Condominium Project Attracts Attendance at Baraboo Council Meetings | Baraboo News Republic
Baraboo City Council members were greeted with an unusual sight on Tuesday as they sat down for their meeting – about a dozen attendees in addition to regular city employees scattered among the seats.
Newly proposed plans for a condominium development in a southern part of town have drawn residents who live nearby to question the project. Specifically, to raise concerns about privacy, traffic, and stormwater runoff.
Approving the start of construction was never a consideration, said city administrator Casey Bradley. Council members were taking the first step in forging a partnership between KMD Development LLC owner Max Dvorak of Baraboo and the city by entering into a development agreement. The construction of the 33 buildings containing 85 dwellings can only move forward after several planning stages, including a plan for retaining excess water.
“It’s just the first step in the process,” Bradley said. “So a lot more to come, and a lot more opportunities for the public to see what the actual plans are, because at this point there’s no point for a developer to put those plans in place when they don’t know if he has an agreement for the city to fulfill its obligations.
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Dvorak said the work is a “passion project.”
“The vision and goal of this thing is really to create a high-quality project that the city and the people around it will be proud of,” Dvorak said.
The initial plan submitted to council members outlines a subdivision of just over 19 acres between Waldo Street and Parkside Avenue. The developers aim to construct a road running east from Waldo Street to connect to Parkside Avenue in addition to paved streets for private residents. A retention pond in the northeast corner of the development will collect stormwater.
Some residents who would live to the north and northeast of the development objected to a proposed pathway running alongside the buildings as it would deprive them of their right to privacy.
Proposed location for condo development on Waldo Street
Eric Korthals, who lives in the 600 block of Parkside Avenue, said he didn’t oppose the development, but wanted to see it built wisely.
“Current plans for the development show a public walking path along the development boundary,” Korthals said. “While it might be something great for the community, it’s not so great if it runs along the back edge of your house.”
Dvorak went on to point out that the trail was intended for use only by residents of the condominium community, not the entire community.
“We joke in our house that a river runs through the field, and in times of rapid snowmelt and heavy rain, it actually looks like a river,” Korthals said.
For others, traffic is the primary concern. Sue York, who lives on Parkside Avenue, said “people drive like it’s the Indy 500”.
“Our main problem is this road that’s going to spit right next to my house,” York said. “That’s my biggest problem because you’re putting it on an already busy road.”
A total of seven residents who live near the proposed development spoke, echoing concerns about speeding and aggressive driving in the area as well as the proximity of the current plan that places their property to the new development.
The developers told board members that they heard the concerns about the lack of separation. More could be done with landscaping and rethinking the layout, they said at the meeting.
The draft will be reviewed more than once due to stormwater planning requirements by local and state governments. There are a number of steps regarding zoning and other elements of building a subdivision that will need to be completed before construction can begin, Bradley said.
Aldus. Tom Kolb expressed his satisfaction at hearing Dvorak say he would work to ensure the issues raised by neighboring residents were resolved. Aldus. Bryant Hazard, who appeared from a distance, said he anticipated “traffic will be a nightmare” that the city would have to take a closer look at.
Council members voted unanimously to approve the development agreement.
As part of the development agreement, Waldo Street, which Bradley called “more of a township road,” will be paved to city standards. Under the agreement, the developers plan to have three connections to Waldo Street from the development’s private roads. The city will also install a crosswalk where the new road connects to Parkside Avenue in its north and south direction. The walking path will connect to the Pierce Park Multi-Use Pathway.
GALLERY: Scenes from Baraboo Town Council Meetings
Follow Brigitte on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.