The Chiwaukee Prairie, A Natural Treasure

Land Use Planning Efforts Required a Balance of Development and Preservation in the Chiwaukee Prairie

In the 1920's Chiwaukee Prairie was planned to be developed as a model city to be known as Edithton Beach. The plan never developed because of the economic conditions following the stock market crash of 1929.

The next intensive effort to develop the area occurred after World War II, when substantial portions of the area were formally subdivided for residential development. As a result of this platting activity, streets were constructed and houses were built in scattered locations within the area.

Wet soils and other physical limitations, however had significantly restricted urban development. The future of the Chiwaukee Prairie area became uncertain.

This uncertainty continued into the 1980s as the opposing views of the land developers and the land preservationists met in the prairie. A large number of public and private interests became concerned with the impact of the potential future land uses.

A detailed study was completed by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission entitled, "A Land Use Management Plan for the Chiwaukee Prairie Carol Beach Area for the Town of Pleasant Prairie" was completed in 1985, after five years of investigation, research, presentations and public meetings.

The Land Use Plan was as a good compromise of the competing natural resource and urban land use objectives. The Land Use Plan identified which areas of the Chiwaukee Prairie and Carol Beach would be preserved and acquired in the public's interest for preservation purposes. The Land Use Plan also identified which areas could be developed for single family residential purposes.