THE LOOMING HILLMESS
The rules are kind of simple for taking care of your property in Lake Geneva. You shovel your snow or the city sends people out to cite you and then shovels your snow at a higher price than you would pay yourself if you had the job done. In the summer you either cut the grass or, if you let it grow beyond twenty inches tall, then the city cites you and sends a crew out to cut it. Again, you pay much more for the city to cut it than you would pay for a private contractor. That’s the idea. And it works. For the most part, residential and business entities ruled by this system work and make the city look like a decent place to live in or visit every day of every month of every year.
Well, that’s not the way it is on the huge stretch of property sitting on Lake Geneva’s east side across from the church on Catholic Hill. Hillmoor. The city ordinances do not apply to this property. It’s a former golf course. When it was a golf course the place was well maintained and beautiful to view from any angle. Now, since the golf course went bust and the property has been through a succession of owners the place is looking much worse for wear. Is it on purpose? The city recently rejected a rezoning to allow the current owner to put in high density housing with an artificial lake. The new owner is not happy and you can see that in his response to taking care of the property. Nothing is being done, and the place is overgrown everywhere.
Most everyone who lives in Lake Geneva, and almost all visitors coming in on Highway 50, see the Hillmoor property every day. That the huge stretch of land is becoming an eyesore cannot be disputed. What can be done? Either the property owner is going to have to be approached by Lake Geneva city administration, or the city itself is going to have to step in and get some equipment out there to at least mow what’s left of the fairway and in public view. If this property is left to return to the agricultural property it once was, and it’s not going to be farmed, then the result will be that phrase no self-respecting citizen of Lake Geneva ever wants to hear; urban blight. Hillmoor is too close to the center of Lake Geneva to let it go, and too exposed to everyone passing by to ignore. Whether the looming “Hillmess” becomes a seething issue of deliberate urban uglification or not, the leadership of Lake Geneva has to get involved, and then stay involved.
Mayor Alan Kupsik has indicated that “Lake Geneva has enough parks,” so maybe the question Mr. Kupsik should be asked is “how many public dumps should Lake Geneva have?”