City of Fitchburg
With concerns about traffic congestion cleared up, a controversial housing development at the intersection of Lacy Road and Seminole Highway has gotten the city’s approval.
The Crescent Crossing subdivision is down to one mostly procedural step after the Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Sept. 10, to rezone the northeast corner of that intersection.
The rezone conforms with the city’s North Stoner Prairie neighborhood plan, which the council and Plan Commission agreed to change earlier this year after several months of disagreement brought on by complaints from neighbors. A switch in 2017 to accommodate a church allowed high density development there, and more than 100 people attended a neighborhood meeting in a snowstorm in January 2018 to oppose a proposal that included high-density apartments.
Veridian Homes’ proposal, introduced this summer, would put 65 single family and 56 twin homes on those 20.9 acres.
A two-week postponement of the council’s vote on rezoning the property last month gave Brian Munson, principal urban designer for Vandewalle and Associates representing Veridian Homes, a chance to talk to the developer controlling the property east of Crescent Crossing. He told the council that developer planned on putting in a second access road that would connect to Lacy Road in 2020.
“I think that lines up quite nicely with our phasing,” he said.
The answer seemed to appease the council’s concerns about traffic flow into the neighborhood. Alders unanimously approved changing the zoning from rural residential to a planned development district with medium density.
“I think a lot of questions have been answered,” Ald. Dan Bahr (Dist. 2) said. “I think Veridian’s acting in good faith, and I do think it’s time for us to move on.”
In the development plan submitted to the council on Aug. 27, only one access road was designed into the Crescent Crossing neighborhood on Seminole Highway. Veridian representatives said nearby developments would eventually feed into it, but alders did not respond well to that vague assurance.
Ald. Tom Clauder (D-4) advocated for more information on a second access road into the neighborhood because of safety concerns.
Clauder told the council Tuesday that with a second access point into Crescent Crossing planned for construction and the development meeting the needs of neighbors in the adjacent neighborhoods, the project is “where it should be.”
“I’m not as high on my horse as I was two weeks ago,” he said. “I’ve always said that all along that we need another exit, and I’m still saying that.”