Multi-family development plan forwarded by RF Plan Commission

By Andrew Harrington
Posted 6/12/24

RIVER FALLS — The River Falls Plan Commission voted 4-0 to forward a plan for a 66-unit multi-family and personal storage building project to city council during the June 4 meeting.

Kamp …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Multi-family development plan forwarded by RF Plan Commission


RIVER FALLS — The River Falls Plan Commission voted 4-0 to forward a plan for a 66-unit multi-family and personal storage building project to city council during the June 4 meeting.

Kamp Real Estate and Development proposed the four story, 66-unit multi-family development called Sisu River Falls. The proposal also includes an addition to a nearby storage facility. The multi-family development is located south of Sunshine Avenue and east of South Wasson Lane with the storage facility addition on the north side of Sunshine Avenue and south of Cemetery Road.

The 66-unit development would include both one and two-bedroom units with parking above and below ground.

At 1.89 parking spaces per unit, the development does not meet the code standard of two spaces per unit.

“The minimum parking required by code is 2/unit, however staff feels that this deviation is appropriate given the deviation is so incidental, the proposed development addresses housing needs, and the deviation is consistent with recent approvals for Lake George Lofts and The Upland,” city documents state.

The proposal also breaks the code of having a minimum of a 1:1 ratio of livable area to open space, or 1,200 square feet, whichever is greater.

“Staff finds this reasonable due to the proximity and general availability of public trails and open space in the areas surrounding the development, and the enhanced efficiency granted by this deviation meets the Comprehensive Plan goal of providing more housing of all types,” city documents state.

Resident Benjamin Fochs asked why the access for the storage facility would remain on Cemetery Road rather than moving to Sunshine Avenue, citing Cemetery Road being high-traffic and the nearby Kwik Trip.

Senior Planner Harley Mehlhorn said parking already does not meet code, and access on Sunshine Avenue would decrease the parking even more. Mehlhorn also said the Sunshine Avenue access would reduce the size of the storage facility.

The proposal will be heard by city council June 25.

Public Comment

Brad Gilbertson said Justin Kleist, who owns port-a-potty business Five Star Restroom Rentals, purchased land around his property and plans to use it as space to operate the business. Gilbertson said the location is in the urban reserve zone, and said Kleist is seeking an in-home occupation permit for the business.

Gilbertson disagreed with the in-home occupation request, saying permitted in-home occupancies include an accountant, artist, interior designer and more, but a port-a-potty business should be in the industrial park.

“I think what he did is he tried to buy this chunk of land rather than go pay an expensive price in the industrial park,” Gilbertson said. “Who’s it gonna hurt? It’s gonna hurt the adjacent property owners.”

Gilbertson said the approval could lower the property values of the surrounding area.

“That’s going to ruin the rural character of my property,” Gilbertson said. “If this goes through, I’m going to be seeing all these port-a-potties going in and out.”

Greg Erickson spoke on the same issue, focusing on the potential environmental damage of the location. Erickson said having a liquid waste operation on land with multiple ponds and in the Kinnickinnic watershed could present issues.

“Big rainstorms, like we’ve been having for the last two weeks, flows over the surface, and will end up in the Kinni,” Erickson said.

Patricia La Rue spoke about not receiving a reappointment as chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, resulting in no longer having a spot on the Plan Commission. La Rue said after meeting with Mayor Dan Toland, she still is not certain why she was not reappointed, but gave thanks to many people from the city, including the mayor for the opportunity. La Rue said she will continue to attend meetings and hopes more community members do as well.


Other business

  • Approved a special sign permit for a First Congregational Church monument sign. The special permit was needed due to the sign exceeding the code allowance for sign band area and for the type of illumination on the sign. A presentation on the agenda item mentioned the church has accounted for traffic/pedestrians as well as nearby properties.
  • Approved a special sign permit for an entrance sign at The Current. The sign needed the permit due to its “halo-lit” illumination, meaning the light outlines the letters.
River Falls Plan Commision, Kamp Real Estate and Development, Sunshine Avenue, South Wasson Lane, Sisu River Falls, Wisconsin