As we feared and predicted, the next woodland parcel adjacent to the Yerkes Campus on the east side of Constance Blvd. is on the chopping block. The owners have submitted a request to amend our comprehensive plan to allow for residential development. The following is our response. Please contact your trustees and planning commission members with your comments and opinions. They need to hear from you; they need to know you care; they need to operate in the light of day.
PLAN COMMISSION MEETING AGENDA
TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2021 – 6:30 PM VIA ZOOM WEBINAR
INTERACT FROM A COMPUTER BY GOING TO: https://zoom.us/j/98286224959
LISTEN-IN FROM A PHONE BY DIALING: 888-475-4499 | Webinar ID: 982 8622 4959#
RE: Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan: request for rezone of WAS 00002 (9 acres) from Public/Institution to Sf 1: Low Density Residential
Because an Amendment to our Comprehensive Plan is a serious action, one that is made even more momentous because it concerns a large and environmentally and historically significant land, Frost Woods, the Village Board should be overtly conscientious in making any decisions. In fact, a decision should not be made at all, but postponed until the public is thoroughly informed and a new comprehensive plan is in place.
This nine-acre forested parcel lies in a sensitive environmental corridor and is a known Native American Indian site. The land has been in a state of preservation since first acquired by white settlers nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. As such, it is an extremely precious resource for our community. Indeed, the entire future of the wooded lands in West Williams Bay is in jeopardy and this request is part of a larger picture. Williams Bay is at a critical junction of losing it’s last remaining woodlands and with it our value and identity as a nature-concentrated community.
It would be irresponsible to allow any changes to the Comprehensive Plan at this time. The Comprehensive Plan is produced every ten years; it was due for revision in 2020, however, this did not occur because of the COVID pandemic – it is expected to be revised in 2021. The Comprehensive Plan provides an important framework for the future of the Village and represents the interests and desires of it’s residents. To make changes to a sunsetting plan is not in the best interest of our community.
Furthermore, because this rezoning request is historically significant, it demands a true public hearing which cannot be justly accomplished while the community is on lock-down.
The owners purchased this land from the University of Chicago with full knowledge that it was not zoned for residential purposes. It begs the question, what made them believe they could change the zoning of WAS 00002? The owners should build their “forever” home on their residentially zoned parcel, WHUP 00013. In addition, both parcels should be surveyed for archeological remains. It is the right and responsible thing to do.