Homes at equestrian development get initial OK from Bristol planners

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The site of Sunflower Farms is seen here. The equestrian facility is visible in the lower right. The proposed homes would be on the west (left) side of the property.

A proposal to add houses to the Sunflower Farms development got an initial approval from the Bristol Plan Commission in the form of a land use plan amendment Tuesday evening.

One commissioner, Bob LeFebve, voted against the motion to grant the amendment, which would allow 25 homes to be built at the site.

The developer, represented at the meeting by a group of experts (including former Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian) lead by attorney J. Michael McTernan, is seeking to build 25 high end homes projected to be at least 3,000 square feet in size and starting at about $1 million in price. An equestrian facility already is operating on the southeast portion of the site, which is on 128th Street west of Highway 45.

Plans regarding the residential project have been presented to the Plan Commission on an informal basis three other times in the last year and a half, McTernan said, but this was the first request for formal action.

Town planner Pat Meehan raised concerns about the proposal not being in accordance with the town land use plan, which called for development to be more dense at the town’s core, near Highway 45 and Highway 50, and be less dense moving out to the edges. Sunflower Farms is on the extreme southern edge of the town. Meehan also objected to the proposed density for the site, which would have about one home per two acres. He said he preferred one home per 10 acres.

“It’s a kind of sprawl,” Meehan said. “They’ve developed all the developable space.”

McTernan, however countered that fewer homes was not feasible.

“We can’t go any lower,” McTernan said. “It’s impossible.”

McTernan said the developer was committed to developing only 25 home sites and would be open to that and other detail issues being addressed in a binding developer’s agreement.

Most commissioners seemed to be in favor of the proposal.

“I think this is a perfect use for this property,” said Commissioner Patti Johnson. “I don’t see any way, shape or form that it would detriment our community.”

LeFebve’s objection related to changing the land use plan.

“I just don’t think every time someone has a big proposal we should throw aside the plan and say go ahead,” LeFebve said.

The amendment will now be voted on by the Town Board.


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