Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 22:02
Village’s stonework standard had to be lifted before changes allowed
After jumping through a series of bureaucratic hoops, officials with Hillcrest Builders have finally gotten the green light to proceed with reworked plans for the Briarknoll condominium project.
Last month, the builders convinced Village of Saukville officials to eliminate a requirement that the exterior of small condo projects be at least 50% brick or stonework.
Oyvind Solvang, president of Hillcrest Builders, told the village the aesthetic requirement was more rigid than is found in any neighboring community and would make it difficult to sell the condos in a price-conscious environment.
Solvang told planners the stone requirement could add $15,000 to the cost of each new unit, pushing the cost beyond the target range of $215,000 to $230,000.
The development of nine duplex condos was originally approved by the village in 2005, but it was shelved until after the housing market soured.
In response to Solvang’s appeal, village trustees revised the zoning ordinance to eliminate the stonework requirement for condo buildings with four or fewer units.
However, that didn’t mean it would be a simple process when Solvang appeared before the Plan Commission last week to gain approval of the project building design and site plan.
The greatest challenge to plan was expressed in an email from newly appointed commission member Kristi deBruijn, who was unable to attend the meeting because of a work conflict.
“There needs to be more stone used on the building itself, not just the columns. The stone should continue to include the porch area,” deBruijn said.
She also asked for a more comprehensive landscaping plan, including the addition of trees on the west side of the property.
Solvang said the use of stonework was planned to make the buildings look architecturally appealing, adding that ground plantings would break up the visual impact of the walls.
Village President Barb Dickmann did agree that more extensive vegetation is needed on the west side, especially to screen the project from neighboring properties.
With that minor adjustment, the commission unanimously approved the plans.
Solvang said the builders would start marketing the project “as soon as possible.”