Altoona condo plan gets postponed

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 10:10 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Tuesday night, the Altoona Planning Commission discussed a recommendation to the council regarding a plan for River Prairie Townhomes.

Wednesday, the city council was supposed to discuss this plan.

However, it’s being postponed until the end of the month.

The Altoona City Council was ready to possibly pass a plan for six buildings that will hold 36 new townhome units. These units would back to Lake Rd. near the intersection of Moonlight Bay Rd. and Moonlight Bay Dr.

In a letter to the Altoona Building Committee, Danielle Johnson writes, “I must strongly object to the proposed condo/townhouse plan that would back to Lake Rd. ... The proposed condo units are not only small, they are smaller than many apartments. They are of high density on a small parcel of land.”

Johnson isn’t the only concerned community member.

Clint Merrick and Yuri Ripeckyj both voiced their disappointment with not only what they consider a ‘not well thought out plan’, but also the lack in communication to neighbors who will be affected.

“I was told that the decision has already been made and you’re late,” said Ripeckyj

People living within 200 feet of the new development’s border have to be notified of a new plan.

In this case, that was not correctly followed, so the public preliminary hearing will be held again at a later date.

“Starting in March and progressing through August. Those of us who are chiefly concerned about this were absent because nobody knew it was going on,” said Merrick.

Merrick says he and many others only know of the proposal because of their neighborhood communication app, Nextdoor.

Along with feeling left in the dark, neighbors agree a new development with 36 new units will make an already busy intersection, even worse. Merrick told WEAU,

“That point of egress is extremely complicated even now so were looking at 70 more vehicles on this road.”

Both Merrick and Ripeckyj say more communication from the city, and less density is where they’d like to see planners be able to meet in the middle.

“They should have been a sign of the property saying were looking at developing. Check out the website see what we are doing,” said Ripeckyj.

“Most of the neighbors are happy to welcome new neighbors and we would be happy with just less density,” said Merrick

The plan is being pushed back to the planning commission before going to the city council for a vote.

That will begin September 22nd.

All neighbors WEAU spoke with say they do plan to make their voices heard.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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