math from, but to me, you’re going to see at least 180 to 200 cars trying to get out onto 90th Street … between the hours of 6:30 and 8 p.m., and between 3:30 and 5 (p.m.),” Feest said. “... I don’t see that as a happening thing that has been looked and planned for reasonably.”
Other meeting notes
The Village Board unanimously approved the rezoning for a planned medical center at the corner of Spring Street and Sunnyslope Drive. Advocate Aurora Health plans to build a facility, and the village has added the condition that it must also build a public sidewalk on the property.
Aurora released a statement on the progress of the project.
“This clinic supports our overall plan for expanded services and access to primary care throughout this growing region,” said Lisa Just, president of Advocate Aurora’s Racine Kenosha Lake Patient Service Area.
The Village Board also unanimously passed a moratorium on “adult only” businesses until village staff can update village ordinances.