WIND POINT — A residential 40-unit condo development could be coming to Wind Point at the site of the former Wind Point School.
At its meeting Wednesday at the Caledonia Village Hall, the Wind Point Plan Commission recommended approval to rezone the property from an instructional district to a multifamily zoning district, which would allow the condos to be built.
Plan Commission members also voted to recommend approval of a comprehensive plan amendment, which would change the land use. The agenda items were voted on at the same time and passed by a 5 to 1 vote.
Background on the development
Mount Pleasant-based Newport Development Corporation has owned the property at 290 Jonsue Lane, south of Four Mile Road and east of North Main Street, since early 2018.
The corporation acquired the school property from the Racine Unified School District under the agreement to demolish the vacant school building and redevelop the property.
Newport Development requested to rezone the property from an institutional district to a multiple-family residence District with a planned development overlay. The PDO allows for flexibility in how buildings are placed on the property and building setbacks.
The conceptual site plan has been revised since last considered. Revisions were based on comments from residents at a neighborhood meeting last fall, plus feedback from the January meetings of the Plan Commission and Architectural Review Board. Revisions included:
- Making the storm water pond more attractive by changing the shape and rearranging the buildings.
- Reducing the number of units on the site from 48 to 40 (24 buildings to 20 buildings).
- Moving the private road away from the residential properties abutting the site to the north.
- Re-orienting the private roadway to make it seem less like a race track.
- Creating a public walking path that would replace a former path from the school property. This path would run from the development to the existing pathway running south from 4 Mile Road to Lake Meadow Drive that stretches along the eastern edge of the property.
Currently, the only way in and out of the development is on Jonsue Lane. The village might be looking at widening existing lanes but would not be a significant change, Village Administrator, Clerk and Treasurer Casey Griffiths said. The widening would allow for more shoulder room.
The widening of the road would only occur based on traffic flow, but Griffiths anticipates the traffic from a residential development would be less than when the school was there.
There is no timeline as far as construction. The recommendations for approval from the Plan Commission were the first stage in the process. There are still a number of meetings before final approval, Griffiths said, and that could take several months.
Newport will still need to get approval of the design of the condos from the Architectural Review Board. And the village also has to have a site grading plan and storm water management plan finalized by the Plan Commission and additional details about utility construction will have to be reviewed.
The Village Board is scheduled to give consideration regarding the Plan Commission recommendations at the Aug. 13 Board meeting, which will also be held at the Caledonia Village Hall. At that time there will be a public hearing on the proposals.
Cause for concern
About six people attended the meeting in person, and another 20 people attended virtually via WebEx App, Griffiths said. The meeting was held at the Caledonia Village Hall in order to accommodate space for potential attendees, allowing for social distance.
The school site development, as well as a proposal for 4403 Main St., are topics residents are concerned about, he said.
“Both of those are very large and very concerning developments for residents, so we felt that it was good to have a meeting at a larger facility,” he said. “Plus, it was right down the street. They’re being very good neighbors in Caledonia.”
There were some residents who expressed concerns. Fritz Obernbeger was one of them.
Obernbeger, who lives in the 4900 block of North Main Street, articulated his apprehensions virtually with the one entrance and exit proposed for the new development.
“The sheer traffic and the volume of units is really concerning, and the fact that there’s going to be a lot more traffic and the impact of having that many cars in one concentrated area,” Obernbeger said.
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