Town of Washington residents speak out against proposed development

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:26 PM CST
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TOWN OF WASHINGTON, Wis. (WEAU) - Town of Washington Board members will take up the proposed Orchard Hills development Thursday.

The development includes 116 new homes over 235 acres near Lowes Creek off County Road II and Mischler Road.

However, many residents aren’t on board with the proposal.

“For me, it’s the amount of traffic, the amount of people diverging and converging here,” said Jenny Gullicksrud.

She said the proposed development would bring too many people to the area a country lifestyle she enjoys.

“We’re really concerned about all our being kind of just sliding away from us with a huge development and access to this road,” Gullicksrud said.

The land is designated “Rural Transition” according to the town’s comprehensive plan. This means it’s meant to be eventually developed.

Casey Johnson, another Town of Washington resident, said he’s not against growth but it has to be done in a smart way.

“Keeping the rural setting just outside of Eau Claire is kind of our big goal. We know that we’re going to develop at some point but just being smart about,” he said.

Johnson said he’s open to fewer houses on bigger lots, keeping traffic lower. He fears 116 houses could make it harder to enjoy the town’s outdoors.

“It’s going to really cut down on the recreation and the safety for everybody involved,” he said.

Both Johnson and Gullicksrud said the like to work with the developer, C&E Wurzer Builders, to create smart growth.

The Eau Claire County Planning and Development Board is recommending the development moves forward.

In addition to the Town of Washington Board, the Eau Claire County Board also has to sign off on the development.

The Town of Washington Board meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday. It will be held virtually over Zoom. For more information on how to view the meeting head to the town’s website.

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