By Dave Fidlin
Nearly 25 acres of currently vacant land in Rochester is set to become a four-lot housing development after village officials gave a series of pivotal votes to see the project through to the finish line.
The Village Board on Jan. 5 voted in favor of an ordinance to rezone the 24.72-acre plot at 1154 N. English Settlement Ave. from a general farming and residential district designation to upland resource conservation district.
Additionally, the board gave its stamp of approval on a certified survey map, or CSM, that will carve out the four specific lots.
The village Plan Commission previously reviewed the proposal and forwarded it on the Village Board with a favorable recommendation. Daniel and Geraldine Schwabe have been listed as the owners, and Jay Henrichs is the applicant of the project.
The current four-lot configuration indicates each parcel will have varying sizes, with one at an even 3 acres, another at 3.27 acres, another at 3.37 acres and the largest of the group at 15.08 acres.
Also in the mix, outside of this specific proposal, is a 50.4-acre parcel that will remain vacant for the time being and retain its general farming and residential district zoning.
In a memo, Village Administrator-Treasurer Betty Novy said the unoccupied land comes with “the intention that it will be developed with an adjacent parcel at some point in the future, when municipal sanitary sewer is extended to service the two properties.”
In the memo, Novy also indicated the 15.08-acre parcel includes remnants from a bygone era.
“(It) has the limits of the former Town of Rochester landfill,” Novy said. “The applicant has submitted (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) correspondence regarding the site being brought back into compliance with DNR standards, including the abandonment of the monitoring wells.”
In the road ahead, Novy said the DNR might have input on the lot, given its history.
“Any questions regarding driveway, landscaping, or other proposed development within the boundaries of the landfill will be subject to review and approval by the DNR,” she said. “Additionally, this lot may be subject to future inspections by the DNR.”