Letter to the Editor: Fleet Farm Location Is a Good One

Speaking as a conscientious and experienced real estate developer, I’ll answer your question regarding wetlands by stating that it is completely acceptable to fill certain wetlands [Editor’s Note, “It’s Apparently Not a Big Deal to Fill Small Wetlands,” April 28]. 

The key word, of course, is certain wetlands. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is exceptionally stingy about allowing the fill of any wetland, regardless of origin, but it does allow what is referred to as a general permit to fill some (up to 10,000 square feet) without bankrupting the buyer or owner in the cost of studies of the land, including the wetland. Words to describe small-area wetlands that are filled often include “isolated,” “low quality,” “substandard” or “unnatural.” The Army Corps of Engineers is also involved at the federal level. The DNR is anything but a rubber stamp.

Further, other factors come into play. The Fleet Farm parcel will undoubtedly require a stormwater-detention basin or pond. This system of drainage will maintain and improve the quality and quantity of stormwater flow in the area. The pond will slow water flow for infiltration in place of the wetland and provide habitat for passing birds.

I hope everyone can go to sleep at night knowing that development in one area slows or prevents development in another area. The current Fleet Farm location is a good one.

Paul Apfelbach
Mequon and Fish Creek, Wisconsin