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What do we know about the massive developer/builder, Shodeen Homes, based out of Geneva, IL? The short answer is, not much. Shodeen has been a prolific developer in the Chicagoland area, boasting on its website to be a 61-year-old family run business has built over 6,000 homes. How much more development does Lake Geneva really need, especially in the $350,000-400,000 price range? That’s not exactly what the staff of the GSR might call affordable housing. What little is known can better be termed ‘chatter’ out of Walworth about the very new and very large Shodeen residential development up on the hill.  Shodeen has also proposed an even larger new residential development on a parcel located at the north side of Delavan Township, bordering the City of Elkhorn.

Brian Pollard, of Fairwyn Construction, began the project known as Stone Ridge at the north end of Lake Geneva many years ago. Which means all potential three phases were approved already.  The land had to be annexed into Lake Geneva to make the subdivisions possible. After phase one was almost sold out, Pollard partnered with another builder to complete phase two.  That partner was Shodeen Homes. Presumably, Shodeen was brought in because Pollard is too busy building out Symphony Bay on the east side of Lake Geneva.  A staff member at Pollard confirmed that phase two has approved for 168 new residential sites and it is confirmed that Pollard has really started moving on the first 41 planned home sites. GSR reporters investigated the scene, and there were work crews everywhere. They also ran into a representative from Shodeen.  According to that representative, massive land grading and leveling, as well as roads, all need to be built out for the first 40 some odd houses. Foundations for the first two homes have been poured, and more work is expected to be completed in about four months. If you haven’t been up that way, that property is the highest point in the city and offers some spectacular views …. and a great viewing for aerial views of the lake and area local firework displays.  It is still unknown if the little park in the new development is going to be handed over to the city or privately owned and maintained, but it will be open to the public either way.

Vandewalle and Associates, Inc., otherwise known as the Slavney Company (yes, Mr. Slavney does work on the planning commission as well, which is not considered a conflict of interest because nobody says openly that that is what that is), has been commissioned for fifty-three thousand dollars to come up with a plan that is supposed to be used as a general guide for potential development on the Hillmoor land.  This “plan” is supposedly being commissioned and paid for by the city to give anyone thinking about building on that property the right kind of ideas.  The plan includes a bus trip around Madison, Wisconsin, for any interested parties who might like to view different kinds of construction.  Those people who do not get HGTV should immediately apply for a seat.  The plan also would include a one-day visit from three team members to get a better understanding of the site conditions and collect data from city staff and elected officials. Vandewalle would also collect and develop base information of the property including conditions, features, adjoining properties, and municipal regulations. They would host a one-day tour of the Madison region to scope out other successful development options. The city subsidized $53,000 will include the opportunity analysis, concept master plans, public engagement event, concept refinement, project valuation, and public input if approved.

Slavney went on and on about the benefit of having a set guideline for what might be acceptable and what might not acceptable for any development presented for construction on the Hillmoor site. The proposal passed and will be presented to the city council.  The words “pork barrel” were not found anywhere in or on the proposal.


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