Residents petition against new luxury apartment complex

Petitioners worry the 84-unit building will cause more traffic issues

Village of Holmen board member Steve Johnston said it’s becoming difficult for people to find a place to live in Holmen.

Johnston said Holmen is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, and it was recently ranked number two on a list of Wisconsin’s best places to live for young families by the consumer advocacy website NerdWallet.

To help accommodate the growing population, three local developers are applying to the village to build two new apartments and add a big expansion to a local neighborhood.

The planning commission unanimously voted to approve two of the rezoning applications. But the third application for an 84-unit luxury apartment complex ended in a tie vote after many residents voiced concerns about traffic implications for the area.

For drivers living off of Walden Place and Evergreen Drive in Holmen, the morning drive can start off pretty slowly.

“Some of the people that live in that area can spend as much as 15 minutes trying to get on to Highway 35,” Johnston said.

Residents living near the site of a proposed 84-unit apartment complex are petitioning against construction of the building.

“The petitioners brought to our attention some of the safety concerns along Highway 35,” Johnston said. “You’ve got two roads that feed into 35, and there is a lot of congestion.”

“We have access problems going in and out so if you put that 84-unit (building) there, you’re going to have a huge impact on traffic and people. It’s going to be unsafe,” Holmen Planning Commission member Tony Szak said.

Szak said the petitioners brought up real concerns that made him rethink his original decision to approve the rezoning application and vote against it.

“The project is right, everything fits, but I think it’s too soon,” Szak said.

He believes that the traffic issues need to be addressed before the apartment complex is approved.

“You have to really think about how that’s going to work and how that’s going to impact the people in the neighborhood and the safety of the people in the village of Holmen,” Szak said.

Szak and Johnston said the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is adding left and right turn lanes to that portion of Highway 35 within the year, but they feel that more needs to be done.

“What’s really needed there is a light that will slow down traffic and allow people to get in and out of Evergreen and Walden,” Johnston said.

Both Johnston and Szak said they are in favor of the apartment complex and the continued growth of Holmen, and they expect to see it built in the future. They want to see the traffic issues addressed before approving the application.

The village of Holmen board will make the final decision on all three applications at next Thursday’s board meeting.