THE SPLITTER PLAY
The annexation threat of the Geneva Inn property is back in full swing, as both Town of Linn and the City of Lake Geneva go hard at revising their master plans for development now and on into the future. Up until now, Lake Geneva has not welcomed the idea of the Lake Geneva Inn being annexed into the city and swept out from under the taxation and authority power of the Town of Linn, where the place was originally built and then allowed vastly more permissions than it should have received to be sitting up there on that cliff like it is.
Now the Geneva Inn owners want to add to the value of their lake front property by opening the door for commercial development down to the water. They have, so far, attempted to get Town of Linn leaders to give them zoning permission to do just that, but Town of Linn has said no. Town of Linn will not open up that Pandora’s box and let the inn build a wedding/banquet hall that essentially commercializes the lake front for them and then opens that aforementioned door to lakeside development for others (in American courts the laws, ordinances and zoning has to be for all, not just for one developer). When Town of Linn said no the owners of the inn went to the City of Lake Geneva leadership, since the property they have, that they want to develop all around the inn, is almost touching the city’s property boundary. They billed and cooed about what they wanted to do, and in the process never once mentioned how much value the development would give to the property or how any annexation and development allowances would bring others from all over to join them.
The City of Lake Geneva decided to go into a stall, and seek revision of their plan to await developments. The Town of Linn did the same thing. All that’s going to end in August, as the new plans are formulated, agreed upon by the residents of both communities and also the leadership of both communities.
The Town of Linn is in a tough spot. Two-against-one touch football on the goal line illustrates their position. In two-person football, one person hikes the ball on the two-person team. The one receiving the ball can either pass to the now free center who’s running around in the end zone waiting for a pass. If the single defender guards the pass receiver then the “quarterback” with the ball can simply run across the goal line. If the single person on the other team rushes the quarterback then the quarterback tosses the ball to the open and unguarded receiver. It’s called the splitter play. The single player cannot be split into two entities to guard both other players.
And that’s where Town of Linn will be when these plans are done this month. If Town of Linn does not go along then the Geneva Inn will get annexed. If the leaders go along, then the development must be approved. Jim Weiss thinks he is in a bad spot unless the City of Lake Geneva agrees not to annex. Good luck with that, given current leadership.
A third factor could enter the game. That would be if the citizens in the City of Lake Geneva decide they don’t want to allow lake shore development as part of their master plan. Historically, the citizenry of neither the Town of Linn nor the City of Lake Geneva has shown much interest in this developmental plan thing, much less coming out in force to protect the lake and how it will look and be on into the future. The same people who did to the Dells what was done to the Dells are waiting in the wings to clone that water park mess of a community here.