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Zoning changes on council agenda

The Hudson Common Council approved setting a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for rezoning of three parcels of land located west off Highway F from agricultural residential to one-family and multi-family residential.

Council Member Randy Morrissette II said he wanted to make sure the council had all the maps and information needed so the public could be informed before the hearing.

The property totaling about 40 acres was annexed into the city from the town of Troy in June.

LandDevCo is proposing a development on the property with a mix of single-family lots and medium- and high-density units.

Community Development Director Mike Johnson said the development will ultimately be two parcels, one of medium-density residential and the other high-density.

Resident Doug Rowan, who lives near the area under discussion, said he and his homeowners association had concerns about increasing the density on the Scenic St. Croix Riverway District as well as encroachments on existing easements not shown on the maps provided.

Rowan told the council they will have significant resistance to changing the zoning on Sept. 4. He asked to postpone the hearing until more details and a development plan are available.

City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick said rezoning does not mean approval of a development plan. She said the decision at hand is solely judging whether the requested zoning is appropriate for that property based on what's allowed under the city's zoning ordinance.

Johnson said setting a public hearing date allows more in-depth conversation on issues, with surrounding neighbors notified and comments provided from the Department of Natural Resources.

Morrissette asked to have a plat map, which Johnson said was included in the annexation application.

Johnson told the council he could have an ALTA survey, which will show more detail, available in the next couple weeks ahead of the hearing.

Coulee condos

The council approved rezoning property off Coulee Road from one-family residential to multiple family residential after the plan commission recommended denial.

The plan commission expressed concern about traffic volume and flow, and stormwater runoff at the site located east of Birkmose Park.

Proposed development for the site is a three-story, 27-unit condo complex by HAF Architects.

Morrissette said he has heard from constituents that live nearby who do not want the proposed plan there. He echoed plan commission concerns about congestion, run off and the fact that Coulee Road is a detour route for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

"It's very clear to me that it is not the right place for the project," he said.

Andrew Nelson of Nelson and Lindquist Law, speaking on behalf of the potential purchaser, said the land will not sell as a one-family residential lot. He said it has been for sale for at least 10 years.

Nelson said as a multi-family parcel, the site will go through more permitting for runoff issues.

The condos will bring 54 vehicles, a number Nelson said is negligible compared to the 8,100 vehicles Coulee Road currently sees a day, according to WisDOT.

Nelson said the property will also have the required setback of around 60 feet from Coulee Road, meaning the green corridor will be maintained.

Nelson noted that no concerns were expressed by community members at a public hearing on the zoning change.

Morrissette said some of the constituents he heard from would not have been able to make it to a public hearing meeting in person, but have told him they don't want the change.

Council Member Sarah Atkins Hoggatt said the development fits with other apartment buildings on the road, and brings housing that Hudson needs.

"I just don't see the impact of your reasons here," she told Morrissette.

Council Member Paul Deziel asked if the city would ever consider buying the property to keep as green space. Council Member Joyce Hall said the city had an option to do so with property nearby but couldn't justify spending the money. Morrissette said the city wouldn't have to make the purchase right away.

The council approved the rezoning and amending the comprehensive plan from one- and two-family residential to medium density residential on a 4-2 vote, with Morrissette and Alms voting no.

The project development plans require separate approval.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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