Audio file

Tonight's meeting will consider several items including a property development (Estover Terrace) on the East Side of Menomonie that is being opposed by some nearby residents. We will attempt to record the Zoom meeting tonight and present it here later. The audio recording included is for the last City Council meeting where there was a public hearing on this issue.

Estover Terrace Public Hearing:

Randy Eide introduced the project. 

Trevor Boland from the developers discussed the economics of the project. Estover Terrace would not meet the needs of low-income residents Two meetings were held with concerned neighbors and council member Ryland Erdman. Only 7 lots per year are built on as single-family houses, and most multi-family lots are currently built on. Menomonie has fewer single-family and multi-family units built per year than other local similar cities. He therefore asks that this be approved to increase the number of housing units available in the city.

Public Hearing:

The first public speaker was physically present - Tony Spaghaletti was speaking for his mother who lives close to the proposed development. The development might have 300 cars and has two entries, one of which goes past his mother's house. He is concerned with the increased traffic in the neighborhood.

Jeanne Foley spoke from Zoom. She had participated in the neighborhood Zoom meeting on June 15. The 20 people on that call had concerns about the re-zoning of the property The group was also concerned with the new connecting roads which would funnel traffic through other neighborhoods, making many left-hand turns onto Wilson Avenue. The new road will also probably take up more traffic of parents going to the middle school. In the last three days a petition collected 216 signatures from Menomonie residents. 

Margo Hecker spoke in person. She fears that the traffic that was lowered by earlier projects in the area will be replaced with new traffic from this project. She is particularly concerned with safety with the traffic from Oaklawn and the middle school. She recommended not changing the zoning for the area. She also sees this as a matter of trust with the city since there will now be three different zoning types near these schools.

Kris Recker spoke on Zoom. She believes the proposal is too dense, and with too little green space. She feels the single-family zoning in place is appropriate. Menomonie is seeing a decrease in single-family properties and the current zoning is appropriate and there should be more single-property realty available. There are many multi-family zoned areas in the city that are not platted, so there is other property available. People who live in the area trusted that the city would keep this area as a single-family property and putting in many multi-family properties will influence the values of the current properties in the area. 

Another speaker Nasir Ali came in on Zoom who is another nearby property owner. He spoke in favor of the development but asked that perhaps it could be done at a slightly lower density.

Bill Albright is a developer for the project. Any multi-family developments in the city would require re-zoning. He has worked to put in some single-family housing on the property and is planning to have a sense of community and neighborhood in the area. He pointed to the Nicholas Drive property as an example of the work they do. "WIth people and change comes fear". He feels the density is appropriate and it is a good match for the city. 

Joan Pougiales also spoke on Zoom. She asked that the city consider planning on a city-wide basis, and has read the comprehensive plan, which she thought was very good. She does not believe  that the proposal adheres well to the comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan calls for 70% single-family residency and different styles, and the current proposal is for all similarly-styled units that are primarily multi-family. "It is really important for us to consider what is going to be the resiliency of this city."

Heidi Wilson spoke with concerns about the development, particularly with traffic since there are many school-age and elderly people in the area. "There is a lot of potential for people to get hurt". She asks that other areas be considered. She also asked for housing that is more affordable. Lastly she raised the incompatibility of the historical homes in the district with this new development. 

Steve Hearth spoke. He has recently moved to Menomonie. He asked what the rent of the units will be, to add an extra lane for the school, and to erect a no-left-turn lane. Does this appeal to people who want to come and help to grow this community?

Julie Beston spoke on-line spoke against the development. She was a former resident of the Nicholas Drive development and believed it was very noisy inside. Her monthly mortgage is lower than the rents of most of the units, and she believes that these properties are too expensive for most workers and are well above the HUD guidelines for affordable housing in Dunn County. She also raised the fact that there was no mention in the development plan of environmental or green issues.

Tamara Brantmeier also spoke and has concerns about the lack of homes available in prices that first-time home buyers can afford, and that the percentage of single-family homes is much too low. James Miller reminded the board and developers that "this is not fear, it is democracy". He is concerned with the location and the fact that the city's maps are not accurate and do not mark the property as not wooded, and not highly sloped. There have been no studies of wildlife or the environmental impact of building there. 

Katherine Dutton also spoke in opposition. She raised the same issues as many of the other speakers but wanted to ask for more concern for people living below poverty level, which is the crucial need for housing in the city. Michelle Hamilton has lived in the area since before the Dancing Oak development and has seen a large increase in traffic since then, and is concerned about the traffic caused by this development since there are so few East-West roads in the area. 

Sean Bohan is the engineer on the project and believes that the surrounding streets can handle the additional traffic. The property is loaded to have as much of the multi-family property on the East as possible and is planned to have smaller amounts of traffic exit on 17th. Costs of single-family housing have gone through the roof. "It's not real feasible to have affordable single-family housing with a lot that costs over $60,000. -- Menomonie is not ready to have houses on 60-foot lots to lower the cost". The development would be done in five phases. 

Leslie Norris spoke in agreement with the other neighbors. "We do not know at this time how our city will be affected by the current pandemic. We don't know how housing will be influenced, particularly with student housing". 

Patrick Joseph also spoke in opposition. He voiced many of the same concerns as well as the possibility of forcing re-zoning in the school district due to the density of new housing.

Proposed amendment #2 to the project plan amending territory of the District Boundaries for TID #14

This is the area of the new Kwik-Trip on the North Side. The amendment is to add some parcels into it. Since some of the parcels changed some of them live partly in the district. It will take out the parcel holding the Denny's restaurant out of the district. Details are in the video. 

There were no public speakers on this hearing. 

Proposed amendment #3 to the project plan of TID #12 designating TID #12 as a Donor District to TID #14

TID 12 is the industrial park district and would be a donor district transferring some funds to TID #14. This would be a three-year donation of $305,000 total. This will help to move TID#14 along. 

There were no public speakers on this amendment. 

Discussion of the Estover Development Plan

Steve Cook asked Trevor Boland for clarification of the timeline for the phases of development. The phases are in a map shown in the video. Each phase would take 12-15 months and roughly run from East to West. 

There is no required Environmental Impact Statement other than meeting DNR requirements. 

The development would be likely to generate 1100 trips per day on the roads. possibly 550 vehicles per day on each entrance. A third road could be added going out to County J and Dairyland.

They voted to make an amendent to extend the sidewalk in the development to run through the entire length. They also recommended changing the 12-plex units in the development into 8-plex units, thereby lowering the density of the area. 

Some commission members showed concern over the density of the development. Commissioner Williams believes the density of the development is too high and said he could not support the motion. Commissioner Martinson spoke in support of the development since there is a pressing need for workforce housing in the city. 

Commissioner Schwebs spoke in favor due to the quality of the previous projects by the developer. 

The commision took a vote on recommending the PUD with the sidewalk amendment. It was recommended by a 6-1 vote and will be sent to the city council.

Proposed rezoning request from Trevor Bohland (Estover Terrace) for 29.05 acres currently owned by the Govin Family, LLC and Stout University Foundation, Inc., in the Southeast ¼ of the Southwest ¼ and in the Southwest ¼ of the Southeast ¼ Section 25, T28N, R13W, City of Menomonie from Single Family to Multiple Family Residential, Limited Multiple Family Residential Twin Home and Conservancy District – discussion, possible ordinance introduction and a motion of referral to the City Council

They next took up the rezoning request for the same property. It was passed 6-1 and will be recommended to the city council.


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Steve Hanson

Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley



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