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The anticipated future growth and development in Southeastern Wisconsin will create demand for land and improved transportation facilities. To enhance the Region’s competitiveness, VISION 2050 recommends a compact development pattern that ranges from high-density transit-oriented development (TOD), to neighborhoods in smaller communities with housing in easy walking distance of amenities such as parks, schools, and businesses. Review the key development recommendations and a summary of recent activity. Then, explore relevant metrics the Commission monitors using the interactive maps and charts provided below. 



  • Focusing residential development within urban service areas that typically include public sanitary sewer and water supply service, parks, schools, and shopping areas

  • Allowing a mix of housing types, including multifamily housing and single-family homes on smaller lots (one-quarter acre or less) in urban service areas

  • Encouraging use of cluster subdivision designs for rural residential development

  • Focusing new commercial and industrial development  within urban service areas as infill, redevelopment, and new development

  • Providing new governmental and institutional developments, such as schools and libraries, to meet the needs of the Region's growing population



Activity since VISION 2050 was originally adopted in 2016


Growth in multifamily housing development

Most new residential lots created within planned urban service areas

New single-family housing development at lower densities than recommended

Residential Subdivision Platting


Residential Lots Platted by Region and County: 1973-2019

Between 1990 and 2005, the total number of new residential lots annually created through residential subdivision plats in the Region ranged from about 2,800 to 5,500 lots. Platting activity has been significantly lower since the economic recession of 2007-2009.

Following several years with fewer than 500 residential lots platted, the Region is now seeing a fairly steady rise in platting activity. For the first time since 2008, over 1,000 lots were platted in 2019.

In 2019, over 80% of the new residential lots in the Region were located in areas intended to be served by centralized public sanitary sewer service.

Source: SEWRPC

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Residential Platting Activity in Southeastern Wisconsin in 2019 

Note: Plat locations are approximate

Source: SEWRPC

In 2019, all counties except Kenosha County had residential lots created through subdivision plats. In Milwaukee County, subdivision lots were platted in the Cities of Franklin and Oak Creek. Waukesha County had the most platting activity with over one-third of the total lots platted in the Region.

Most of the subdivisions platted in 2019 have fewer than 50 lots. The largest subdivision platted in 2019 is in the Town of Delavan, with almost 350 lots.

Residential Housing Units


New Housing Units in Southeastern Wisconsin: 1990-2019

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the total number of new housing units constructed annually in the Region fluctuated between about 8,300 and 10,000. Housing construction decreased substantially - to less than 3,000 units per year - during the economic downturn of the late 2000s.

Since 2009, the total number of new housing units constructed annually has been increasing. About 6,280 units were added in 2019, including about 2,320 single-family units, 300 units in two-unit structures, and 3,660 units in multifamily structures.

Source: SEWRPC

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