Friday, September 20, 2013

The Road To Sprawlville, Chapter 56: Middleton Touting Unsewered Project As "New Ruralism"

There's an awful lot in this installment of our blog series tracking sprawl development in Wisconsin that will make your head spin. Call in the serious planners and the English teachers.

The City of Middleton bought a golf course to protect a border from annexation by neighboring Madison and to discourage development near a prime fishing stream.

Now Middleton, saddled with the golf course, wants to let a developer put in 104 houses with septic systems, not sewer hookups, on part of the property under the butchered slogan "New Ruralism."

That's the second unfortunate phrase in this story; the golf course is called Pleasant View - - but if the development goes through, the vistas off Pleasant Valley Rd. touted on the course website get a lot less pleasant:

Situated on hills approximately 300 feet above Lake Mendota, Pleasant View Golf Course provides a panoramic view of the City of Middleton and Madison. 
Classic sprawl into green space at the edge of good fishing waters and lacking hookups to municipal sewer lines is, regrettably, neither new or rural-friendly.

Water pollution is just one failed septic tank away - - and constructing 104 homes is never easy on the land and water.

All in all - - a clumsy turn of a phrase at the expense of "New Urbanism," which centers on sustainability, and a worse use of municipal powers.

The Road To Sprawlville - - we began this in 2007: an example - - has rarely hit such potholes.

Props to Madison Mayor Paul Soglin for sounding the alarm.

[Full disclosure: I worked for Paul Soglin in the 1970's]


Anonymous said...

I can just see the brochures: "New Ruralism" where you get to drink your neighbors effluent.

Anonymous said...

haven't all the failed short sighted half-assed "it seemed like a good idea at the time" local governmental f-ups taught the population of this state a damn thing? why don't we just go back to dumping mercury directly into the waterways and get the environmental suicide over with!!! for krys sake, use your head for something besides a hat rack!!!

Bill McClenahan said...

But in the Town of Waukesha, you want to force existing residents to remain on septic systems by forcing them out of their existing municipal sewer service area. No groundwater concerns there?

Or maybe you don't think water and sewer service areas should have the same boundaries?

Anonymous said...

Erdman: Good people breaking bad.

Anonymous said...

Omaha is a perfect example of this. People are actually moving back into the city to get away from these McMansions and tract houses.