A Plan Commission recommendation to Hudson Common Council on whether to rezone the St. Croix Meadows Property didn't come Thursday during the commission's meeting as the Hudson School District asked the commission for 30 more days to prepare more information.
"Tonight we're going to share some background information about how we got here, and we're also going to ask for a little more time," Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten told the commission on Thursday. "It was only nine days ago, so there are a number of steps we'd like to take to inform you and give you more information. We're going to provide background tonight, learn what your questions are and then move forward with making a proposal to you at the end of our presentation about next steps."
The slow, cautious approach is a contrast from how the school district had been proceeding with the issue until Thursday. The district first asked the Hudson Plan Commission to recommend rezoning at the commission's Feb. 13 meeting, but the commission voted to delay any recommendations until after the results of the April 3 referendum were known.
With those results coming back with 57 percent in favor of the property purchase, the city held a public hearing on the matter on Monday, and the commission was set to take up the issue on Thursday.
Pete Seguin, representing Croixland Properties, began the presentation to the commission by addressing the loss in tax revenue that would occur if the land would be rezoned for public use.
"This land does not now, and isn't likely in the future going to provide significant or irreplaceable tax revenue to the city," Seguin said. "I realize that any tax revenue is welcome, however the city share of the real estate tax revenue for this parcel has been approximately $22,000 annually from 2007 to 2010. In 2011 it was $25,000, the highest amount. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it's certainly not an irreplaceable source of tax revenue."
David Robson of Greystone Commercial followed Seguin and keyed in how commercial property on the south side of the city would become more attractive to developers if a school was on the dog track site drawing more traffic to that part of town. He also hit the tax revenue point by listing 30 parcels around the city that, if developed, would provide tax revenue to the city in excess of $2.4 million, easily replacing the $25,000 it currently receives from St. Croix Meadows.
Bowen-Eggebraaten then presented for the district, along with Board of Education members Brian Bell and Barbara Van Loenen. The commission also heard comments from six community members in attendance before launching into a lengthy question-and-answer session with the district representatives.
Mayor Alan Burchill asked how much additional time the district would need, and Bowen-Eggebraaten said about a month. He also advocated sitting down with the district to come up with a win-win situation.
Commissioner Fred Yoerg expressed his concerns with the loss of revenue to the city.
Commissioner Frank Rhoades asked what would happen if the next school referendum failed.
Commissioner Paul Radermacher asked several questions about why the county parcel at Vine and Carmichael had been deemed too small and not suitable. Yoerg pointed out that a secondary school in Green Bay had been built on considerably fewer acres and hold considerably more students.
District 2 Alderperson Mary Yacoub, who also serves on the commission asked what the district's secondary plan was in case the rezoning request was denied. Commissioner Mary Claire Potter expressed similar concerns.
Commissioner Kevin Vance asked for clarification about why the district land on County Road UU was unsuitable.
After about an hour of questions and answers, the commission voted to extend the district an additional 30 days.