Council approves rezoning in face of neighbors’ opposition

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – In front of a room full of neighbors in opposition, the City Council Tuesday approved a rezoning that was the first step for a proposed 96-unit apartment development on Hill and Dale Road near County PP.

Half a dozen residents of the South Hills subdivision (across the road from the rezoned parcel) and Greystone subdivision (next door) called on the council not to approve the rezoning at a public hearing.

“The reason why I moved there is it’s quiet, it’s nice. To have this in my backyard is frustrating,” Greystone resident Mike Knowles stated.

The 10-acre parcel, purchased from the Plymouth School District by Premier Real Estate Management of Brookfield, was annexed to the city earlier this month and zoned agricultural at that time. Premier was seeking rezoning to R-4 multi-family.

“This will be a more than 50 percent increase in the number of living units within a small area. That will mean an increase in noise, congestion, traffic and safety issues. The quality of life so many of us have experienced in this area may suffer,” South Hills resident Henry Klein told the council.

“The issue of traffic is really in the forefront of my mind,” Greystone resident Krista Kriegel added. She noted that the nearby intersection of Hill and Dale Road, County PP and State 67 is a busy intersection. “With almost half as many a number of cars being added, that’s a concern to me.”

Chris Slater of Premier said his company manages more than 9,500 rental units throughout the Midwest.

“We have worked with other local municipalities – Sheboygan, Kiel, the town of Sheboygan – doing really nice developments. We only develop market-rate units, so these are not low-income units.”

Realtor Tim Kapellen pointed out that the land in question will not remain farmland forever. “It could be a business there. There’s also factories across the street. They (Premier) have done a nice job elsewhere.”

Slater pointed out that the apartment development would add $8.5 million to the city’s property tax base.

Sara Spicer of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. said the county is facing a severe rental housing shortage which is impacting employee recruitment for local companies.

“Premier’s reputation is for high-end apartments,” Spicer said. “It’s needed county-wide and needed in Plymouth.

“These people are going to have jobs and are going to work hard like you do,” Spicer said of potential tenants of the development.

In that case, commented South Hills resident Nancy Brickner, the proposed apartments should be built closer to State 23 and the city’s industrial parks. She suggested a better use for the Hill and Dale property might be upscale condominiums for seniors.

“You need to do what is best for the citizens of Plymouth and not what will make the most profit for an outside developer,” Brickner challenged the council.

In answer to a question from Council President Charles Hansen, City Administrator Brian Yerges said the multifamily development would fit in with the city’s master plan land use map for the parcel.

Yerges also pointed out that, even with the rezoning, Premier would still have to go before the Plan Commission for final approval of a site plan for the development.

The council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning, with aldermen John Nelson and Jim Sedlacek absent.

Readers Comments

I'm just wondering how many
Submitted by mhughes91 on Thu, 2016-07-28 06:30.
I'm just wondering how many of the members of the council live within a half-mile to a mile of this proposed complex? Also if these are all going to be lived in by people with good paying jobs, where are those jobs? This will be a very significant amount of people so knowing where and what these jobs are seems extremely important. Was a study done for that bit of information? What has been asked of the developer in way of a commitment in years into the future to the community as to this property? Will the developer be selling after the property shows devaluation, depreciation, and decline thereby leaving a big eyesore after his initial financial gain? Has there been any written assurances?
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