Swanson/VK Development news

VK Development wants less than an acre of Elmbrook district land. In exchange, they will vacate the easement that plans a road within feet of the corner of the school building. The road will instead line up with Golf Parkway and not Ruby Lane.


You need to be an insider to understand the significance of that change. You see, former Alderman Kari Clappier lives on Golf and fought long and hard to have the previous planning changed so that the project wouldn’t dump into her street. However, current Alderman Jerry Mellone and Concerned Calhoun Citizen president Barb Roncke live on Ruby Lane. VK knows it’s a hurdle, so he’s playing to the people in place now. Plus, the city (this case in the form of Dan Ertl, Director of Community Development) has long desired the street to go through to the mall, in fact an easement may already exist. That would provide quick access to the current I-94 interchange at Moorland. (And reduce the demand for one at Calhoun?)

It will be a hurdle to get the enormous density that the developer is asking for in this project. If a protest petition were filed against the rezoning it would only take FOUR no votes to block the plan. It won’t be a problem to muster four no’s on this Council. The developer will need to jump through every hoop this time.

Of course, we have yet to hear from Mayor Jeff Speaker on this one.


  1. It’s tough to make an assessment until you see the physical layout of the proposed development and what the density looks like, but I’ve got an odd feeling 4 ‘no’ votes may not be as easy as you’d think. I suspect that VK, after the school swap fiasco, is going to make this as palatable and politically correct as possible. He’s all ready made the ovetures with the Ruby homestead and I bet that’s not the last trick in his bag. That could pretty well leave the argument at the Golf Rd v Ruby Ln change. That one is sure a no win situation for any alderman, and when you look at the maps Golf Rd makes a whole lot more sense. Might make mustering 4 votes to stall this a problem if VK has all his ducks in a row.

    Even though Mr. Consensus has lost a few in a row here, I’ve got an odd feeling this one is going to sail right through.

  2. Well, if VK plays his cards right, he may not end up with anyone protesting. I assume he’s asking for a rezoning because that’s what I was told. Perhaps it isn’t correct.

    If it calls for a rezoning, and if there is active protest and a petition is filed to demand a super majority, I think at least 4 would rise to the surface. I could name them, but that wouldn’t e very nice of me, would it?

    There’s an election to get through before anything comes to the vote. I don’t see any way it would all line up and get to the council before the first of April.

  3. The info meeting was too short to accomodate all the questions that we had. We couldn’t see the drawings very well. How convenient! Neither access road sits well with neighbors. The Golf Pkwy. alignment will tear out a large stand of old growth trees. Definitely the Ruby Lane alignment is too close to the school. VK should align the road to the south on his own land, align the road far enough to the north to accomodate the Butler Garter snakes (75′ setback from wetlands) and connect to Brookfield Lakes Office Park along I-94. I see no reason for the school district to give up .65 acres to accomodate the Golf Pkwy. alignment. Many of the proposed bldg. are high water use projects while we are facing a water crisis in the future.