Port council takes next step in preparing Hwy. 33 land for commercial, residential lots and baseball complex
The former Schanen farm on Port Washington’s west side was rezoned by the Common Council on Tuesday, with areas set aside for businesses, residences and a proposed baseball complex.
The 40-acre property at the corner of Highway 33 and Jackson Road was zoned to allow commercial lots along Highway 33, with a stormwater detention pond on the corner of Jackson Road and Highway 33, residential lots on the east side bordering Bley Park Estates and a baseball complex on the southwest portion of the property.
Only one person objected to the rezoning.
Don Buechler, 1782 Second Ave., questioned why the city chose to place a baseball complex on such a valuable piece of property, saying a business park would be preferred, especially in terms of tax relief.
“It seems there is a lack of planning here,” he said.
The complex is likely to cause parking issues, Buechler said, and light pollution in the area.
“I don’t see this as a good thing for me, personally,” he said.
Linda Speerbrecher, 253 Brian Ct., asked what type of homes were likely to be built on the land.
The zoning is consistent with that in neighboring Bley Park Estates, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said, noting it calls for single-family houses.
The property originally was envisioned as a soccer complex, Tetzlaff noted, then as those plans fell by the wayside, the city envisioned a multi-use site with homes, commercial properties and a park.
As time went on, Port Youth Baseball, which has been looking for additional field space, proposed using the park area as a baseball complex, Tetzlaff said.
The baseball complex would be built on the southwest portion of the property. A concessions stand, which would include restrooms, would be located in the center of the four fields — a regulation field, intermediate-sized field and two Little League fields.
Port Youth Baseball President Rich Stasik told the Common Council that 320 families in the area are involved in the organization, which continues to grow.
He noted that the complex will not only have baseball facilities but also a walking trail and playground open to the public.
“Projects like this will allow us to serve all the youths in our community for years to come,” he said. “I do feel this is a good use of the land. We’re excited about the project, not only as a family but as an organization.”
The rezoning was approved, with Ald. Mike Ehrlich abstaining.
Ald. Dan Becker lauded the project, noting it is compatible with neighboring land uses and provides a valuable recreational area for the community.
“Port Youth Baseball needs these fields,” he said. “Baseball is growing in our community.”
The complex, as well as the commercial and residential sites that adjoin it, will provide a welcoming gateway to the community, Mayor Tom Mlada said.
“It’s something I think the community can be very proud of,” he said.