Town still not fully on board with State 23 plans

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Town Board is still less than enamored with the Department of Transportation’s plans for making State 23 a freeway between State 57 and State 67.

Town Chairman Warren Luedke reported Monday on a recent meeting he and city officials had with representatives of the DOT on the State 23 corridor preservation plan.

The DOT, he said, is looking to complete the study, which includes several alternatives for a frontage road after intersections at Pleasant View Road, County E and County OJ are closed.

“All the maps they’ve ever dreamed up over time,” are included in the plan, Luedke commented.

But, he added, the DOT plans to officially map one alternative, “which does not connect up to 67 at all.”

The DOT’s preferred map only extends Kiley Way as a frontage road as far as County OJ (Fairview Drive) but no farther.

“I said that has no use at all for us if it doesn’t go to 67,” Luedke told the board he told the DOT representatives. “All this is going to do is service a couple of neighborhoods up on Fairview Drive.”

He said city officials told the DOT they would not disagree with mapping that route, but still preferred to see a frontage road all the way to State 67.

“So would we,” Supervisor Gene Blindauer stated. “That road doesn’t serve anybody for anything.”

“If we go along with that … one, we’re running up a white flag,” on a full frontage road, Supervisor Glenn Kruschke agreed.

Luedke added that DOT officials said they didn’t know who would build the frontage road after it is mapped.

“I told them the town wouldn’t build it. That road, connecting to Fairview Drive, does nothing. That’s useless,” Luedke said.

“But, they’re going to do whatever they want,” Luedke said of the DOT.

The Town Board earlier went on record as opposing the DOT’s last plan for extending the frontage road to State 67 through the River Heights subdivision. Supervisors reiterated their opposition again Tuesday.

Supervisors reviewed the city of Plymouth’s ordinance on keeping chickens on residentially-zoned properties and decided it should fit well for the town as well.

Kruschke asked if the town should increase the limit in the city ordinance, which allows no more than five chickens on any one property.

“We could maybe increase that number because we have larger (residential) lots than the city, but the ordinance only applies if it’s zoned residential, so we probably don’t want to change that number,” Luedke commented.

Blindauer agreed, noting that for the majority of land in the town, which is zoned agricultural, the residential restrictions would not apply.

“I’m comfortable with the way it is,” he said of the city ordinance.

Town Attorney Jim Hughes said he would redraft the ordinance for the town and the board would be able to consider it at their September meeting.

The board approved a certified survey map for the parcel at the southwest corner of County J and State 67.

The county is in the process of purchasing the 76-acre parcel with the intention of building a new facility for the Highway Department there.

The map divides the parcel into two roughly-equal lots. The Highway Department facility would be built on lot 1 on the north half of the land.

“Sometime next year we hope to be back here for a conditional use permit to start building and moving dirt,” County Surveyor Ed Harvey told the board.

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