Disagreements Arise for Village Center Redevelopment Committee
A proposal from the village president for the formation of an ad hoc committee that will be charged with helping plan the future vitality of the Village Center in Greendale was met with resistance by some village trustees.
The formation of an ad hoc committee that will assist in planning for the vitality future of the Village Center has been referred to the Committee of the Whole after some trustees were upset with the village president’s proposed plan.
Village President John Hermes presented a proposal on Tuesday to form the committee, which would be made up of representatives from different groups that have a stake in the Village Center. Hermes’ said the committee would consider and make recommendations to the Community Development Authority and the Planning Commission regarding the future mission of the Village Center. The committee would take a broad examination of the past, present and need for the future, long-term economic sustainability of the Village Center.
According to the proposal, people who would make up the committee would be:
- Representative from the Greendale School District;
- Representative from the Greendale Historical Society;
- Representative from the Village Center businesses;
- Village Manager Todd Michaels as a facilitator;
- Community Development Authority/Planning Commissioner Henry Kosarzycki;
- And six Greendale citizens.
The formation of an ad hoc committee comes after Village Center redevelopment concept plans for the municipal parking lot were presented at open houses in February and April. Multi-residential buildings in all five concepts were met with resistance from residents and some village trustees, which led to a decision to eliminate the housing.
Hermes’ proposal would not allow a different member of the representative organizations to join as citizen members. For example, the vice president of the Historical Society would not be allowed to join. Also, trustees are not allowed to join because they would bring undue influence to the group, Hermes said.
Trustee Sally Chadwick, who applied for the committee, expressed her dismay towards the proposal. She told Hermes if he really wants to make it a “citizens thing” then the School District representative, village manager and Planning Commissioner should be eliminated.
“I don’t agree with you and I feel it’s a slap in my face,” said Chadwick to Hermes.
Hermes said the school district is a stakeholder because the middle school is in the Village Center.
Trustee Jim Birmingham said Grandhaven LLC., property owner for a large portion of the Village Center, should have a representative. He also said if a Village Board member was not allowed to be on the committee, then a Planning Commission member should not be on the committee either, or vice versa.
“The charge of the Planning Commission is to plan for the history of this Village,” Hermes responded. “We’re a planned community. It just doesn’t seem right to eliminate the planning structure.”
Trustee Greg Turray said he would hope that Kosarzycki, who has experience in engineering, planning, architecture and building code, would only serve as a reference for the committee and couldn’t exert any political influence.
In order to keep from excluding some people who also applied Trustee Ron Barbian suggested making eight Greendale citizen representatives.
Allen Sikorski said he did not care for a committee.
“I think the ad hoc committee is coming from a knee-jerk reaction from a close-end option that was presented to the community that gave the impression that the Village was looking into putting residences in the Municipal Parking Lot,” Sikorski said.
Village Attorney Jim Burns suggested referring the matter to the Committee of the Whole.