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Town Chairman Dave Wilz from Hull was one of several people who addressed the Commission on June 3. (Metro Wire photo)

Commission approves final plat review for Forest Creek Subdivision

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story contained the wrong date for the City Council meeting. The meeting is on June 17, not June 10. We regret the error and have corrected it.  

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By Brandi Makuski

Stevens Point — Plan Commissioners on Monday approved the final plat review for a proposed 60-lot subdivision north of Golla Rd. west of Brilowski Rd.

The city’s proposal to develop a 60-lot subdivision on 24.65 acres on the 5400 block of Golla Rd. near Hull continues to draw objections from town leaders and residents in the neighborhood.

Several residents of the city and Hull near the subdivision were in attendance at the June 3 meeting to object to the plans. Many were repeat visitors who expressed concerns about increased traffic in the neighborhood, extending Evelyn Ct. to Maple Bluff Dr., and tree removal.

“This is such beautiful land and you’re destroying it with 60 homes,” said Dianne Somers of Hull.

Zero lot line properties were also hotly contested. Many of those who have repeatedly spoken against the project assert that zero lot line properties attract low-income families who don’t maintain their homes.

Jim Anderson, a resident of Maple Bluff Dr. North, said that one zero lot line property in his area was already an eyesore, saying the yard was filled with “junk,” lots of vehicles,” and that it was “at the very least, unsightly.”

“These are just at the zero lot line lots; none of the others,” he said. “I took occasion to drive around some of the older parts of Stevens Point, where it’s all small lots, and you don’t see that. You don’t see the multiple cars in the driveway or on the grass. You don’t see the junk piled up. Those are nice, neat homes. For some reason, when it comes to the zero lot line lots, there’s an issue. I’m asking; could we just tap the brakes? Is there anything wrong with taking a look at an alternative plan with some smaller lots, some big lots, maybe some green space? I don’t think we’ve looked at an alternative plan. We got one chance to get this right the first time.”

Mayor Mike Wiza decried Anderson’s claim, saying that the city regularly receives complaints about unkempt properties in the city.

“Many of them are scattered throughout the city. I would urge anybody here to take a ride up North Georgia Street and tell me if they see any violations,” Wiza said, grinning. He also asked anyone with concerns about a property code violation to notify the city.

The plat for Forest Creek Subdivision. (Courtesy city of Stevens Point)

Hull Chairman Dave Wilz said his main concern was increased traffic following the planned extension of Evelyn Ct.

“It makes no sense as a traffic management tool,” Wilz said. “I’m very sensitive to this situation, based on what happened in my subdivision a number of years ago.”

Wilz lives next to The SpectraPrint/Ki Mobility business park area, previously a contained area that was home to the manufacturer Woodward Governor. Once the campus expanded with additional entrances, the traffic in his neighborhood increased substantially, he said.

“My neighborhood of 56 households, which was also self-contained, went from a quiet, sleepy community to a racetrack of employees trying to get to work on time or leave work as quickly as possible,” Wilz said. He asked the city to pause plans to change the road until the Plover River Crossing was completed and traffic needs in the area were better known.

But Commissioners say they’d already made several changes to accommodate many of the concerns. While there are no plans to include parkland in the subdivision, the city will maintain a Class 2 trout stream in the area, an unofficial drainage district known as Lost Creek.

City records show that the Comprehensive Plan Extraterritorial Future Land Use Map designates the property for residential use, which aligns with the proposed 60-lot subdivision. The property also falls within the Groundwater Protection District Zone B and will be serviced by city sewer and water.

An existing meandering creek along the north property line is part of a larger drainage plan. Community Development Director Ryan Kernosky said the city, town of Hull, and local farmers met earlier this year to address concerns about access for maintaining the creek to ensure the continued flow of adjacent drainage ditches.

A previous version of the proposal, which included a 39-lot subdivision in 2021, was turned down when concerns arose from Commissioners, and the Common Council, regarding the low lot density and the long-term financial obligations to the city. The previous developer abandoned the project.

Kernosky said the city acquired the Hull parcel in April 2023 for $450,000. It was annexed into the city in February 2024, he added.

“We have an advantage; we don’t need to make a profit,” Wiza said on Monday. “We need to fill the needs of the community, and that’s housing. I think we’ve gone a long way in reducing the number of lots; I think we’ve gone above and beyond to preserve the Class 2 route stream in perpetuity. We’re protecting that.”

Kernosky said the city has “skinned this every which way possible” and the current plans are the best iteration.

“We don’t look at subdivisions in a vacuum. We look at the region. If the city were to put a park in every subdivision, we’d have so many parks, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves” Kernosky said. He added that a 15-foot easement was included along Brilowski Rd. for a future pedestrian path to make the road safer.

Additional changes from the initial plat review, done based on public feedback, include:

  • Replacement of zero-lot line homes along Golla Rd. with single-family homes.
  • Extension of Joe St. to the north lot line.
  • An easement along the north property line for access to Lost Creek for maintenance.
  • Reduction in density from the originally proposed 82 lots to 60 lots.

Commissioners unanimously approved the final plat review on Monday, as well as rezoning the property from “R-LD” Low-Density Residential (a temporary designation assigned when the parcel was annexed into the city) to “R-3” Single- and Two-Family Residential.

The matter will come before the Stevens Point Common Council for a final vote on June 17 at 7 p.m.