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Racine Co. town taking steps to prepare for Foxconn-related growth

Racine Co. town wants to become village
Posted at 1:22 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 17:13:33-05

RACINE COUNTY -- The Town of Yorkville, in Racine County, is asking its residents to vote to become a village. 

A referendum on the subject will be held in April. 

Town Chairman Peter Hansen said becoming a Village will prevent property owners in Yorkville from applying to surrounding cities or villages for annexation. 

"It'll protect our residents and it'll protect the property of Yorkville," said Hansen. 

Hansen said becoming a village is one way Yorkville can prepare for anticipated, economic growth in the area. 

Electronics manufacturer Foxconn plans to build a massive, LCD panel manufacturing facility that will start operating in 2020 in nearby Mount Pleasant. 

It's expected that Foxconn, which has pledged to hire between 3-thousand and 13-thousand workers, will draw more residents and further investment to Racine County. 

Hansen said Yorkville hopes to capitalize on that, but doesn't want new commercial and residential development blanketing the entire municipality. 

Yorkville's current population is just over 3,000 people. 

"We have to be honest with ourselves. There's going to be development coming to this area," Hansen said. "We want to make ourselves available." 

"But what we're looking for is pretty steady, slow growth development," Hansen added. 

Hansen said much of the Town of Yorkville's land just West of I-94, which he thinks would be most attractive to Foxconn-related developers, is currently designated as agricultural in the Town's comprehensive plan for land use. 

Hansen said the comprehensive plan is not binding. It's a guideline for how the municipality and its residents hope to use its various, available land parcels. 

But the Town Board is proposing an amendment to the plan, which would designate much of the land near the interstate as "urban reserve," Hansen said. 

A portion of land along I-94 between Braun Rd. and County KR would be changed to "medium density residential." 

Hansen added any residential or commercial developers wanting to move to the area would still have to apply to the Town Board for land to be properly zoned and for the necessary conditional use permits to be issued. 

"We don't know what's coming, and what requests we're going to be getting from any type of development around us," Hansen said. "We want to be prepared." 

There's an informational meeting for the public regarding both the proposed amendment to Yorkville's comprehensive plan and the proposal to incorporate into a village. 

The meeting is at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, at 925 15th Ave. in Union Grove.