Comparing current to proposed zoning for VK’s project

Here’s the code from which I’m working if you want to read it all.

Summary of current allowances:

Office: (562,780) square feet in four story buildings (average)
Limited commercial: (5,538) square feet
Multi family: (238,154) square feet in floor area in three story buildings (average) or one hundred fifty-nine (159) dwelling units, whichever is greater.
Civic and public (conditional) uses: 45,692 square feet

No building is to be more than 70 feet tall. Anything more in density is supposed to provide a public benefit–no doubt that’s why we see an assisted living facility. (Ruby Farm’s historical value can’t count unless it’s included in the rezoning, and I doubt it will be.) If history repeats, Mayor Jeff Speaker will fall all over himself telling you how important that facility will be to our community.

There are supposed to be two major open space features according to the area plan. The current zoning dictates that the current Master Plan must be followed, including the significant landscape buffers shown in this drawing. You can bet the Mayor will make the Master Plan a “flexible tool” for this request. It’s a shame. The hedgerow was some of the coolest planning taxpayers ever coughed up.

Here’s the square footage suggested by the plan unveiled today:

Retail: +/-78,500 square feet
Office: +/-528,500 (slightly less than planned)
150,000 healthclub (think retail again)
80 units assisted living (to substitute for “civic public”)
212 units condos (over by 53 units or OVER by 33%)
128 hotel suites (allowed in B-3 – highest density retail; notice square footage is not quoted)

Someone e-mailed and asked why I opposed this plan. The answer is density and the traffic created by that density. I will tell you it’s not my backyard, though. The 2nd district didn’t get support to restrict the density from VK’s Capitol Heights development from then 6th district Alderman Kari Clappier when her NO vote would have taken the project back to the drawing board. I doubt the 2nd district will be likely to come to the rescue for the 6th now that it’s their turn to suffer the company’s and the Mayor’s greed. Capitol Heights looks like a rural development compared to this new plan.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with Brookfield politics.

Two other observations:

1) The Master Plan needs to be amended if this is to pass. The Master Plan has very specific rules for change, but Mayor Jeff Speaker has ignored those in the past, too.

2) The current law states:

Properties tax key parcels 1120-983, 1137-998 and 1137-998-001 must be included in a joint master development agreement with the city of Brookfield before any zoning approval applications will be reviewed by the city.

BR C1137-998 is the Ruby house and barn. By this ordinance, it should be included in the rezoning. If it is, then the neighborhood to the east should be allowed to file a protest petition if the project is too much for them. Of course, you can expect the city attorney to rule otherwise.


  1. The 6th district has replaced those aldermen who didn’t represent 6th district views concerning the Capitol Heights rezoning. In the mean time, Rick Owen, 2nd district alderman, has voted repeatedly against resident concerns about the Calhoun widening, fire station relocation, choice of fire station sites, keeping taxes low, amending the 2020 Master Plan to validate the Calhoun Rd. widening, etc. Seems to me, it’s time to operate as a united front against the good old boys. Please bury that hatchet, Cindy.

  2. I agreed it was a problem in Brookfield’s politics. The 6th voted to keep Jeff Speaker. Maybe the district doesn’t feel the Calhoun issues are everyone’s issue. I feel it’s short sighted thinking if that’s the case.

  3. Lucky Lady says:

    Too bad residents don’t pay attention to a candidate’s voting record. All they base their vote on is last minute campaign signs paid for by big money donations. The 6th district has a lot of elderly who weren’t paying attention. I hope that won’t happen again. Your election would have made a big difference in Brookfield’s current development plans. I hope voters check out the voting records of aldermanic contenders before they vote on Tuesday. Some were good, some were very, very bad!