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Mequon -- Following a rezone of the area in September, Shaffer Development presented its plans to the plan commission for the second phase of the town center, which they are calling "Spur 16 Mequon."

Cindy Shaffer, the owner of Shaffer Development, said the company incorporated the branding into the entire development such as with train-themed decor.  Part of the reason for the name is due to the development being next to a train track as well as historical significance.

"I really like the name," said Commissioner Brian Parrish.

The development is located on the west side of the railroad tracks across from the current portion of Town Center and surrounding the police station.

Some of the main features previously presented included two three-and-a-half-story buildings with one being half the size of the other. Two-story townhomes were also proposed as well as amenities such as a splash pad and a connected bike trail with another trail around a retention pond.

The development was designed to have retail up front off Mequon Road and residential units further in.

"Some of the critiques have now been taken into account," said Jac Zader, assistant director of community development.

The changes

According to the site plan presented at the meeting, an additional building was added in response to what Zader called a "large sea of asphalt."  Parking was a concern Shaffer had previously mentioned, especially with the parking issues plaguing the first phase of the Town Center.

The original estimate from the developer was to allow 10 spaces per 1,000 square feet. This was double what was done in the first phase of the town center. However, the current proposal with the new building and other changes drops the number down to 8.9 spaces per 1,000 square feet.

Zader referenced a number of issues the staff still had with the proposal, including a few parking lot layout issues, citing "pinch-points," as well as moving where a trail is planned to cross the railroad tracks, which currently connects to a parking lot. Zader said he'd rather separate the cars and the bikes/pedestrians.

"We want to segregate the pedestrians from vehicular uses while maintaining traffic flow," Zader said.

Staff members presented a few alternate options that the developer will be able to consider and work with before the December meeting, where a vote will likely be taken.  Zader said the vote had to be held due to a conditional use permit being required and there was insufficient time to complete the proper notice postings.

Other changes and issues

The trail around the pond was also discussed with the developer removing it due to grading issues. In its place, they have proposed an overlook on the southwest corner of the pond.

Commissioner LeRoy Bessler said he liked the idea better because geese would be walking the path anyway, making it "not worth it" to build or to use.

Much discussion also centered around some cedar trees that could be removed. Shaffer said neighbors didn't want the trees removed; however, there was concern that they may die when a section of evergreens is removed for the development.

"The neighbors don't want the trees to come down," Shaffer said.

A sidewalk was also originally proposed to go through where the trees were located; however, Shaffer said she may want to wait on the sidewalk.

The clubhouse on-site also saw a number of changes, including the addition of a pool as well as parking adjacent to the clubhouse itself. Shaffer said this addition was due to market research. The clubhouse also features a gym and a business center.

Shaffer said the clubhouse would have a barn-like appearance in regard to Mequon's agricultural history. The railroad theme would also be taken inside with decor.

The color palette of many of the buildings was also changed to more earth tones compared to some louder options previously presented.

Shaffer said she has been meeting weekly with staff members as well as holding multiple meetings with residents to get their thoughts.

She said she would consider many of the alternatives city staff offered. She said she was open to moving the bike connection that crossed the tracks, but was a little more firm on a few parking lot features.

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