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Proposed subdivision would add 178 homes



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July 22, 2014 | 04:49 PM
WALWORTH — The Shodeen Group wants to bring 178 more homes to the east side of Walworth.

The 124 acres is currently part of the town of Walworth, south of Devils Lane and east of the Oak Knolls subdivision. The subdivision plans include two entry points on Devils Lane and School Road.

David Patzelt, president of Shodeen, told the Walworth Plan Commission Monday night that the company wanted to build single family houses in the area. Shodeen owns about 1,000 acres on that side of Walworth.

Currently, what is commonly called Big Foot Farms is zoned for agricultural use, though the village’s master plan includes this area for residential use.

Patzelt said the company plans for three lot sizes in the development, with three different house sizes. The plan includes a park and a bike path.

Commissioner Laurie Larson asked Patzelt if Shodeen could sacrifice “a few lots” to open some views. Larson said drivers will come into the subdivision directly facing houses.

Patzelt said the lot lines were drawn so that there will be open space between the two houses at any T-intersection. Patzelt said the line of sight for drivers will be maintained.

In other areas of the plan, Patzelt said “view sheds” allow drivers on the roads to see the fields and hills beyond the houses, rather than looking directly at houses.

This area doesn’t have any utility connections. Patzelt said for the project to work, the roads, sanitary sewer and storm water system would need to be constructed.

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He said the subdivision’s proximity to the Oak Knolls subdivision would actually help reduce storm water runoff problems in Oak Knolls.

“It would benefit Oak Knolls,” Patzelt said. “Some of that storm water would be retained here. It would be a significant improvement.”

Larson said she’s worried about the village “getting too far ahead of ourselves” with so many residential developments occurring at once. Library Square and Windmill Prairie are still in construction phases.

Patzelt said the economy is improving and the residential market is growing.

He said Shodeen doesn’t plan to build all 178 houses at once. The project will be in phases to ensure the schools and community can handle the growth, he said.

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The houses are expected to be priced from $300,000 to $600,000.

The commissioners were also concerned about traffic on School Road.

Village President David Rasmussen, chairman of the plan commission, said that road doesn’t get much sunlight in the winter because of tree coverage, and the ice isn’t easy for drivers.

Patzelt said the main entryway is farther west, on Devils Lane, which will see more traffic. Some of the trees will also be removed, though Patzelt said the company intends to keep as many healthy trees as possible.

Connecting the new subdivision to the village utilities would mean annexing the property into the village.

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Patzelt said he was open to suggestions from the commission and would complete additional studies.

He said the final plan for the subdivision could be ready in 60 to 90 days.

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