Mike Zimmerman, Franklin’s golden boy developer, head must be about ready to explode in disbelief. Imagine what he was thinking when listening to the residents of the surrounding subdivisions of his Rock – Mega Sports Complex come one by one to speak out in opposition to his Field of Dreams. Not only was it his Franklin neighbors but Greendale residents who came out to shooting down his dream.
Originally, Zimmerman had expected to get an overwhelming positive response at the October 27th special meeting of Franklin’s Common Council on a concept review of the Rock project. After all his two Aldermanic head cheerleaders were going to be there. The concept review meeting of his Rock Sports Complex included plans for him pursuing the addition of an indoor sports complex, a baseball stadium as well as apartments, retail, hotels and office buildings.
However after holding a meeting with neighborhoods abounding the area the week before, Zimmerman received a thumbs down from the residents of $500,000 to over $1M homes that skirt the area. Zimmerman retracted the presentation to the Council at the October 27th meeting at the last minute, but despite that, more than 50 angry residents showed up anyway to speak in opposition to not only the Rock Complex but about Mike Zimmerman himself as a developer. The residents in opposition have even started a Social Media Page on FaceBook to share information about the proposed site.
These are not low taxed residents of small, low cost Condos, like owners of the Autumn Ridge Condos or Woodland Trail Condos who recently rejected apartments being built near their average condos. Instead they are Doctors, Lawyers and highly taxed residents of high end executive style subdivisions that had received assurances the area would not be developed like this.
Several speakers at the meeting stated that there would have been more residents in attendance, but after meeting with Zimmerman the week before, then reading AlderVisor Steve Taylor’s pro-Rock rhetoric on social media, they were discouraged from attending this meeting. Not to mention Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm’s pro-Rock social media blasts that appeared before hand. Residents also stated that there were other council members that had already stated their support for Zimmerman’s project.
AlderVisor Steve Taylor had boasted on his social medial page, that if he had been elected Mayor, the Rock Stadium would be almost finished by now. Not any surprise to anyone as Mike Zimmerman donated a hefty donation to his failed Mayoral campaign. Taylor has continued to rip Mayor Olson for not pursuing Mike Zimmerman’s Rock – Field of Dreams.
Steve Taylor’s Social Media Page
Some of the comments that were made before a tense council were:
It is unwanted by the people who live in the area, this proposal betrays the trust of the people who built homes and live in the affected area. Rezoning an area of land for an apartment in an area that was meant to be single family homes would create a lack of trust in Franklin elected officials and will signal to the public DO NOT BUILD IN FRANKLIN because the municipality will just rezone the surrounding land. – Franklin adjoining subdivision resident.
He (Mike Zimmerman) doesn’t have a lot of experience and from research, he’s not as well thought of as a Developer period! This developer (Zimmerman) promised that he was going to have a large berm, there was going to be trees and there would be no light pollution for these neighbors. Well he doesn’t live up to what he said, and this is typical of what would happen a poor developer… This man does not have a track record to do what he says. If it was such a good deal (Zimmerman’s baseball stadium), why did Oak Creek pass it up too? – a Franklin Orthopedic Surgeon who lives in an adjoining subdivision.
I don’t understand why they (UWM Men’s baseball team) would want to travel from the north east side of downtown Milwaukee to the southwest side, and an hour, two hours, three hours depending on traffic. – Franklin Resident and former UWW coach.
Currently, there is significant noise pollution with a few Rock Bands. Now, what’s it going to be like when they have larger bands coming in? It will destroy how our neighborhood is! – Franklin Resident in adjoining subdivision
What is one man’s dream (Zimmerman) can be another man’s nightmare. – Franklin Resident
I am not against development, I am for development. This site carries unique risk. The use as a stadium does not provide a benefit to a majority of Franklin Citizens, just a choice few. – Franklin Resident
The people of the area want development, bit I think there are appropriate places to have certain developments and I think when you have executive style homes, not to sound like a snob, but we chose that area so we could have a nice little community there and I think it is ridicules that we would have apartment complexes with transient people. – Franklin Resident in adjoining subdivision
It’s not about NOT IN MY BACK YARD, it’s everything to do with the integrity, and the respect, the ethics and I have come before this board before, I have never see that from Mr. Zimmerman and it’s not just myself, it’s our community as a whole, las week at the meeting at The Rock, he was very disrespectful to many people, and I believe our group as a whole. – Greendale Resident in an adjoining subdivision
I had buyers walk away from prime real estate in Greendale because they viewed the home with the Rock fully lit up. Values of surrounding properties will go down, and your property tax values will go down too. – paraphrased from a Greendale realtor
After the meeting we had (with Mike Zimmerman) last week Wednesday, it’s amazing how many people were disillusioned by this that they are not ever here today. They talked about Zimmerman having a friend on the Common Council and how that person was going to vote in favor of his friend. – a Franklin Resident of an adjoining subdivision
How is Mr. Zimmerman getting away with shows going to midnight and the Hills Have Eyes going to midnight? ….. Even with my storm windows closed we can hear the noise going on and I am not even across the street … My little boy has a hard time getting to sleep and on school nights when they have the Hills Have Eyes! – Franklin Mother in an adjoining subdivision.
Many of these have been paraphrased and you can listen to the complete comments on the city website at these links:
Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm took offence to the comment that the one woman made that “They talked about Zimmerman having a friend on the Common Council and how that person was going to vote in favor of his friend” stating that it was made about her. But when you have a social media site that highlights the Zimmerman project and discard residents … well you can draw your own conclusion where residents may feel that Wilhelm and Steve Taylor are playing footsie with Mike Zimmerman.
Kristen Wilhelm 3rd District Social Media Page
In addition residents can draw further conclusions about who on the Council is friendly with Mike Zimmerman:
We all are waiting with bated breath to see how this comes out.
Remember, Alderwoman Janet Evans was Recalled because she was accused of not listening to residents. Could two Alderpersons face the same fate??
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