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Muskego holds public hearing on residential development proposed for Little Muskego Lake

July 14, 2014

Muskego — Local officials will hear a proposal to build a gated community of seven $1 million-dollar homes and 30 condominiums for seniors on Little Muskego Lake that has one neighbor concerned.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, during a regular common council meeting. The council will not act on the matter that night. First, the plan commission will considered the proposal on Aug. 5. The council then could act on the issues surrounding the proposal, such as rezoning and raising the density, as early as Aug. 12.

The condos would sell for an average price of $250,000 and on Janesville Road, east of Pioneer Drive The same developer, Michael Dilworth, had proposed an earlier development for the site but failed to get city approval.

The newest initiative includes land where the former DJ's Pub and Grill stood at S76 W18026-58 Janesville Road and two homes to the east. Dilworth owns both homes while DJ's is still listed in city records as being owned by the Hewitt Trust. Dan Hewitt owned the former pub.

The development has its early detractors.

Heidi Lindhorst who lives on the western border of the proposed development didn't like the high density.

"That's an awful lot of housing," she said. "It's not in keeping with the serenity of the lake. Why should the city rewrite its plan?"

The July 22 hearing will be on whether to rezone DJ's to planned development zoning to match the zoning of the two homes, as well as allowing a higher density than currently allowed on the three properties.

If rezoning and higher densities are approved, Dilworth will submit actual plans for the proposed development. Those plans include a pier for each of the proposed seven homes and a pier with a boat slip for senior condo owners to share.

The piers have the potential for increasing boat traffic, something that raised the ire of many over the failed park proposals. Opponents contend the lake is already too crowded.

The density would change from medium to high density and would be about twice as high as envisioned in Muskego's 2020 Comprehensive Plan. That plan calls for one unit per 14,568 square feet whereas the proposal is for one per 7,072 square feet.

But Dilworth noted in his initial proposal that his plan meets two objectives in Muskego's marketing plan for improving the Janesville Road corridor. That marketing plan calls for attracting high-quality, multifamily development and for bringing residential density to the corridor and the center of the community.

Dilworth added that the comprehensive plan also supports a high degree of residential use in the downtown area and supports amending the zoning code when required to permit greater flexibility in the uses of downtown property. The proposed project is in the general downtown area denoted in the 2020 Plan.

The city already allows the high density in other parts of the city, Dilworth said.

Lindhorst said it isn't that she and her husband are against change. They supported a previous plan to build a four-family apartment building next door on the former DJ's site, she said.

The two senior buildings would be two stories with a 10-unit building on the west and a 20-unit building to the east. Underground parking is planned. The buildings would be within 10 feet of Janesville Road.

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