Brookfield Plan Commission to rule on quartet of projects

Aug. 5, 2014

The city of Brookfield Plan Commission is in for another busy night next Monday, Aug. 11.

The Lilly Preserve apartment project is up for its final appearance in front of the commission after having gone through the public information meeting and public hearing process last month.

The project calls for a 77-unit luxury apartment complex to be located at the northwest corner of Lilly and Burleigh roads.

At a public hearing in July, Phelan Development President Sean Phelan and WiRED Properties President Blair Williams addressed concerns from both Brookfield aldermen and citizens.

Concerns regarding additional traffic were rebutted by both Brookfield Director of Public Works Tom Grisa and Williams.

"What happens with apartments is that trips are not necessarily happening at the same time," Williams said. "In apartments you have folks in all cross sections of their life cycle. Some people are working; some aren't working. Some work first shift; some work second shift."

Commissioners will be responsible for approving or rejecting rezoning and a land use amendment in order to make the property suitable for multi-family development.

Alderman Christopher Blackburn expressed a concern with Lilly Preserve at the time, saying that an increase in population density would be economically detrimental.

"This is not a net positive from a purely economic standpoint," Blackburn said. "I don't like the density increase, and I don't see a community benefit."

While Lilly Preserve was scrutinized relatively lightly at its July 14 public hearing, a new office building being planned for 13785 W. North Ave. had aldermen feeling more skeptical.

Wahlgren Schwenn plans called for a 13,287-square-foot building that would see a lot rezoned from single-family to commercial use.

The building, according to plans presented in July, would act as a screen to allow residents to avoid interaction with the building's parking lot; however, that placement in combination with large windows on the second floor led to concerns about the privacy of neighboring residents.

"You're constantly thinking 'Who's looking at me out of those windows?'" Alderman Bill Carnell said. "I'm not sure this is a good mix for that area."

Brookfield Director of Community Development Dan Ertl expects the plan commission will approve the rezoning and land use amendment necessary for the project but will ask Wahlgren to make some changes to their plans.

Both Lilly Preserve and the North Avenue office building will be having their second appearance before the plan commission. Any recommendations will go before the common council on Aug. 19.

Two new concepts will also be presented at the meeting, including a plan for a new office building in the Gateway Commerce Center. A brand new 11,000-square-foot building is being proposed by Premiere Real Estate Management at 3120 Gateway Road.

Finally, commissioners will also be privy to the certified survey map for Jack Safro Toyota.

"A survey map divides properties and creates lots," Ertl said. "Right now, Safro Toyota sits on three lots. They're consolidating that into two lots."

The larger of the two lots will be where Safro plans to build its new dealership while the other will likely be leased or sold.

If approved, Premiere Real Estate Management and Safro will next move on to public information meetings and public hearings.

Ertl noted that staff members are making recommendations to the plan commission for approval of all of the aforementioned items with the exception of recommending adjustments to the Wahlgren office building on North Avenue.

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