Town tables zoning decision on subdivision plan

Commission delays vote on developer’s request for change after residents question Ulao Parkway housing proposal
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

A parcel of land that was once pegged for a business park in the Town of Grafton could be turned into a single-family residential development.

More than 40 residents were in attendance during the town Plan Commission’s Nov. 7 meeting, where members considered rezoning about 60 acres of land on Ulao Parkway South, just west of the Highway C intersection.

Ultimately, the commission voted 6-1 to table a decision on the proposal.

According to the town’s future land-use map, the majority of the acreage is zoned agricultural, with the rest designated as rural transition (R-Tr) development.

Developer Dan Scardino of Point Real Estate is requesting an amendment to the map and the town’s comprehensive plan to rezone the land and allow a one-acre density and one-acre lots in the R-3 residential zoning district.  

“What I want to do is create a community that is going to be palatable for someone coming in and building a house,” said Scardino, who was the construction manager for the Waterstone subdivision in the town.

Scardino said the R-Tr zoning would only allow him to develop 30 homes, but with the R-3 designation, he could build about 44 homes that would each cost $500,000 to $600,000.

According to the town zoning code, R-Tr housing must have an overall density of two acres and minimum area of a one-acre plat in a subdivision. The minimum area for a two-story home is 2,000 square feet and a one-story is 1,750 square feet.

The R-3 zoning calls for a one-acre lot minimum, with the minimum area for a two-story house at 1,650 square feet and 1,250 for a one-story house.

During a public hearing, several residents said the development could be done differently and are worried it would set a precedence for future planning.

“This is not a starter-home area. Part of the desire to be in the town east of I-43 is for much larger lot sizes, aside from the lake and the beauty,” resident Aaron Schmanski said.

“The draw is to have three to five-acre lots. Whether it’s a one or two-acre lot, I think what we’re looking at is the profitability of the developer.”

During the discussion, commission members said the R-Tr district was created about a year ago and would like to see new development created according to the plan.

“I personally don’t like this idea,” commission member Patrick Stemper said. “We haven’t given the R-Tr a chance, and we have to be careful with what we do.”

Town Chairman Lester Bartel said developing a residential property on the land would prevent future annexation from the Village of Grafton.

The village’s comprehensive plan calls for the land in question and surrounding area as “future urban development” and is further defined as “areas for designated long-term development.”

Last year, the village partnered with NAI MLG Commercial, a real-estate firm, to develop a business park plan for 114 acres of farmland at the northwest corner of Highway C and Ulao Road.

The land would have been annexed into the village and rezoned from agricultural to a planned industrial district. The village would have been responsible for infrastructure improvements for the project, and officials discussed creating a tax incremental financing district to pay for the work.

After residents from both the town and village spoke in opposition to the business park, village officials abandoned the plan.

In the Plan Commission’s Nov. 7 decision, Stemper cast the dissenting vote.

Scardino said he will return to the commission in 90 days with a refined plan based on input at the meeting. 

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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