Sho-Deen plans scrutinized
The commission Tuesday night voted unanimously to seek clarification of a number of conditions the town could set on a development proposed by Illinois developer Sho-Deen Homes.
The pause might give Sho-Deen time to consider whether seeking permission to build a special subdivision is worth the fight.
“Everybody’s lost sight of the benefits of the conservation subdivision,” Sho-Deen President Dave Patzelt said after the meeting.
Patzelt said he is seeking to build a conservation subdivision because he thinks buyers prefer the style. But, if the town requires Sho-Deen to jump through too many hoops, the company could change its mind and build a traditional subdivision instead, he said.
“It all comes down to economics,” Patzelt said.
The development would be the biggest in the township if it gets built, and it could inspire changes to at least one town ordinance.
The town is interested in requiring Sho-Deen to conduct a water supply study. At issue is whether the subdivision should be served by municipal water service or private wells.
However, town attorney Dave Rasmussen said the town doesn’t have an ordinance to enforce water connections. Such ordinances are more common in cities or villages, he said.
Rural developments don’t typically have to worry about them, Rasmussen said.
The town could require the study but has no way to tell Sho-Deen what to do with the study results, he said.
Rasmussen suggested the town start drafting an ordinance that would require municipal water connections for some developments. Engineers would suggest guidelines that would likely take into consideration development density or number of units, he said. The ordinance would apply objective guidelines to all future developments—not just Sho-Deen’s Shores of Delavan Lake, he said.
“You can’t just say, ‘This is going to be a really crowded subdivision. You need a water tower or fire hydrants on every corner,’” Rasmussen said.
As it stands, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources would oversee water supply issues, Rasmussen said. If the town doesn’t draft an ordinance, it wouldn’t have a say, he said.
A point of debate has been whether the city of Delavan would supply water to the subdivision. The city has tabled discussion on the matter.
In addition to water service, the town is considering 13 other conditions it would like to set on the development.
The town wants to require Sho-Deen to protect woodland and wetland areas and develop parks and trails. The town wants the subdivision built in phases.
Before the subdivision is built, the town wants Sho-Deen to build a storm water retention system to relieve flooding in the already existing Inlet Oaks subdivision.
The town also wants Sho-Deen to conduct a traffic-impact study, among other things.
Sho-Deen is proposing a 623-home subdivision near County F and Mound Road on the Delavan Lake inlet.
The 220-acre site already is zoned for residential use, so Sho-Deen is allowed to build homes on the site. Specifically, the developer could build houses on 15,000-square-foot lots.
However, the company wants to build a conservation subdivision rather than a traditional subdivision. That would mean clustering homes on 10,000-square-foot lots and leaving contiguous open space.
Patzelt said he anticipates the open space would be open for public use.
This style of subdivision is allowed in Walworth County, but it requires a conditional-use permit. If the plans move forward, Walworth County ultimately would set conditions for development.
The county would take the town’s proposed conditions into consideration.
Once the planning commission is satisfied with the list of conditions, it would make a recommendation to the town board. The town board would make a recommendation to the Walworth County Zoning Agency.
If the conditions were approved at the county level, the project then would move into the platting approval process. The city of Delavan has authority to intervene at that point because the development is located so close to the city.
Last updated: 2:48 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012