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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — If all goes according to plan, construction is expected to begin this spring on two four-plex residential units at 1009 University Avenue in Colfax directly west of the site of the former Area Nursing Home.
Nick Semling, the developer who is planning to build the four-plex units, spoke to the Colfax Plan Commission about his plans March 8.
The two four-plex units on the lot will share the driveway that comes off University/state Highway 40, he said.
Two of the units in each building will have two bedrooms and one bath and two units will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, Semling said.
A four-plex with a firewall will meet the code for multi-family so it is not considered commercial, and since it is not commercial, a fire suppression system will not be necessary, he said.
The lot can be zoned Residential 5 for multi-family, and the units would be included on a condominium plat even though the developer owns all of the units, said Scott Gunnufson, village president and chair of the plan commission.
Semling said he is currently building a similar unit in downtown Eau Claire.
The lot would have to be rezoned to Residential-5 for multi-family before construction could begin, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
Niggemann said she also must do more research to understand the condominium plat and pointed out that the village would either have to do a variance to allow the two four-plex units or would have to create a new ordinance to address the four-plexes in the zoning code.
The rezone process requires a public hearing and proper notices published for the public hearing, and another meeting of the plan commission and the village board would be needed for the public hearing and consideration of the rezone, she said.
Semling said he plans to start construction on the four-plexes this spring and that the units would be finished by September.
The Colfax Plan Commission unanimously approved a motion recommending that the village board approve the layout and site plan Semling had presented.
The plan commission met at 5:30 p.m., and at the 7 p.m. meeting, the Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the layout and site plan.
The plan commission also approved a motion authorizing Niggemann to do the necessary work for a rezone to R5 and to find out which way would work best to address the condominium plat, either through a variance or a new section of ordinance.
Plan commission members who attended the plan commission meeting, in addition to Gunnufson, included Logan Michels, Jason Johnson, Mike Buchner and Dave Hovre.
Plan commission member Nancy Hainstock was absent from the meeting.
Village trustees who attended the village board meeting, in addition to Gunnufson, included Mark Halpin, Logan Michels and Anne Jenson.
Village trustees Margaret Burcham, Carey Davis and Gary Stene were absent from the meeting.