Effort to reconsider Mills apartment building in Twin Lakes fails

A revised concept rendering of a proposed senior apartment building for downtown Twin Lakes with added commercial space on the ground floor.

An effort to reconsider approval by the Twin Lakes Village Board of a concept for a 24-unit senior apartment building with commercial space on the first  floor for a downtown site failed at Monday’s Village Board meeting.

Trustee Michael Moran made the motion to reconsider the earlier granted approval of the concept for the building being proposed by developer Steve Mills. Moran was the only vote in favor of reconsideration. Trustee Sharon Bower abstained from the vote (she was absent for the original vote) and village President Howard Skinner was absent. Skinner had abstained from the earlier vote on the development because his auto repair business is located across Main Street from the apartment building site.

The building would have one- and two-bedroom units ranging in size from 700 to just over 1,000 square feet and range in rent from perhaps as low as $500 to as high as $675. Mills is applying for the state tax credits for the project. The provisions of the state tax credit program would mean the units would be reserved for people over 55 and who make less than 60 percent of the median annual salary in Kenosha County. If he does not receive the credits — which are granted as part of a competitive process — Mills has said the project will not be built because it would then not be economically viable.

Moran said he based his motion for reconsideration on his impression that the building has too much “bulk” for the site on Main Street. The building as proposed is three-stories high with underground parking for residents.

“It’s enormous, let’s face it,” Moran said. “It’s huge.”

Former village President Jack Staudemeyer, who lives in the neighborhood just to the south of the proposed building, spoke in favor of reconsidering the approval during citizens comments. He said he objected to the high amount of residential in the downtown, which he sees as being prime commercial area.

“I don’t see that as a senior complex,” Staudemeyer said. “If  they are really looking for senior housing, there are other places …”

At a couple of recent meetings on the complex, residents of the neighborhood to the south have turned out to object to the building on grounds of its size and other factors.

But on Monday, Staudemeyer was the only person in the audience who spoke in opposition to the project, while three other residents spoke in favor of it moving forward.

“Looking at the big picture, this pays dividends down the road for Twin Lakes,” said Frank Gagliardi, an attorney who lives in Twin Lakes. “If we want to stand still, I would say leave the dirt empty … Waiting doesn’t make sense to me… I think this is a great opportunity to start the building right. Hopefully, this building sets the tone for the development down the street.”

Local business owner and village resident Stan Torstenson, who once operated his lumber yard on the property in question, also spoke in favor of letting the project continue.

“I think it’s going to dress-up what we have  and it’s a lot better than the old lumber yard I took out of there,” Torstenson said. “I think it is going to help our downtown.”

Mills, based on the earlier approval, applied for the tax credits earlier this month. He should find out if they are granted in April. If received, he would like to start construction in August.



  1. Charles Nelson says:


  2. Mark Nichols says:

    Why would someone would vote against senior housing? They are quite and need help.

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