CEDARBURG - Emotions ran so high Monday, March 13, at a special common council meeting on a proposed apartment development for the site adjacent to St. Francis Borgia Church that many people spoke out of turn.
The gym at the Cedarburg Community Center was filled with hundreds of residents and was nearly divided in half in terms of people in support of or against the project. For about four and a half hours, many residents shared their various feelings on the project.
Vera Brissman, a member of the Friends of Historic Cedarburg group, voiced her opinion against the new development as she has done over the past several months.
"This development is overbearing, and this site deserves the best quality project for the surrounding area," said Brissman.
In the end, the common council voted to approve three separate zoning and land use changes that would allow HSI Properties to move forward with plans for their development known as "Arrabelle."
Tony DeRosa, vice president of HSI Properties, presented the plans along with Eric Harmon of AG Architecture and provided feedback to appease those who came out against the development.
"We don't just see this as a business deal," said DeRosa. "We see this as a partnership between the city of Cedarburg and HSI Properties. We have worked over the past few months to adjust these plans because we want to work with this city."
The newly adjusted plans call for two apartment buildings that will be two stories in spots and three in others, and townhouses, totaling 69 units at a density of 18 units per acre. This was brought down from 98 units and 26.2 units per acre when HSI Properties first introduced its plans in November.
Alderman John Czarnecki, who also sits on the plan commission, expressed his appreciation for the entire community and their opinions.
"No one on this council takes this decision lightly," said Czarnecki. "Cedarburg is not defined by its buildings, but by its people."