Last night I attended a Plan Commission meeting in Wausau. I had two items of interest on the agenda. However, because my items were listed as #3 and #8, I had the opportunity to sit through the entire meeting.
The first item on the agenda took nearly an hour. A developer was asking to build a 96-unit apartment complex on 25th Street between McIntosh and Townline. This blog post is not about the merits of the petition or whether I agree or disagree. This blog post is on the developer’s presentation itself.
All I can say is WOW!
I like to consider myself an expert at this sort of thing. I have gone through it enough, and witnessed enough of these to know what the plan commission is going to ask, what objections are going to be brought up, what neighbor concerns will be and my answers to those concerns. I pretty much even know what objections or support I will get from the various commission members. This developer probably did the best job of preparing for a hearing that I had ever seen.
They had very detailed plans, not just a concept but plans that were detailed enough to get approval for a “final development plan” as the #2 item on the agenda. They had mailed notices to the neighboring property owners. They had an informational meeting with neighboring property owners. They had gone door to door and doing so managed to speak, one-on-one with about 40 neighbors and took notes of each conversation (a summary of these notes, and the notes themselves were turned in to the Plan Commission).
This is not the first time that multi-family had been proposed in this location. Some of the issues that caused earlier proposals to be shot down were addressed in this proposal.
I am going to refrain on giving my opinion on whether or not this is a development I am for or against, but I just want to say that I wished that someone had video-taped the presentation because anyone who is looking for a zoning change or conditional use in ANY municipality…. watching this is the closest thing I have ever seen to a perfect example of how it should be done. They did their homework BEFORE the hearing and they had an answer to every question (not just something made up at the spur of the moment).
NOTE: The proposal did pass with only one commissioner voting against it. The city counsel will have the ability to give the final yes or no decision to the proposal at their August 11th meeting.