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Density a hot topic in Mequon subdivision proposal

Developer has proposed 95 lots on a 73-acre plot at Wauwatosa and Donges Bay roads

April 9, 2014

Mequon — After a long discussion about density, the Common Council approved a rezoning application that would allow a 95-lot subdivision on a 73-acre plot of land at Wauwatosa and Donges Bay roads.

The Common Council approved the central growth area rezoning on a 7-1 vote. Alderman Dale Mayr was the lone dissenter, saying the transfer of development rights increases the density of the homes beyond that of comparable subdivisions in the area.

Developer representatives told the council that the density is necessary to finance certain amenities within the subdivision, such as playground and park areas.

A night earlier, the Mequon Plan Commission was unable to come to a consensus, citing a difference in opinion on the density of the proposed subdivision.

Scott Jansen, the president of Brighton Ridge Homeowner's Association, opposed the density of the subdivision. He said the smaller lot sizes run against the somewhat rural character of the city. He warned the commission not to turn Mequon into "Brown Deer North."

"This development, this density as it's designed, is not in the best interest of the taxpayers of Mequon," Johnson said. "It's being developed by people who don't live here yet and have never paid property taxes in this community. There are those who are seeking to exploit the great community of Mequon, and the great school district we have, for their own benefit, and that is the developers."

Mequon Community Development Director Kim Tollefson said the lot sizes range from 0.39 to 0.64 acres, which is similar to Range Line Valley, where lot sizes range from 0.34 to 0.61 acres, or the homes built on the old Russ Darrow car dealership, where lots range from 0.23 acres to 0.52 acres.

The developer was told by the city to design homes ranging between $400,000 to $600,000. The developer, Point Real Estate, estimates the average home value would equal $475,000, which at the current tax rate would produce about $6,500 in annual tax revenue and total annual revenue of $1.3 million.

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