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Economic and Land Use Impacts Study of State Trunk Highway 29: Phase I Chippewa Falls to Abbotsford, Wisconsin

Stanley (profile as of mid 2002)

Chippewa County

Map of Wisconsin showing the location of the City of Stanley and the city's location relative to Highway 29. (2002)

Population: 2,000

Highway 29 expansion completed: 1998

Located at the interchange of Highway 29 and County Road H, Stanley is a rapidly growing city offering a multitude of recreational opportunities. With five parks, a skating rink, and a swimming beach there are enough facilities in Stanley to satisfy the entire family.

Community Perception of the Highway Improvement

There were some concerns that the expanded highway would take customers away from the Main Street businesses. Some residents in the community also expressed concern that municipal development funds would be diverted to businesses along the Highway 29 corridor. The mayor, however, felt that these concerns were unfounded.

Another issue of concern involved highway right-of-way purchases by WisDOT. At first, some property owners felt that the price WisDOT offered was too low, however, these issues were settled later. In addition, often for nostalgic reasons, former Stanley residents were against taking farmland out of production.

There was a desire for the highway expansion because it was expected to improve:

Photo of the exterior of two grain silos at the new Stanley ethanol plant. (2002)]

Stanley's ethanol plant is the largest in Wisconsin. (2002)

Current Development

After Highway 29 was expanded, there has been a significant amount of development in Stanley along the highway. Most of the new businesses were small and were attracted to the community because of the expanded highway. The new prison, the hospital, and the ethanol plant have stimulated other development in the city. The following are businesses that were established or expanded after the four-lane expansion:

Pending Development includes:

(September 2002), creating 405 new jobs

A close up photo of the exterior of the new Stanley prison near Highway 29. (2002)]

A close-up view of the Stanley prison from Highway 29. (2002)

This will be the first large ethanol plant in Wisconsin, and will create 30 new jobs.

It is expected that over 1,000 grain trucks each month will be entering this facility.

The following map illustrates the location and types of Stanley's various businesses.

Figure 15 City of Stanley BusinessesFigure 15. Map of the City of Stanley illustrating the location of the city's establishments by business type in relation to state highways and county streets. (2002)

Proposed Development

The City of Stanley is a member of the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation, and has a representative on the corporation's board. The City also has zoning, but lacks an official land-use plan at this time.

The only recent land-use action taken by the City was the purchase of a 220-acre farm. Approximately 100 acres of this land was annexed by the City and will most likely be zoned for residential, institutional, or retail development. A new hospital will also be built on the site.

Photo of the exterior of Stanley's old-fashioned downtown movie theater. (2002)]

Just like in the "good old days", Stanley has a downtown movie theatre that is still in operation. (2002)

Another farm of 200 acres was recently purchased by the City and will most likely be zoned industrial.

The following map illustrates planned land use in Stanley.

Figure 16 City of Stanley Planned Land Use

Figure 16. Map of the City of Stanley illustrating the city's planned land use in relation to state highways and county streets. The map distinguishes between commercial, government/institutional, and industrial/manufacturing use. Development is planned in the southern periphery of the city. (2002) [Alt text: Figure 16. Map of the City of Stanley illustrating the city's planned land use in relation to state highways and county streets. The map distinguishes between commercial, government/institutional, and industrial/manufacturing use. Development is planned in the southern periphery of the city. (2002)]

Economic Impact of the Highway Improvement

After the completion of the expanded highway, some property owners have raised land prices higher than the current market value. The higher prices may have stifled some of the economic growth along the highway.

Property Values

Agricultural land along Highway 29 has increased in value from $1,000/acre to $2,800/acre to $5,000/acre since Highway 29 expanded to four-lanes. Mennonites from Pennsylvania have been migrating into the area and are often competing with the City in the purchasing of land.

Updated: 05/07/2012
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