Woods Edge, Village of Ashwaubenon

Author:  
John R Davel

Source:  
Davel Engineering & Environmental Case History

The first challenge was to design the subdivision with central ponds surrounded by homes that took advantage of the natural topography and wooded perimeter. The sloping topography lended itself only to narrow ponds oriented in the north-south direction. This was accomplished by careful layout paying close attention to the developer's specifications for homes. Unfortunately, very little of the already installed infra-structure could be salvaged since the layouts were drastically different. Because of the proximity to the Ashwaubenon River the eastern boundary was basically a forested wetland with steep slope ravines. The next challenge was to obtain necessary permits for construction. The permitting phase ended up being much more difficult than originally thought because of the conflicting interest of the various agencies. Brown County's interest was in protecting the steep slope environmentally sensitive areas, while the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was interested in protecting wetlands. Taking into account the "Greater Environmental Benefit" we were able to get each agency to do a little give and take so the project could proceed.

The final obstacle was to create a condominium style community without calling it a condominium. With the help of the Village, we obtained planned development zoning which allowed for reduced setbacks, smaller right of ways, and reduced lot sizes that allowed us to create a conventional subdivision (individual ownership) that provided the necessary density of units. The developer created a home owners association to regulate and administer the open spaces and commonly owned features such as the club house. Since it was technically a conventional subdivision, there was not an issue obtaining the necessary financing to construct the project.

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