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Rothschild land use plans get Village Board approval Monday


ROTHSCHILD, WI (WSAU) -  Rothschild is a step closer to having two new long term land use plans. The Village Board gave their approval Monday to  the Pavilion Market Place Redevelopment Plan for the business district north of Highway 29 and the Pavilion Park Master Plan to outline a long-term strategy for future development.

The Pavilion Park Master Plan will gradually improve the park features with historical markers of the park’s past and replacement of some features, like boat docks and a pier on Lake Wausau, and replacement of the shelter with three separate shelters with their own bathrooms.

The Pavilion Market Place Redevelopment Plan is proposed as a three phase project.

Project Planner Andrew Bremer from MSA Professional Services says initial work would be in the Shopko Plaza area as developers show interest.  This would also include more green space and better traffic control with an access drive off Volkman Street. Development could begin between north of Corral Lanes along Business 51.

Bremer believes the new development plan actually helps the homeowners in the district stay or sell if they wish.  "I think it's an advantage that the Village is creating this plan for the residents in that area.  It's a long-term vision for land use, and it shows how the area could potentially be developed.  It's true, it's primarily going to be a market-driven redevelopment."  

Resident Todd Olson has a house for sale in the new TID district. He has concerns about how that will affect his ability to sell the house, and if he’ll get a fair price for it.  "With the TID district announcement, I doubt if we'll be able to sell the home.  Most realtors won't want to touch it because they don't know how long the home will be there (for) prospective buyers, we can't give them a date or a time the house will be gone or how long it will last in that area."

Some residents shared Olson's concern about losing their homes to commercial development. Bremer says the changes actually help protect their homes better than the existing 2006 development plan.  "For those residents that have concerns, I would say look at that existing plan.  It showed it as all commercial.  What we're doing now is changing that plan to maintain residential development in this area.”

Board Member Arlene Paulson said, "We're not going to come and bulldoze anyone's homes, we want people to stay and be happy."

The changed land use plan shows input from the Steering Committee on how residential land uses can transition over time, protecting existing homeowners so they can stay as long as they want.

Todd Olson was one of four residents after the meeting expressing concern about a possible conflict of interest, as the steering committee for this development includes local businessman Joe Buska, who has several properties in the new development zone.

Along with approving the overall plan, the Village Board also created Tax Incremental Financing District #2 to help pay for costs and attract development.

There are 56 single family homes in the area covered by the land use plan.

Bremer says the existing businesses in the area have given them positive feedback about the new development plan and the TID district to improve their businesses and attract more.

It will cost about $16 million dollars over more than 25 years. Some of that can be obtained from grants, and much will be from property taxes on the new developments.

Most Phase One projects involve village improvements to signage, street scaping, some utilities, and other gateway effects. Most Phase Two and Phase Three items depend on private developers to build in the development zone.

Bremer suggested that the Village Board create a Community Development Authority to help manage the future projects and proposals. This authority can also oversee funding requests for improving commercial and residential properties in the planning area.

Rothschild’s Joint Review Board meets Thursday at 3:30 p.m. for final approval of redevelopment district.