Kudos to the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission for their recommendation on commercial uses at Eight Corners. While it seems that welcoming large amounts of people to Eight Corners is a good idea for both the community and its tax base, you have to look at what it would do to the vehicular traffic circulation around Eight Corners. People neglect to stop their cars at the stop signs at Eight Corners and with people being in such a rush, you’re waiting for an accident to happen.
I believe the key criteria that needs to be considered in the Eight Corners area is minimum lot size for certain uses. An example of a use given in the article was a movie theater. Given the way most movie theaters are developed, bigger is better.
The only type of movie theater that would be able to operate is a one-room theater that holds no more than 20 people. Where would all of the cars park? The streets would be overloaded with cars. Maple Avenue is loaded with cars on Sundays between Eight Corners and the Burlington Railroad.
The lots around Eight Corners are also fairly small parcels. You need a real comprehensive plan to assemble these smaller parcels into larger parcels, which will most likely require the acquisition of adjacent residential homes. Who will want to give up their homes?
The types of uses that could only survive are your neighborhood uses that serve the immediate area. How about a neighborhood bakery at Eight Corners? I would love to be able to walk to neighborhood businesses.
The one way that the village may also be able to implement something that would work for this unique area is an overlay district. With an overlay district, the zoning of the properties would remain the same, but would allow for increased flexibility in zoning since it would tailor needed requirements to areas within the community which share certain characteristics. It could also prohibit certain uses from locating there, like payday loan establishments, pawn shops and video gaming parlors.
Eight Corners needs to be branded with its own unique identity and not look like every other suburban commercial district. Brookfield has a revitalized Grand Boulevard that is really becoming a destination for outside visitors with ample parking up and down the street.
Ogden Avenue will eventually get there as well, once the many small parcels are assembled and outdated commercial buildings are leveled for new development. Leave Eight Corners for the residents of Brookfield.
The village has a lot of flexibility to work with and if they put the right plans forward, I think the entire community will stand behind them.