The right idea (smaller lots), unfortunately, the Estates of St. Martins plan does not appear to be well thought out and the location is one of opportunity rather than the best place to create such a development; the rectangular cleared area below is the land in question - - note the proximity of the elementary school (good), but the imposing crossroads that would need to be traversed to get there (bad). Also, the development is incongruous with the lots surrounding it.
Nipped in the bud by the Franklin Plan Commission, it appears.
Developer's plans drained by planning panel
Concerns still linger on proposed 22-lot housing subdivision
By John Neville
Posted: Sept. 26, 2007
Acknowledging density and drainage concerns, the Franklin Plan Commission has turned down various requests for a 22-lot subdivision on 18.2 acres in the 7500 block of South North Cape Road.
The panel denied a request at a Sept. 20 City Hall meeting from developer Jim O'Malley to rezone property for the proposed single-family home subdivision, The Estates of St. Martins. Also rejected later in the meeting were requests for a preliminary plat and a master plan amendment for rezoning.
Commissioner Kevin Haley said the panel had expected to receive more detailed plans for the subdivision, located near the Franklin-Muskego border. Haley said it was still clear drainage problems will result from placing too many residences on proportionately undersized lots, despite a lack of information.
Those lots range from 25,011 to 40,965 square feet and, as planned, involve an average of about $130,000 for lots and $270,000 for a home.
It was O'Malley's second appearance before the commission for the proposed development.
The developer said he had reduced the subdivision plans by four lots since July and has agreed to pay for extending municipal water - at an expense of about $190,000 - to the site. Since that first meeting, at which the commission took no action, O'Malley has also relocated a stormwater pond.
O'Malley also said he had held meetings with neighbors opposed to his initial proposal and had convinced most his project had merit.
However, four neighborhood residents spoke out again against the revised plan Sept. 20, saying it featured too much housing on too-small lots.
Franklin residents Tony Raymond and Lee Fry said O'Malley will have to reduce his plan to at least 18 lots to placate their concerns, mostly about drainage and housing density.
O'Malley said lowering the lot number will sharply drive up the expense of a lot, but commission aldermanic representative Ken Skowronski said the Plan Commission does not get involved in financing developments.
Former Franklin Alderman James Bergmann supported the subdivision, saying it will increase the city's share of property and school tax revenue, as well as provide water to nearby Country Dale School. Bergmann said the school is the only one in the district without sprinklers or nearby water hydrants.
John Neville can be reached at email@example.com or (262) 446-6609.