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Altoona Housing Development Advances Despite Local Criticism

Altoona Housing Development Advances Despite Local Criticism

July 10, 2024 9:10 AM CDT

By: James Kelly

An Altoona housing development that has faced criticism from local residents narrowly advanced its preliminary plans on Tuesday night.

The controversial Whitetail Woods housing development is planned on 110 acres of land near County Highway SS and Nine Mile Creek Road that was annexed from the Town of Washington by the City of Altoona in 2023. The preliminary plans include a mix of single, twin and multi-family housing units on the land, which has drawn criticism from local residents.

According to a WQOW report, most of the residents who attended the public hearing spoke against the project. They expressed concerns about increased traffic, density and strain on emergency services. Despite their public comments, the Altoona Plan Commission voted 3-2 to move forward with the preliminary plan.

Altoona Planning Director Taylor Greenwell clarified that the vote was limited to evaluating whether the proposed plan followed all local ordinances and the City’s comprehensive plan. Commission members were instructed to vote only on that criteria, not their general opinions on how high density housing fits in the area. The plan will now be considered by the City Council at Thursday’s meeting.

In recent weeks, the Town of Washington began the years-long process of becoming a village to protect its land from future annexation. In addition to the land where the Whitetail Woods project is planned, the City of Eau Claire also annexed land for their Orchard Hills development.

The City of Eau Claire further passed a resolution stating that it expects to annex more land from the Town of Washington for utility expansion, which will now be part of the review process for the Town of Washington’s village incorporation proposal.

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