Plans for Port subdivision of ‘green’ homes receives praise

Commission likes idea of small, efficient houses in neat neighborhood

THE HOUSES THAT Port Washington developer Mike Speas has proposed for his Mineral Springs subdivision would be similar in size and style to those he built along Division Street. His new project would be on six acres across the street from the houses. Photo by Bill Schanen IV
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Plans by Port Washington developer Mike Speas to create a 26-house subdivision on six acres of land he is buying off South Division Street met with praise from the Plan Commission recently.

“I think it’s a wonderful plan,” commission member Brenda Fritsch, an architect, said of the concept plan on Oct. 18. “It will be a  great addition to the area.”

The subdivision would be built on property between South Division and South Wisconsin streets that Speas is buying from We Energies. The property is bisected by Western Avenue.

The subdivision would be comprised of smaller, energy efficient cottage-style houses similar to those Speas built on the west side of Division Street across from the proposed development.

“Our goal is to create a subdivision with front porches only on the street,” Speas said, noting access to the garages would be off an alley behind the houses. “The street facade would be green except for the sidewalk.”

That concept met with approval from Ald. Mike Ehrlich, an architect and commission member.

“No garage in the front is always good,” he said.

He asked whether homeowners and visitors would be able to park on South Wisconsin Street.

Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven, a commission member, said he would check into that, adding he believed that would be permitted. Parking would likely only be allowed on one side of Wisconsin Street.

Speas emphasized that the houses “won’t be really big, but made of high-quality materials.”

The homes will be between 1,000 square feet and 1,600 square feet.

Commission members noted that the site is difficult to work with, given that there is a significant change in the grade from the east to west sides.

“I like it,” commission member Eric Ryer said. “It’s a good, creative use of a site that’s pretty tough to work with.”

Commission members approved the concept plan unanimously, stressing that the alleys to be built in the subdivision would be private, not public, and that the city would be responsible to pick up garbage and recyclables for the residents.

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