TOWN OF LISBON – About a dozen town residents objected to a proposed residential development in their neighborhood that has tentative conceptual approval from the town.
The objections were voiced at an Aug. 10 plan commission meeting.
Town officials have not yet set a date for public hearings required for the proposed conditional use permit and zoning changes for the Barnwood Conservancy at Silver Spring and Lake Five roads.
Miller Marriott Construction Company of Hartland is proposing to develop 53 home sites on 75 acres of the Meissner family farm.
The public hearing cannot be scheduled, according to town Clerk Gina Gresch, until Miller Marriott prepares and files documents that are required for the hearing. She said there is a possibility the hearing could be scheduled in September or October.
Smaller the new trend?
Chris Miller of Miller Marriott told commissioners the development will have market appeal to millennials and baby boomers because it will offer high-quality constructed, smaller homes arranged in clusters around large amounts of open space.
He said the housing market is trending away from large home on large lots.
The lots in the subdivision will average about 30,000 square feet, about 10,000 square feet smaller than many lots in the town.
Miller said most of the homes will be between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet.
That is about 300 square feet smaller than many homes in new subdivisions in the town, according to some town residents.
Reasons for opposition
Residents objecting to the development live in the Sixth Addition of the Thousand Oaks subdivision, north of the development site.
Two residents speaking for the group – Richard Denny and Michelle Maas – argued the commission should require house and lot sizes that are comparable to surrounding subdivisions.
They said the smaller houses and lot sizes would reduce the value of surrounding homes.
They also expressed concern that the new development could negatively impact underground aquifers that existing neighborhoods rely on for water.
They objected to the streets in the new development being connected to existing streets in the subdivisions north and east of the site, enabling residents from other subdivisions to cut through their neighborhoods to reach Lake Five Road.
They added the new residential development would result in higher traffic volumes which would make the intersection at Lake Five and Silver Spring roads more dangerous.
Chairman likes component of development
Town Chairman Joe Osterman pointed out Waukesha County highway officials have jurisdiction over the intersection and there is nothing the town can do to make it safer.
Osterman said he liked the “connectivity” the plan created by tying the various subdivision streets together, saying it created a neighborhood environment and improved access for town residents to nearby hiking trails and the Lisbon Community Park.
Osterman said he expected the developers to study both traffic volumes and potential adverse impact the development might have on ground water quality before the project might be approved.
Osterman and Commissioner Ed Nelson said they agreed with Miller’s concept of smaller homes on smaller lots being more attractive to baby boomers and millennials.
Osterman polled the five commissioners at the meeting and each said they generally agreed with the concept of the development.
However, two commissioners – Mark Meyer and Jane Stadler – expressed specific concerns about the proposal.
Meyer objected to much of the open space in the development being located along Lake Five Road and Silver Spring Drive. He said more open space should be in the interior of the development.
Stadler objected to relaxing some of the town standards proposed in the development plans.