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Village Vision News

Trustees go more in depth on Prairie Winds plans

Thursday, February 25, 2016

There was further and deeper discussion regarding the potential development of Prairie Winds. Village staff had been asked at the Jan. 18 board meeting to prepare some development options for some of the development’s lots, which were presented at the following board meeting on Feb. 16.

Village Administrator David Strohl reported to trustees that he had met with Public Works Director Larry Coloni, Village Engineer David Harp and Community and Economic Development Coordinator Emily Prather as a group to work on potential plans for the property.

Strohl presented drawings illustrating possible development options for Lots 1, 4, 5 and 6 at Prairie Winds. The group met on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5, Strohl reported. Strohl was clear in a memo to trustees that the options presented were only ideas for discussion and should not be considered a directive.

The motivation for these recent conversations by trustees about developing the property comes from the desire to come up with some affordable housing options for young families who might consider moving to the village.

There were a number of plan variations included in the drawings. One option included multi-family housing in the form of apartments, duplexes or townhouses, which would be restricted to the northern portion of the development nearest County Highway 20.

“We’re not saying this is how it needs to be done,” Strohl said. “These are just options for you to consider, just a mixture of options.”

Trustees Jim Peck and Bob Gruenewald both expressed their appreciation of the options presented, with Gruenewald complimenting the variety of options.

“Mayor, this is a great job,” Peck added. “This is just what we asked for. It’s perfect.”

Depending on which of the eight drawings referred to, options included a park, a pond, ball fields, a community center and more.

Trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg asked the best way to go about getting the attention of a developer.

“It’s going to depend on what we want this to be, how much we’re willing to subsidize,” Peck said. “And, how we structure the deal so a developer can make money.”

Referring to the multi-family options that were presented, Strohl made the point that there was more to consider than just single-family homes.

“Multi-family could increase car counts and get more people to the village and attract more retailers,” he said.

Strohl asked trustees if there was any interest in developing larger 1-acre, 2-acre and up to 5-acre lots at Prairie Winds.

Mayor Marilyn Johnson said those types of lots are already available on the other end of County Highway 20 in the Shadow Ridge development.

“I like 55-plus duplexes and starter homes in the $125,000 to $250,000 range,” Peck said. “This (development) will have everything but high-end, $500,000 homes.”

Strohl said there would be more tweaking to the current options, and discussions would continue at the next meeting.

“If planned right, this would be a very family-oriented development,” Peck said.

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