The Bayfield Planning Commission approved the preliminary plan Tuesday for the seventh phase of the Clover Meadows subdivision. If constructed, the proposal will fill out the Clover Meadows subdivision off Clover Drive. The existing streets are Lupine and Day Lily.
Both the commission and the town board approved the sketch plan for the subdivision about a year ago.
The proposal on 24.34 acres has 63 lots zoned in a mix of R-10 and high-density and single-family residential homes. The proposal includes seven multi-family lots that could accommodate up to 82 units based on one unit per 2,000 square feet.
The Schroeder Ditch flows on the east side of the property. During the sketch plan process, ditch company representatives asked the developers to pipe the ditch.
"The plan is we'll pipe it," said Eric Nelson, representative for Cory Gosney and his partners on the project. The developers and ditch company have a verbal agreement now, and plan to have a written agreement "soon," Nelson added.
Although there were several neighbors who complained about the project during the sketch plan process, there were no public comments on Tuesday.
In previous meetings, neighbors said the current streets already have too much traffic. Some residents also said the lots are too small, and they didn't like the multi-family lots in the development.
On Tuesday, planning commissioners asked for five-foot wide sidewalks, while Nelson proposed four-foot sidewalks.
Matthew Salka proposed approving the plan, and Nyberg seconded it. The plan was approved on a 4-0 vote. Planning commissioners Isaac Fleener and Tish Nelson had to recuse themselves from the discussion. Nelson is the mother of Erik Nelson, and Fleener is the real estate agent for the project.
Bayfield Town Board members should see the plan in August, said Town Manager Chris La May. After that, the developers can work on their final plan.
In 2017, concerns started arising that Bayfield is running out of approved lots for new homes. No new subdivisions have received final approval since around 2007, and after the housing bust, developers abandoned approved projects.
That included Dove Ranch north of the lots along Dove Ranch Road, the Highlands subdivision just past the top end of Dove Ranch Road, and the Southviews proposal from the Dove Ranch developer at the northeast edge of town.
"I don't think this is overly dense," Nelson said during his presentation. The project is being proposed in two phases.
At the conclusion of Tuesday's meeting, Joe Mozgai, the commission chair, asked La May what other projects are coming before the town.
The roundabout being constructed on Mountain View Drive near Bayfield Middle School is on track to open "before school starts," La May answered.
Momentum Fitness also is in the process of applying for a building permit in the Bayfield Center.
Salka asked about a lot in the Bayfield Center business park where the Environmental Protection Agency is ordering remediation of land that it deemed is wetlands.
In the past, the lot was a hay meadow, not wetlands.
La May said the landowner can buy credits to offset converting the land into a building lot, but added, "it's pricey."
"There's a potential that land could be built on," Salka said. "I'm worried about that whole area."
Salka said he hopes local ditch companies will start to clean out their ditches and prevent more land from turning into wetlands, which limits their commercial potential.
La May said the town also is pursuing planning for the long-awaited intersection on U.S. Highway 160 at the east end of town, near the Alta gas station.
"The challenge is coming up with the money," he said of the cost.
Commissioners said they would like to see the second intersection and stoplight installed to slow traffic on the highway in town, and to reduce the pedestrians who cross the highway at Pine River Pawn to get to Commerce Drive.