Change may spur housing in Shorewood’s Towne Center
By Clare Walters Correspondent January 23, 2013 8:32AM
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:18AM
Residents of Shorewood’s Towne Center subdivision are getting ready for neighbors.
The village board Tuesday approved an amendment to a conditional-use permit that will make way for the development of 58 lots in the subdivision where a few more than a dozen homes were built before the housing market collapsed more than five years ago.
A half-dozen Towne Center residents applauded after the board cast a unanimous vote in favor of the amendment. The change allows a variety of alterations, including a reduction of lot size, but does not allow for use of vinyl siding as initially requested by the developer and builder.
“The only real issue was vinyl siding, and we’re now presented with an ordinance that would continue to prohibit vinyl siding,” Trustee Gary Fitzgerald said. “I think the case has been made that if it were any other location we might look at it differently.”
The village board earlier this month debated the merits of vinyl siding as a building material for the subdivision because of the character envisioned for the area based on its proximity to the village hall.
The existing homes are sided with Hardie board, cedar siding or masonry.
Rob Getz, of Ryan Homes, said the request to use vinyl siding was made because of market demands, but trustees questioned whether a material change would alter the neighborhood’s character.
Fitzgerald said the amended plan with the continued prohibition of vinyl siding is “harmonious” with the existing homes and original vision for the subdivision.
Mayor Richard Chapman welcomed Ryan Homes and the land owner to the village and offered his thanks for adapting their plans.
“I want to give you my appreciation wholeheartedly,” he said, adding that he’s hopeful that home building will cause commercial enterprise to start looking at the commercial segment of the Towne Center area.
A Kohl’s store long has been promised for the Towne Center’s commercial area, but economic factors continue to delay any progress.