Subdivision plan has residents worried

Stonewall Reserve project resurrected from 2018 raises concerns about traffic, environmental impact
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

Discussions on the proposed 178-acre Stonewall Reserve subdivision have resumed after the development was tabled in April 2018.

Developers appeared before the Village of Grafton Plan Commission on July 27 to share preliminary plans for the 350-unit subdivision, which call for single and multi-family homes on varying lot sizes.

The proposed subdivision is to be bordered by Highway 60 on the south, West Cedar Creek Road to the north, Keup Road. to the west and Green Valley Road to the east on what is currently agricultural land.

About 140 acres of the property are in the Town of Cedarburg and would need to be annexed into the village.

The development was tabled by the commission in 2018 after citizens requested additional information on how traffic and other aspects of the surrounding area would be impacted by the development.

Since then, the village has contracted Traffic Analysis and Design Inc. in Cedarburg to conduct a traffic impact analysis. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has also conducted a traffic study.

While the studies made recommendations on how traffic flow could be improved in the subdivision — such as constructing right-turn lanes in some locations — it was ultimately determined infrastructure could easily handle an increase in traffic.

Village staff have also determined that the development is not anticipated to cause significant adverse impacts on adjacent properties, community character or the general welfare of the village.

Before the meeting, a letter was submitted to the commission and Village Board outlining a list of concerns residents in the Cedarton Estates and Lone Oaks subdivisions have about the development.

The letter was submitted on behalf of the residents by Chris Cotton, a Cedarton Estates resident.

“We are all supportive of a properly planned and safe residential development in the community ...” the letter states. “Unfortunately, this proposed development (Stonewall Farms) will not bring a positive impact to the Grafton and Cedarburg area.”

The main concerns of the development  in the letter include issues with traffic, the environment, water capacity and school capacity.

Community Development Director Jessica Wolf addressed the letter during the meeting, starting with concerns that the development would cause an unmanageable amount of traffic in the area.

“As we’ve seen through both the village’s traffic impact analysis as well as the DOT analysis, that’s simply not true,” she said.

The letter stated water pressure at the nearby Aurora Urgent Care clinic is already an issue and that the neighborhood would lessen the flow more so.

Wolf said she spoke with the site manager of the clinic and was told the clinic does not have concerns about water pressure.

She added that the subdivision also plans to connect to an existing water tower currently located in the Town of Cedarburg, which would provide sufficient water pressure.

Another concern mentioned in the letter is that the subdivision would be split between the Grafton and Cedarburg school districts, with the majority of students in the development going to the Cedarburg district.

“The village has no control over school district boundaries,” Wolf said.

She added that Cedarburg’s facilities were created with growth in mind and that the additional population would not strain the district.

While a public hearing on the final plan proposal will not occur until the commission’s September meeting, residents and neighbors of the proposed subdivision were given time to express concerns.

Grafton resident Casey Didier said the village should not engage in a project that would send a large amount of tax dollars to the Cedarburg School District instead of the Grafton district.

“Why are we paying for the infrastructure of a development that isn’t benefitting our school district directly?” she asked.

Resident Kristen Bruess said a large subdivision such as Stonewall Reserve would bring city living to the country and disrupt the pastoral environment that drew many residents to live there.

“We live there for a reason,” she said. ”We appreciate the privacy and the aesthetics.”

Village President Jim Brunnquell said village staff members will continue to investigate concerns to ensure they are settled before moving forward.

The village will continue working with developer Bob Tillmann and his partner Mike Kaerek to finalize a site plan before the September meeting, during which commission are is expected to vote on the proposal.    

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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