Rezoning decisions on two proposed multifamily developments were postponed by the Hudson Plan Commission Tuesday, June 18.
Both of the developments were sent back to the commission for further discussion after public hearing at the Hudson Common Council level.
Vine Street and Carmichael Road
Developers brought a new plan to commission members Tuesday following concerns expressed about the height of the apartment building proposal at Vine Street and Carmichael Road.
The development is requesting a zoning change on the two parcels it would occupy from agricultural residential to planned residential development PRD-3 and general business B-2. PRD-3 allows for the same density as multifamily residential RM-2, but with more flexibility with green space and single family homes.
The original plan of two 60-feet buildings was changed to two 3-level buildings, which would be about 50 feet. The retail component first proposed for the first floor would be eliminated.
In addition to the apartments the development would include 43 single-family homes and six commercial lots along Carmichael Road, said Nick Vivian, legal counsel for the development.
The L-shaped apartment buildings would each have 110 units, lowered from the original plan of 120.
The change in height means less green space on the 40-acre lot, but Vivian said they preserved as much green space as possible. This includes a city park on the southern portion of the lot.
The development is required by the city to provide $1.5 million for traffic improvements. These include additional turn lanes, widening of Carmichael north of Vine and left and right turn lanes at the access intersection on Carmichael.
"Our goal is to provide safe crossings across Vine Street, that's absolutely critical because there will be children that will be crossing, there will be families that will be crossing and we want people to be able to get from the north to the south," Vivian said.
Council Member Randy Morrissette II said the city is at the point of needing a stronger traffic control on Vine Street, potentially taking pedestrians off the road and over or under it.
Vivian said Vine Street is a challenge that needs to be dealt with. The development won't be able to solve all the issues, but they want to be a contributor to a solution.
The development will add a sidewalk north of Vine Street up to Carmichael Road, so the city will have continuous sidewalk from Carmichael to downtown.
Commission Member Fred Yoerg said his concern is further down on Vine, though he said he wasn't sure if it was fair to say this development would be the one that breaks the camel's back.
Short Elliott Hendrickson Traffic Consultant Glen Van Wormer said the traffic date used for the Carmichael Corridor is very good, merging 100 counts together. He said the 42 single family homes will generate 400 trips a day, and apartments have a lower rate. Most of the traffic will go south on Carmichael Road to Interstate 94 or to Coulee Road.
Access for the development would be onto Vine and Carmichael. The Carmichael access point will be a traffic light. Van Wormer said that point was determined as a good location for an intersection as the city has looked at the Carmichael Corridor.
As the city continues to look at the Carmichael Corridor, Yoerg asked what would prompt its expansion to more lanes. Short Elliott Hendrickson Senior Professional Engineer David Schofield said that change would be prompted by growth to the east of Carmichael.
Community Development Director Mike Johnson said city staff would need time to review the new plan. The rezoning request was postponed to the July 9 plan commission meeting.
Hanley Road and Old Highway 35
Commission members wanted more time to look into the annexation of Old Highway 35 from town of Hudson, as well as a Department of Transportation park and ride, before making any decisions on the rezoning of a 6-acre lot at Hanley Road and Old Highway 35. The proposal is to change the lot from moderate-density RM-1 multiple family to higher-density RM-2 multiple family, and amend the comprehensive plan from medium density to high density.
Vivian asked the commission to approve the rezoning with conditions that bar traffic to Meadowlark Lane, allow access to the park and ride and depend on the town agreeing to cede jurisdiction of Old Highway 35 to the city.
Vivian said the development will not have access onto Meadowlark Lane. The path will be designated emergency use only, and he said the development will provide signage or barriers.
He questioned how the park and ride would impact a decision on the zoning, as it has to remain a lot for transportation purposes even if the city acquires it. The development, he said, is committed to giving access to the site through its access point.
The developer would then work with the city to go to the town in jurisdiction discussion.
The commission did not have an appetite for that action. Morrissette said if the city needs to wait for answers, that's what it will do.
A letter from Council Member Bill Alms asked for a moratorium on the proposal until the groundwork was made on potential annexation and potential development to the east of the area.
Vivian said doing so would be a disservice to those looking to develop in the city, and unfairly single out one property.
Without movement forward, Vivian said the developer would have to make a decision on whether to close on the property.
Morrissette said he didn't believe the developer, who the city has worked with before, would do that. The city has to listen to its citizens, he said.
"I'd like to believe that he understands that," Morrissette said.
Mayor Rich O'Connor said the question is, if the other factors are in place, would the commission approve the project.
After clarifying the height of the apartment buildings as three-stories, Yoerg rescinded a previous comment that he would not.
The commission approved postponing the subject until the city addresses the issues of Old Highway 35 jurisdiction and the park and ride.