City of Fitchburg

The North Stoner Prairie developer who drew criticism from nearby neighborhoods throughout 2018 told the Common Council he wants to “work on a compromise.”

Chris Ehlers, whose proposal to build a 182-unit apartment building on six acres last year, led dozens of neighbors to attend meetings throughout the year, said he is working on “several different options” for the area now.

“It’s still on my radar to get something done out there,” Ehlers said. “It’s really gotten to the point where I’ve got the Council divided, and we’ve got teams within the neighborhoods, and it just turns into this big win-or-lose game here.”

He told alders he wanted their help on finding the right idea for the area, as well as to hear from neighbors.

A proposed change to limit the density allowed in the neighborhood was stuck between the Plan Commission and Common Council over the last half of 2018, as residents pushed for a cap that was closer to what was approved in the neighborhood plan more than five years ago.

That plan had been changed to allow high-density zoning in 2017, with no resistance. But when neighbors saw what Ehlers proposed following the change, which included condos that he called “affordable” south of the apartment complex, they asked the Council to go back to the limited zoning available before the 2017 change.

The city is currently awaiting an opinion from the League of Wisconsin Municipalities on whether the two bodies have to approve the same amendment to the comprehensive plan for it to go into effect.

Contact Scott Girard at ungreporter@wcinet.com and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.