Canopy Hill – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This webpage contains common questions that have come up during the planning process of the Canopy Hill development in Union Grove. To suggest a question to be added to this list, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more general information about Canopy Hill, and to view project plans, visit the Current Development Projects webpage.
Originally proposed in 2007, Canopy Hill was forced to undergo delays due to the economic recession. Around the time of the original proposal, the Village invested $1.8 million in utility improvements to support Canopy Hill – these improvements were installed during the reconstruction of U.S. Highway 45. Canopy Hill was reintroduced in 2019, and Village officials worked with the developer to encourage a project that would add a desired mix of housing and open space, while enhancing the long-term economic vitality of the community.
When Canopy Hill was reintroduced in 2019, the Village held a series of public meetings and presentations to gain feedback from community stakeholders. During those meetings, many participants expressed interest in a greater mix of owner-occupied housing for the development. Village officials proceeded to work with the developer on creating additional housing options to supplement the multi-family rental housing, including ranch and two-story condominiums. The revised development plan includes a mix of owner-occupied housing and multi-family rental housing, both of which are key to the success of the project.
It is estimated there will be 137 school-aged children residing within Canopy Hill once it is fully built out. District administrators for both Union Grove Elementary School and Union Grove High School indicate their schools have ample capacity for the potential number of additional students. As of the 2019-2020 school year, Union Grove Elementary has capacity for 542 more resident-students, while Union Grove High School has capacity for 524 more resident-students.
It is also worth nothing that Union Grove Elementary School receives $10,466 in state aid for each student residing within Union Grove, compared to $7,771 per open-enrollment student (a difference of $2,695). Union Grove High School receives $11,415 in state aid for each student residing within Union Grove, compared to $7,771 per open-enrollment student (a difference pf $3,644).
The developer submitted a traffic impact analysis (TIA) which can be downloaded by clicking here. The TIA forecasts the traffic impact when the development is fully built out and provides recommendations for improvements to account for that traffic. Because the development involves access to a U.S. highway (US 45), the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is involved with reviewing the TIA and indicating what improvements will be allowed or required as part of the development. WisDOT’s review of the TIA can be downloaded by clicking here.
The developer submitted a storm water management plan as well as drainage and grading plans to be reviewed and approved by the village engineer. The developer’s storm water management plan consists of four storm water ponds designed to route all proposed runoff to four ponds, where 80% of total suspended solids will be removed. The village engineer has verified that the proposed peak storm water flows from the developed site will be less than flows from the existing site. To view the storm water management plan, click here.
The Village’s Water Utility Master Plan and Wastewater Utility Master Plan have accounted for development in this area for many years and both the water and wastewater utilities are designed to handle the capacity of the development.
The developer plans to start construction by summer 2021. Buildout is expected to occur over a phased, eight-year timeline.
Developers and real estate professionals indicate the demand for housing in our area is very high. Additionally, a majority of undeveloped land in Union Grove is currently zoned for residential use and/or is listed for future residential use on the Village’s 2050 Land Use Map. We are hopeful that demand in commercial and industrial development and redevelopment will increase as the market changes and new homes are built in the area. The Village actively works with Racine County Economic Development Corporation to provide resources for the local businesses community and attract commercial activity in the Village. More information about business resources and initiatives, including targeted commercial development sites, can be found by clicking here.
The development is expected to add $112.8 million in assessed value to the Village when it is fully built out, which represents a 32% increase over the total 2020 assessed value for the Village. By strengthening the property tax base, the costs associated with running schools and providing Village and County services are spread out over a larger base of properties, which is expected to help stabilize the property tax rate over time. Similarly, the addition of new water and sewer customers will help to spread the cost of utility maintenance over a larger base of customers.
It should also be noted that a portion of the development will be occurring in tax incremental district (TID) #4. The ranch townhomes and multi-family buildings will generate approximately $9.4 million in tax increment in TID #4. This increment will help ensure that property tax dollars will not be needed for TID #4 debt service. It is estimated that if not for the new development, around $160,000 of annual debt service will need to be put on the tax levy.
Village staff analyzes the long-term financial health of the community and provides a roadmap for meeting the Village’s main financial objectives. The Village’s annual budget document and Long-Range Financial Plan can be found on the Taxes and Budgets webpage.
