Over the past two years, Verona has gotten pitches for major developments to expand to the north, northwest, southeast and southwest.
Monday, another pitch for a development in Verona’s Southwest Area – for a large-scale commercial center and an apartment development – is up for review.
The 95 acres between Valley Road and the U.S. 18-151 bypass has been the property of SSM/Dean Health for more than a decade, and Verona’s addition of that area and land around it to its potential expansion area in 2012 was partly a result of Dean’s plan to build a clinic and complementary senior housing there someday.
Madison-based commercial developer Welton Enterprises’ plan, first discussed with city staff last summer but submitted formally earlier this month, leaves the “someday” Dean clinic a possibility. It cuts off a 15-acre chunk near state Hwy. 69. and proposes two more imminent pieces – 48 acres of commercial and mixed use development and as many as 700 apartments on 22 acres next to the Sugar River wetlands.
Among the proposed uses for the hilly, rural land are a large hotel, a big-box store, a grocery store, “smaller-scale multi-tenant retail” and offices, such as one might see in a strip mall.
The conceptual plan will come before the Plan Commission (and Common Council the following week) to gather feedback on the idea of that type of development in that location in the next few years, rather than critiquing specific proposals.
The developer’s submission to the city this month does not set a proposed groundbreaking date, but rather suggests finishing approvals and annexation of the land over the next two years and starting the buildout based on the market.
Verona’s expansion to the Southwest Area underwent a complex, three-year approval process through the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, which reviewed the proposal six separate times and denied it twice. Eventually, because of a recent lawsuit from another community, the state Department of Natural Resources was forced to change its policy of allowing CARPC to deny projects.
The approved expansion of what’s called an urban service area allows the city to connect sewer service there – something that’s required in most forms of urban development.
The approved neighborhood plan has three main components – a clinic and complementary housing in that area, mostly single-family housing east of Hwy. 69 and industrial or business park development south of Valley Road and west of 69. In May, a company that owns several assisted-living facilities in Wisconsin proposed a 600-unit, 160-acre senior-oriented housing subdivision in the industrial area.
That plan got mixed responses from the Plan Commission and has not yet returned with the market information requested, including alternative locations and what city staff believe might happen in that area if the development were not allowed.