BACK TO THE FUTURE
Is the public’s participation in the ‘public plan participation’ component in the city’s comprehensive plan going to be eliminated? In the July 23rd city council meeting Item 12 g, which was listed as “Discussion/Action for the amendments to the Comprehensive Plan” was postponed until the next city council meeting on August 13th. Although the issue at stake was not stated in that meeting, nor listed in the meeting’s packet, the issue involved was in the plan commission meeting agenda of July 16, as amended on July 12. The issue is that the City of Lake Geneva is itself requesting an amendment to change the city’s comprehensive plan to eliminate the 10-year public participation plan (otherwise known as the PPP), which is to occur next year in 2019 and just have an annual comprehensive plan amendment process. The real purpose of the city having a comprehensive plan is to enable the entire community, of which the city is comprised, to establish a unified plan for the city’s future and potential expansion, and to give each new generation under the 10-year public participation plan (PPP) the mechanism to review and update the plan as needed.
The primary difference between this (PPP) review and the yearly review of amendments is that, in the amendments, only the owners of the property can request a change on their property, whereas, in the 10-year public participation plan (PPP), the city (as a whole community) can change and adapt the plan for and because of future designations to new and changing conditions. The intention of the 10-year review and update is to give each new generation the opportunity to change, modify and adapt the city’s comprehensive plan to its plan for the city’s future.
The yearly amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan restrict a request to change the property designation on land to the owner of that property. Those requests are restricted to them, but they have also been restricted to requests that are compatible with the specified future use of that property. If it had not been all of the turmoil over the Geneva Inn, Hillmoor, and the Hummel, no changes would ever have been thought of or recommended, much less put into action. It is this ten-year time plan review which the city wants to eliminate.
Rather than eliminating the public participation plan, the city needs to require that the yearly requested amendments to property changes in the city’s comprehensive plan also be compatible with the comprehensive plan’s future use map on a case by case analysis with respect to the requirements required by the community’s creation and implementation of a comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan 10-year timeline for major modifications is there because of the community’s desire to have appearance, functionality and ambiance goals and effects. Eliminating the 10-year comprehensive plan 10-year provision is tantamount to eliminating most of what the comprehensive plan is all about, as well as the future use plan is all about.