The development will contribute approximately $1.9 million in impact fees and connection charges to support future utility needs and improvements to parks, library and fire department. Costs related to services like garbage collection and snow removal will be managed through the annual budget process during the phased buildout of the development. Under the State of Wisconsin property tax levy limit program, the Village will be able to adjust its levy up to the percentage change in annual equalized value due to net new construction.
The tax incremental financing (TIF) process allows a municipality to pay for public improvements and other eligible costs within a designated area, called a tax incremental district (TID), using the future taxes collected on the TID’s increased property value to repay the cost of the improvements. The rationale behind TIF is that the public investment will promote private development and tax-base growth that would not otherwise occur absent the TID. In the case of Canopy Hill, the developer has represented that the project is not economically viable without without public participation based on extraordinary costs associated with necessary infrastructure for the development to occur. The Village has agreed to reimburse the developer for the costs of infrastructure from future tax increment generated by the development (up to $22.4 million in reimbursement of verified infrastructure costs). A new TID (#7) is created because the existing TID (#4) was created in 2006 and is past the period in which new expenditures can be added to the TID.
During the concept plan presentation on July 20, 2020, the developer estimated that single-family home and lot packages would be priced between $400,000 and $525,000. Duplex townhomes were estimated be priced between $275,000 and $325,000. Ranch town homes were estimated to be priced between $300,000 and $333,0000. Monthly rent prices for the multi-family units were estimated to start at $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment up to $1,800 per month for a three-bedroom unit. Prices for senior housing was not yet determined. The exact sale/rent prices are subject to change by the developer depending on market conditions; the Village of Union Grove is not able to set or limit housing prices.
Concept plans of the development were presented at public meetings on February 25, 2019, April 22, 2019, July 20, 2020 and September 8, 2020. The presentations were held at joint meetings of the Village Board, Plan Commission and Community Development Authority. By holding the concept plan meetings with the joint bodies, a variety of stakeholders and residents in the community could participate in the review process – the Village Board consists of seven residents elected at-large; Plan Commission consists of three Board members and four resident appointees; and Community Development Authority consists of two Board members and five resident appointees. A site visit of similar developments was also arranged for the joint bodies to attend and the dates and times of these visits were published.
The development required several zoning and land division related approvals from the Village. A public hearing for the re-zoning and planned unit development applications was held by the Plan Commission on December 7, 2020. By ordinance, a public hearing notice was published twice in the newspaper and mailed to land owners within 200 feet at least 10 days before the public hearing. Plan Commission also considered a preliminary plat, preliminary condo plat, certified survey maps and a side plan review on December 7. By ordinance, notices of the preliminary plat application was sent by certified mail to land owners within 300 feet at least seven days in advance of the meeting (however, by error the notices were sent to land owners within 600 feet including Yorkville land owners). Plan Commission recommended approval of the zoning and land division applications on December 7, subject to conditions recommended by the Village Planner and Village Engineer. Plan Commission met again on January 4, 2021 and adopted a resolution recommending approval of the re-zoning and planned unit development requests.
Village Board met on January 4, 2021 and gave approval on the re-zoning, planned unit development, certified survey maps, preliminary plat and preliminary condo plat. Plan Commission met on March 1, 2021 and reviewed a revised preliminary condo plat and recommended approval of a final plat for the initial phases of the development, subject to recommendations from the Village Planner. On March 1, 2021, the Village Board approved the final plat and also approved a development agreement. Additional approvals will be needed on the traffic impact analysis, final condo plat and future phases of the single-family lot plats.
With respect to the creation of tax incremental district (TID) #7, an initial project plan was presented to the Joint Review Board at its annual organizational meeting on December 7, 2020. The project plan identifies the proposed TID boundaries, identifies the need for the TID and determines whether all State requirements for creating a TID will be met. The Joint Review Board consists of representatives from each of the local taxing jurisdictions, including the Village, Racine County, Union Grove Elementary School, Union Grove High School and Gateway Technical College, as well as one citizen member. Plan Commission held a public hearing on the creation of TID #7 at its meeting on December 7, 2020 and subsequently adopted a resolution approving of the new TID. Village Board reviewed the proposed TID #7 project plan on March 1, and also adopted a resolution in support of creating the TID. Joint Review Board meets on March 15, 2021 to consider final approval of creating TID #7.
Agendas and meeting materials from these meetings can be found on the Village Meetings web portal.