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Alderman wants moratorium on marina development PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:39

Sigwart says city should commission comprehensive neighborhood plan before more projects advance

    Port Washington Ald. John Sigwart said Tuesday he will ask the Common Council on Tuesday to place a moratorium on development in the city’s marina district until a comprehensive neighborhood plan for the area is done.
    Sigwart said he will bring a proposal for that plan from Vandewalle and Associates to the council for its consideration, saying the need is especially acute because Ansay Development will bring its plans for the Marina Shores project to the city soon.
    “We’ve got to do some planning,” Sigwart said. “We’ve been planning one parcel at a time. We need to look at the whole area.”
    Preliminary plans for the Marina Shores development unveiled in late 2016 called for a six-story building with a restaurant, stores and commercial operations on the NewPort Shores property.
    Sigwart, who has been on a mission to get the city to do more neighborhood planning, especially in the marina district, told the city’s Community Development Authority last month that need will become especially acute as longtime city officials such as Administrator Mark Grams and Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development, retire — something Tetzlaff will do this spring.
    “My primary concern is for the marina district,” Sigwart told the CDA. “The marina district has all the potential in the world. (But) we’re still studying it one lot at a time.”
    He said he wants to see a neighborhood plan created that would look at everything from land uses to traffic patterns, adding he sees an eventual need for some type of controlled intersection at Jackson and Franklin streets.
    “I think we need to get our arms around the district,” he said. “I want to have good planning at the lakefront.”
    CDA member Bill Prince said the city has done planning for the marina district, but Sigwart said it was “inadequate.”
    “We have to get the property owners involved, find out what they have planned for their properties,” he said.
    The study he is proposing, Sigwart said, would include values for properties in the area to give property owners a realistic value for their land.
    Vandewalle, Sigwart noted, has a process they use to engage the public and property owners in planning.
    Other areas where Sigwart said he wants to see neighborhood plans done include South Spring Street — “That whole corridor is in need of something,” he said — and the proposed tax incremental financing district four, especially the area around the NorthPort Shopping Center.
    “It’s a lot of work, but those areas are really important to the city,” he said.
    Sigwart said whatever plan Vandewalle would come up with doesn’t have to be set in stone.
    “It doesn’t have to be a controlling document to the point of absurdity,” he said. “This would be something that, when people come in with their projects, we can say ‘this is what we envisioned.’”
    The study will likely be an investment, Sigwart said.
    “Is it going to be a lot of money? I think so,” he said. “Do we have that money available? No. We may need to borrow to fund it.”
    Tetzlaff said the study should also take a look at form-based zoning.
    “I think that’s another important piece of the puzzle,” he said, noting the city has talked about the concept, particularly for the downtown area, but has never moved forward with it.
    Sigwart originally said he wanted to see the city move on his proposal by late April or early May, but said his timetable has been moved up.
    “The only problem with our downtown is it’s too small and too beautiful. We can’t afford to make a mistake,” he said.

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