The Oak Creek Planning Commission gave its OK to the proposed Sierra View subdivision, contingent on the Town Board's consideration of several issues brought up by residents during Wednesday's meeting.
In two weeks, the Town Board will have the final decision on whether the proposed 70-unit subdivision on a hill adjacent to downtown should be approved and annexed.
The Planning Commission's unanimous decision came after lengthy public comments that included concerns over the safety of roads accessing the subdivision, the likelihood of increased traffic, and the need for pedestrian trails.
Those issues and a few others were included in the Planning Commission's recommendation as points the Town Board should consider.
Another concern was that the process did not allow enough time to fully review the plans, as the Planning Commission had received the final plans just before its Wednesday night meeting.
"At the risk of sounding extremely rude, how do you make a recommendation if you have just received these plans?" resident Beth Fisher asked.
Planning Commission Chairman Gerry Greenwood replied that the commission makes only a recommendation, which gives residents and the applicants a "heads up" on the process and is not a final decision.
Town Board member Karen Halterman, who was sitting in on the discussion, emphasized that the conceptual plans had been available for a while and that the final plans had very minor changes.
At a Town Board meeting last week, residents were encouraged to wait until final plans were issued to make sure all of their concerns had been addressed.
Resident Stacy Hayes said the public has concerns that were not addressed on the final plans.
"I don't feel like we're being heard," Hayes said.
Town officials expressed frustration that many concerns residents were bringing up at the last minute had been dealt with in previous meetings. The questions are valid but end up having to be explained "over and over," said Public Works Director Jim Photos.
Changes that had been made to the final plans include lowering the subdivision's circular road several feet to make the connection to Moffat Avenue less steep. The road's maximum grade will be 14.5 percent, more than twice as steep as the usual maximum steepness.
Other changes include finding a small area of wetlands that the subdivision could disturb, which requires permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, and stop signs at an intersection to make the steep road safer.
The final hearing for the Town Board to approve and annex the subdivision is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 3 in Oak Creek Town Hall. Anyone with concerns can submit letters to Town Hall before the meeting.