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Troy Board denies rezoning for sports complex

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government River Falls, 54022
River Falls Journal
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Troy Town Board denied a request to rezone residential property at 570 Coulee Trail to commercial at a meeting last Thursday, Feb. 9.

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The discussion began with four residents who live near the property stating their concerns with the proposed rezoning. They were worried how a commercial property would affect the neighborhood.

"I did not build (a house) in the country to have it turned into a commercial area," said William Sampolt. "Once it's rezoned, it could be turned into anything. This is the concern I and my neighbors have."

Ed Hendricks, who owns the 570 Coulee Trail property, wants to build a community sports complex on the land where a nursery, St. Croix Gardens, formerly operated.

The discussion of the proposed rezoning began with engineer Rob Jones explaining the rezoning law and the process of rezoning a property from residential to commercial.

"At the time of a rezoning request, it must go to the town board for approval before it goes to the county," explained Jones.

There are eight types of commercial businesses that can be built on property rezoned from residential to commercial: barbershops or hair salons, greenhouses or nurseries, gardening facilities, daycares, indoor maintenance facilities, stores, storage facilities and wireless or mobile phone facilities.

Any commercial business outside this list would need a special exception permit. Any future business built on this property would also need its own special exception permit, according to Jones.

"If this were a question of rezoning, it's a simple yes or no answer. This particular case would require a special exception permit," said Jones. "With this type of permit, special conditions can be put in place before granting the permit."

St. Croix County is looking at rewriting the zoning law to reflect the plan policies and recommendations through a comprehensive revision.

This action will promote uniformity in zoning regulation countywide by encouraging all towns to adopt county zoning.

Ed Hendricks took the floor to explain his proposal and to give more information about his sports complex, including an image.

"I'm here today to give you the facts about what I'm trying to do and to speak to the residents of the area and hopefully put their concerns to rest," he said.

The proposed complex would be an area where youth could practice various sports, according to Hendricks. Included in the complex would be baseball and football/soccer fields, indoor batting cages, a gym with a basketball court, a small hockey rink and a clubhouse.

The board raised concerns about traffic, the aesthetics of the complex and the future of the facility.

"The complex would have an equestrian look and the feel of a park," said Hendricks. "As for traffic, I don't see traffic increasing to a higher level than it was when the nursery was operating."

Hendricks said the complex would be a legacy for his family and to the youth of the community.

"Now, as we deliberate, we're deciding on whether or not we want to approve the rezoning of this property from residential to commercial. We're not deciding on whether or not we like sports complexes," stated Town Chairman Ray Knapp.

As the board discussed the proposal, members seemed to agree that the sports complex would be a good idea, but that rezoning the property to commercial would not be in the best interest of the town residents.

"I applaud the applicant for wanting to leave a legacy and for wanting to do something good for the community, but I am 100 percent against rezoning property not already in our comprehensive plan," said Supervisor Jan Cuccia.

Supervisor Sue Warren agreed.

"This would be a wonderful gift to the community, but a lot of thought was put into zoning," said Warren.

The board then unanimously voted to deny the request to rezone the property on 570 Coulee Trail.

"This isn't my first time being rejected," joked Hendricks.

Hendricks can still pursue other ways to build the sports complex.

Also discussed at the meeting was whether or not the town should subscribe to Baldwin Telecom's television service to receive access to public stations from River Falls and Hudson. The board is asking for residents' input on the matter.

If the town does subscribe, there will be an additional fee of $2 to $2.25 per residence. The cost is an all-or-nothing proposition, according to a flyer.

For more information, e-mail troysurvey@baldwin-telecom.net.

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