School board relents on spending for debt defeasement

By Brian Roebke
After 2 hours and 15 minutes committee of the whole discussion with residents, the Village of Wrightstown, the Royal St. Patrick’s Homeowners Association, and the land developer did not come up with an agreement on bringing oversight authority to the developer.
It’s a complicated matter but essentially the area is a tax incremental financing district and the village needs new development in the area to pay for a stormwater pond that serves the area.
If the development does not cover that cost, all taxpayers in the village must cover the cost, so it’s not just a Royal St. Patrick’s issue.
The village and the developer believe covenants and restrictions place by the homeowners association are keeping people from purchasing lots and building homes on them.
Among the items is the entire front of homes must be masonry. This is currently not “in style” in the housing industry.
At present the HOA has complete control over what’s built there, but sales are extremely slow. Spec homes have not been selling, and the village wants avoid having empty homes on the market for several years before they are sold.
The developer wants to have the control but will work within the PPD covenants that need to be revised to make housing more marketable.
There are a combination of issues that are causing issues, one of which has been communication issues. Mark Leonard, representing the village, will work on a proposal to present to the HOA and they will then talk about any issues that are not in agreement.
One thing the HOA wants to protect is the value of their properties in the upscale neighborhood. HOA representatives are afraid the area could be cheapened with lower quality housing but the village says they want maximum development. They say the HOA should not be concerned with that but the HOA’s been burned before and are afraid it will happen again.
One difference from 20 years ago when the subdivision was started is the developers ability to control his development. After some time of no oversite by anyone, the village gave that oversite to the HOA.
HOA wrote the developer out of the situation and gave them no say in what could be built.
Adjustments should allow people to build something different but still of high quality.
The developer has a $4-5 million investment. Village President Dean Erickson doesn’t want to see the TID fail and the other village residents have to pay for it.
“(The developer) cannot recoup their investment unless they can get the most return in value in homes built,” Village Administrator Travis Coenen said.
The HOA has a 37-page document of coveneants, and the village would prefer 4-6 pages.
An HOV representative said there are only 13 pages of regulations, along with supporting information.
Coenen said the HOA has the power to make developers agreement and the TID fail and nobody wants to see that happen.
Coenen said this is the first developer in 10 years that would touch a residential development and he wants this one to be successful.