Students and community members alike spoke out to the Stevens Point Common Council at its hearing on the two proposed housing development sites on Monday, Feb. 20.
The first proposal was to build a new 29-unit student housing complex on the former Cooper Motors site on Division Street. Several property owners and landlords protested the proposal outside of Cooper Motors. The housing complex would have been a multi-million dollar project and would have included retail space.
The second proposal voted down was the plan to build a luxury apartment complex for seniors on the former Lullabye Furniture Co. site located behind Centerpoint Mall.
Landlords at the hearing voiced their concerns about the projects, saying that the city is already facing large numbers of housing vacancies.
City administrators, however, said the plans would have increased tax revenues and utilized land that has remained vacant for years.
Several current and former UWSP students voiced their concerns about the proposal as well:
“I think there are a lot of things that space [the Lullabye plot] can be used for. I think in terms of making it into a public space, whether that means turning it into some sort of community garden, or something like that—I think that would be a step in the right direction. I mean, it’s nice with the [Sorenson] Greenhouse and stuff, but you know, that doesn’t mean we can’t make more community spaces.”
-Randy Brown, senior Philosophy major and Sustainability Director for United Council of UW Students
“It’s more safe to farm or garden on that land [Lullabye plot], and we were doing raised beds and other stuff which we knew was more secure than digging more than four feet down, which would happen with a housing complex in the area, because of the contamination on the site.”
-Katie Kloth, former UWSP student.