For the last several months, many residents of Cedarburg have voiced their concerns about the future of housing in the community, specifically regarding the planned development on the St. Francis Borgia site.
Tom Wiza, the city director of public works, sees a problem with the growth of housing in the city but on a larger scale.
"People sometimes assume that there's plenty of open land for the city to grow, but it's definitely more complicated than that," said Wiza, who expressed his concerns about the city being landlocked to the common council Feb. 13.
Wiza was prompted to speak by council member John Czarnecki, who hoped to make a point about how the issues with the SFB development tie into the city's future growth.
"It's going to become a real issue when the city cannot continue to grow at a certain pace. How will it expand?" said Czarnecki.
Wiza pointed out the city limits on the map, noting that the southern border with Mequon and the eastern border with Grafton would prevent the city from expanding in those directions. The only possible directions to grow would be to the north and west into the town of Cedarburg. In order to expand into these town subdivisions, there would have to be a majority consensus from the people living on those parcels of land.
"Even if we get the majority vote on the parcel, it will still cost about $100 per acre to expand municipal sewer and water into those areas. It wouldn't be worth it given the low density of those parcels," said Wiza, who also pointed out that people living in these subdivisions would have to switch from their wells and septic tanks in order to receive city water and sewer.
"We're looking at about half a million dollars to install sewer and water over an area of land with only about half a dozen homes," Wiza continued. "The trade-off for an increase in property taxes coming into the city for those homes may not make it worth it."