Date:      November 9, 2005

To:          Town Planning Commisison Members

From:     Department of Community Development Staff

RE:          Agenda Item 7 – Preliminary Plat – Winding Creek Estates


The applicant is proposing a 169-lot plus 1-outlot subdivision, on approximately 92-acres (1.82 lots/acre) on Irish Road north of East Shady Lane.  The subdivision has a navigable stream that meanders through the development.  The proposed development currently indicates that lot lines will go right up to the centerline of the navigable stream.  The preliminary plat indicates areas for stormwater detention on Outlot 1 and an easement on part of Lot 169. 

The proposed development has two access points off of Irish Road, and future access points to the north, south and west.  The City of Neenah has an officially mapped road on the property just west of the proposed development.  The preliminary plat indicates that there is a proposed trail along the proposed Wasilla Lane and Creek Side Drive. 

The restrictive covenants for Winding Creek Estates are also attached.

The Park Commission at their November 9, 2005 meeting reaffirmed their recommendation for the dedication of parkland.  The recommendation is for 3-acres of parkland north of the stream and .5-acres of parkland south of the stream in the southwest corner of the subdivision.  The park commission also recommended waiving the requirement of part of section 6.11 (1) of the Subdivision Control Ordinance stating,

“All dedicated lands shall be accompanied by an environment assessment indicating that such lands present no environmental hazard, and will not require environmental mitigation or remediation measures. A core soil sample test shall be administered and results submitted to the Park and Recreation Department.  No core soil sample test shall be required under trail right-of-way.”

and; if the developer agrees to protect the property from heavy machinery, storage of materials, and other damaging effects to the parkland, the Park Commission recommends waiving all of section 6.11 (4) of the Subdivision Control Ordinance stating,

“Development of Park Area.   When parklands are dedicated, the subdivider is required to:

(a)                 Properly grade and contour for proper drainage.

(b)                 Provide surface contours suitable for the anticipated use of each area.

(c)                 Cover areas to be seeded with a minimum of six (6) inches of quality topsoil, seed, fertilize, and mulch, as specified by the Park and Recreation Department.  When possible original sub soil shall be left undisturbed and use a minimum of heavy equipment disturbance other than final grading and seeding.  Original soil must be equal to or greater than the initial original soil with a minimum of six (6) inches.  Final grading and seeding must occur within one (1) year following issuance of the first building permit within that land division unless otherwise authorized by the Town Engineer or Development Coordinator.  The improved area shall not be deeded and officially accepted until specifications are met. Two (2) inches of uniform grass height has been established, and a minimum of 6 mowings have occurred.  It shall be the responsibility of the subdivider to maintain the area until the Town accepts the dedication.”

The Park Commissions original recommendation from the October 12, 2005 meeting was dedication of land for park purposes for the amount specified under the Town of Menasha Municipal Code Chapter 6.11 (for example, 168-lots would equal 3.58-acres) to be located in the southwestern portion of the development, north of the navigable stream. 


Staff continues to encourage the applicant to consider reducing lot sizes or clustering lots so that a more creative approach can be taken to preserve open space environmental corridors and provide for the dedication of park land which is required for this subdivision.  Smaller lot sizes or cluster development would maximize the number of lots while still preserving open space.  

Findings of Fact

·         The proposal is consistent with the Low-Density Residential designation in the Town of Menasha’s Comprehensive Plan.

·         The proposal is consistent with the Winnebago County/Town Zoning Ordinance.

·         The proposal is not compliant with the Town of Menasha Municipal Code Chapter 6

o        Easements

o        Storm water drainage

·         The proposal is not compliant with the Town of Menasha Municipal Code Chapter 31

·         The below questions and results are an excerpt taken from the Town of Menasha 2005 Community Survey for the Comprehensive Plan, which were presented to the Town Board at their meeting of September 26, 2005.

o        Development of recreational trails for bikes, roller blades and walking need to be continued.


# of people

Percentages (%)

Strongly Agree












Strongly Disagree



No Response







§         Almost 75% of the Town of Menasha surveyed residents strongly agree or agree that recreational trail development needs to be continued.


o        The Town should identify environmentally sensitive areas and establish environmental corridors.


# of people

Percentages (%)

Strongly Agree












Strongly Disagree



No Response







§         Over 75% of the surveyed residents feel the Town should protect sensitive environmental areas.



o        The Town should reserve more land for parks and conservation areas.


# of people

Percentages (%)

Strongly Agree












Strongly Disagree



No Response







§         A majority (over 54%) of the surveyed Town residents strongly agree or agree that the town should reserve more land for parks and conservation areas.

Staff Recommendation                            

Staff recommends conditional approval of the preliminary plat with the following provisions:

·         The preliminary plat shall be revised to provide for the dedication of parkland as recommended by the Park Commission

·         All roads shall intersect at right angles.

·         Staff continues to recommend that10-foot wide trail shall be constructed along the Environmental Corridor according to specifications set by the Town of Menasha. Community Development Department staff recognizes that this is not an option desired by the developer or other Town Staff but it is a something desired by a large majority of Town residents. 

·         Any temporary dead end street longer than 150-feet shall have a temporary turnaround for Fire Department vehicle access.

·         A second vehicular access to the north (by extending the proposed Celestial Drive to the northern property line of Lot 141) shall be developed to increase interconnectivity between the proposed development and future developments.

·         The 75-foot building setback shall be shown as “Environmental Corridor” and be dedicated to the Town of Menasha, which shall not count as part of the park land dedication.  It shall be noted, “This corridor is intended to preserve the existing brush, vegetation, and trees located within the 75-foot setback.  Cutting and clearing of live brush, trees, or any other vegetation is strictly prohibited, except for the elimination of non-native invasive species or the removal of hazardous or diseased trees and shall be enforced by the Town of Menasha.” 

·         A Developer’s Agreement between the Town of Menasha and the applicant shall be drafted and accepted by both parties.

·         A Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Plan along with appropriate fees shall be filed with the Department of Community Development.

·         Utility and drainage easements adequate to serve the development shall be provided and shall be at least 15-feet wide per Town of Menasha Municipal Code 6.22 (3).

·         The applicant shall provide a drainage easement, not less than 30-feet in width, to provide access to the proposed retention pond(s) by the Town of Menasha.

·         The Certified Survey Map approved by Resolution #050228-3 shall be recorded.