Each year on average, the village of Waunakee’s population grows, adding 400-500 residents. The 2020 census reported the population at 14,399.
The village staff has grown, too, and at their Sept. 2 meeting, Waunakee Rotarians had a chance to meet Tim Semmann, who was recently hired as community development director. Village Administrator Todd Schmidt introduced Tim and he presented an update on the latest commercial and residential development.
Tim was previously the planning director with the city of Sun Prairie, a community that has seen a great deal of growth and development.
“When this position came up, I saw this as a great opportunity. This is a great community with what’s happened here to this point. I hope I can be part of directing and overseeing a lot of good growth in the future,” Tim told the club.
Housing demand is high in Waunakee, and this past year, the village saw the highest number of building permits since the early 2000s. Todd said 109 permits for single-family homes have been issued in 2021 to date.
In August, the Department of Revenue released its equalized values, and not surprisingly, real estate values grew about 7% over the last year for a total value of $2.3 billion. Residential value represents 82.8% of the $2.3 billion; commercial and manufacturing values represent about 16.5 percent of the total.
Currently, the village has 65 full-time employees, not counting the Fire Department, EMS or Waunakee Utilities.
As new residents desire to live in the village, a number of new single-family housing developments are currently in the building stages. Tim listed those, along with the number of new homes: Westbridge, 283; Arboretum Village, 112; Kilkenny Farms, 383, Westview Meadows, 130; and Heritage Hills, 478.
Multi-family housing is an evolving landscape in Waunakee, Tim said. Recently completed projects and the number of units include: Lamphouse, 101; Madison and Main, 74; and Laurel in Kilkenny, 82. Construction is now underway for the 50-unit Village on Main just west of McDonald’s.
Village staff are reviewing a project off of Simon Crestway, which has been planned for 94 units and is now at the concept stage. Also, in Heritage Hills, a 200-unit multi-family complex was recently approved by the Waunakee Plan Commission, and Tim said he expects grading this year with construction in 2022. The total ratio of multi- to single-family homes in the new neighborhoods is at 2-1, he said.
“Waunakee continues, based on the evidence, to be a very desirable community for single-family development, but there is a lot of demand for multi-family development,” Tim said. Judging from interest shown by many multi-family developers, Tim expects the demand to continue, he said.
Tim also mapped out the commercial development underway along Hwy. Q in the Woodland Crest subdivision. That’s where the elusive and much desired Hy-Vee grocery is planned, and Tim has already received questions from residents about it and reached out to the grocery corporation for an update on the status.
But also in that development are new tenants, including the upscale tapas and wine restaurant, Eno Vino, Noodles and Company, Shopko Optical and Sherwin Williams.
Tim said there has been a lot of interest I the corridor, and a hotelier has expressed interest in locating somewhere.
Industrial growth is occurring, too, and the business park is filling up, causing the village to explore new sites to meet demand.  
Guests: ? Visiting Rotarians: ?
Other news:
-Wauktoberfest is Sept. 17-19 and the WaunaFest Run at Wauktoberfest is Sept. 18. Volunteers will be needed.
-You can sign up for the Betty Lou Cruise Sept. 26.
Birthdays: Sept. 10, Kevin Kearney; Sept. 14, Fritz Durst.
Anniversaries: Sept. 9, Linda and Don Olson; Sept. 14, Dan and Kimberly Evans; Sept. 14, Jennifer and Edward Hurley; Sept. 15, Rich and Donna Murphy.
Greeters: Sept. 9, Chrispin Kenney and Bob Klostermann; Sept. 16, Ryan Knight and Neil Kruschek; Sept. 23, Nancy Kuehn-Thomas and Drew Lawrence.