TOWN OF WASHINGTON, Wis. (WEAU)- A tough crowd at Thursday night's Town of Washington town board meeting as nearly 125 people packed in the room to learn more about a potential housing development project.
The request to rezone a 55 acre lot, located west of Priory Road and south of Abbey Road, for a single family residential subdivision, was originally tabled by the town board in December; but Thursday, it was unanimously approved.
That approval, though, was met with some upset community members like Margaret Melrose who is a part of a neighborhood active opposition group called the Priory Neighborhood Water Protection Association.
“I’m very personally disappointed and the association is beyond disappointed that they didn't listen to our serious concerns about the effect on the groundwater,” Melrose said.
Experts at the meeting attempted to answer the group's concerns. After performing multiple tests, they found nitrate levels in the water to be below the level of concern and those levels of nitrate mostly coming from agricultural practices, not septic systems. They said therefore, these new homes would not have impact on water quality.
“It’s always tough on any development and I understand the neighbors’ concerns,” said developer Cody Filipczak, the owner of C&M Properties. “They move out and nobody wants a new development, but there are a lot of people that want to live there and are excited to live there. It’s something very good for community, it’s going to create a lot of jobs and it’s safe. We've put a lot of research into it and we don't want to create any problems with groundwater. We've researched it extensively and tonight they proved they are safe levels and will continue to be safe levels.”
Still many are not happy. Board members declined any public comment on the action.
The request for rezoning the lot currently meets the comprehensive plan of the City of Eau Claire and the Town of Washington.
The neighborhood opposition group plans to take their concerns to the next step in the process as the rezoning request now moves the Eau Claire County Planning and Development committee next week.