Menomonie City Council approves Estover Terrace development and re-zoning | Wis.Community

Menomonie City Council approves Estover Terrace development and re-zoning

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Menomonie CIty Council Meeting 7/20/2020

In a very long city council meeting tonight, the council approved both the Estover Terrace development and the re-zoning for the property involved. This development was opposed by many of the citizens in the area of the development, and they had sent a petition to the city council in advance of the meeting. Many of those opposed spoke at the meeting tonight. 

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A brief outline of the Estover Terrace project was given by the city, after which many citizens spoke in opposition to the project virtually. He compared the density of the development and the traffic flows of other local developments. He also defended the cost of the housing as "affordable" although many of the people speaking against the development felt the units are not affordable. All of the units would qualify as "workforce housing". 

This was followed by developer Trevor Bohland, who spoke in support of the project. He presented data on the traffic counts near the developments. 

Later several other people spoke against the development or asked for changes to the plan via telephone and computer. 

Issues were raised about the development not fitting in with the city's comprehensive plan, traffic flow problems, safety of children going to the local schools, and whether starting a major housing project is a reasonable thing to do during the pandemic. 

Katherine Dutton questioned whether there really is a need for more workforce housing in Menomonie, and questioned if there is a big need, why are none of the businesses in Menomonie speaking up and asking for this sort of development.

Derek Trainor spoke in support of the project as a general need for the city.

Bill Albright, one of the developers spoke  saying "Time has not stopped during COVID, people need jobs, people need a place to live."

Dave Nelson from Vets Plus pointed out that there are approximately 200 job openings in Menomonie looking for workers, and there is a need for this class of housing:  "I think we need to find a way to say yes to that. If we say no, where is 3M going to expand? Where is Vets Plus going to expand".

The head of the Menomonie Development Corporation also spoke in favor of the development, citing a big need for housing for workers in Menomonie - "The reputation of Menomonie is that it is anti-business". 

Ashley DeMuth of the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce echoed the comments of business leaders saying that she is not speaking about the citing of the development, but "housing is needed to bring employees here, and to help businesses sustain".

The public hearing closed at 8:36 for the development, and the hearing on the re-zoning started.

Leslie Norris spoke against the re-zoning largely due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, and that once the area is re-zoned it will be permanent. 

Several other people spoke remotely against the re-zoning. The hearing closed at 8:51 PM. and moved to public comments.

Julie Beston spoke that there is not really an objection to the development itself, but to the location. She also feels there is little trust between the developer and the community and that there is a fear that the development will be started, but  that the later phases may not be completed.

Public comments closed at 8:57 

Unfinished Business 

a. Review of the Estover Terrace plan.

Randy Eide reviewed the plan again - 5 8-plexes, 8 12-plexes, then a series of twin homes, and six single family homes. The planning commission approved the plan with the exception of changing the 12 plexes to 8 plexes. The developer has agreed to that but was asking for $75,000 to extend the drive to Dairyland, and a payment of $425,000 for the lowering of the number of units. There was also a second plan that was a compromise between the proposal and the response from the planning commission. 

Rules were suspended to allow Trevor Bohland to discuss the two options without having to increase the rents. The payments would be to decrease the density and still allow the rents to stay in the range of workforce housing. Counselor Ryland Erdman objected to this as a subsidy and believed the rents are too high for the property.

The issue of the slopes in the development was raised. Staff stated that there are slopes, but they are still developable. 

The workshops in January and February had a goal of having more single-family housing, but it has always been difficult to do that since most of the new family homes are being built outside of the city where they do not require city water and sewage. 

The city identified the new roads that would be put in place in an attempt to spread the traffic. The new roads have been in the comprehensive plan since the '80s. 

A motion was made to accept option - the original 156-unit plan, with a payment of $75,000 to extend the road to Dairyland Road. Council member Ryland stated an objection to passing a plan that the planning commission had rejected.  Option 2 required an additional $350,000 from the city, option 3 includes an additional $730,000 to keep the rents at the current level. 

The council discussed this. 

A roll call vote was taken on the development - 

Sutherland - yes

Sweeney - yes

Schewbs - yes

Merrill - yes

Solberg - yes

Erdman - no

Summerfeld - yes

Luther - no

Traxler - yes

The development was approved 7-2 and the council moved forward on the re-zone. 

The re-zoning was passed by voice vote 7-2.

Other New Business

Proposed amendment to the Project Plan of Tax Incremental District authorizing the district as a donor district – discussion and possible resolution adoption - Passed unanimously

B. Resolution amendment to the Project Plan of Tax Incremental District adding and subtracting district territory – discussion and possible resolution adoption - Passed unanimously

C. Proposed resolution authorizing the submittal of a Six Year Statement of Project Intentions list to the WI Bureau of Aeronautics – discussion and possible resolution adoption - this is the six-year plan for the airport, which is approved every two years. Passed unanimously

D. Review of the agreement authorizing Dunn County to act as the Responsible Unit agent for City recycling services and programs – discussion and possible motions of action - 

The Dunn County Solid Waste committee has proposed increases in recycling fees - this is approximately a 280% increase. Continuing with Dunn County Recycling the city would see an increase from $276,000 to $558,000. If the city did the recycling themselves the projected cost would be approximately $349,000.  The city believes they can run the recycling program for less money than the county, and will receive a larger grant from the DNR to help pay for the recycling. 

The mayor asked to have this deferred until a later meeting to give an opportunity for more input and to have the county have a chance to present to the city council. Red Cedar township has already pulled out of the county recycling and things are also up in the air in regard to the proposed referendum for solid waste and recycling. The recycling would continue to go to the county tipping floor or possibly to wherever the hauler decides to take  it if it does not continue to go to the county. It is also likely that this would involve changing from the separated recycling to a single-stream recycling plan (which is also in the county's plans). 

E. Reimbursement Agreement with Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Bureau of Aeronautics for a Fuel Card Reader System – discussion and possible motion of action  - this is an application to have an 80% payment for a new fuel card reader because the current reader is malfunctioning. The city would pay 20% of the $18,000 cost. This passed.

F. Appointments to various Boards and Commissions including the Menomonie Housing Authority – discussion and possible motion appointing - Andy Lamb has been recommended by the housing authority, his appointment was approved. 

G. Budget Transfers

Some minor IT transfers were approved for router maintenance. 

Mayor's Report

Dredging has begun on Wolske Bay. The new sidewalk on Main St. is in. A letter was sent by the mayor to KT Gallagher to do whatever is necessary to keep the county safe. 

There will be a special Zoom meeting next Monday evening at 6:30  to approve some clean water paperwork.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:22 PM. 

Attending the meeting:

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting is being held in person and via Zoom Teleconference / Video Conference or, over the internet by going to https://zoom.us/join (URL for Zoom meeting), or by calling 1 312 626 6799. The Access Code for the meeting is 859 6936 6532.

 

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Published

July 20, 2020 - 10:20pm
Menomonie, WI
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