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Plans for a 69-unit apartment building near Highway LL in Port Washington that will accommodate people with autism have cleared a major hurdle.

The plan commission approved the plans for the development at the March 16 meeting. The apartment, which was designed by Korb & Associates Architects and is being built by Cardinal Capital Management, will offer 12 units that will cater to residents with autism.

According to architect Jason Korb, these units and other amenities in the building are designed with features that are sensitive to light and noise.

"It was somewhat of a challenge to design because there are so many different forms of autism," said Korb. "The building will have sensory rooms for people who might need to make more noise, such as playing drums, and rooms where heaters and air conditioners are regulated for those more sensitive to noise."

The complex will also feature community kitchens and extra offices for caregivers to provide a nurturing learning environment for these residents, as well as a second building that will house a clinic operated by the Milwaukee Center for Independence.

Cardinal Capital Management is collaborating with the Milwaukee Center for Independence on the project to provide these residences to people with autism, a housing option that is scarce in the area.

The commission voted unanimously despite concerns from people in the community regarding the space and density of the complex in relation to the area near highways LL and 33.  However, Korb noted that 80 percent of the 6-acre property would be open space.

"This green space would be open to the public, and I think that those in the surrounding community will be very pleased to have it upon completion," said Korb.

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