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BEYOND COMPREHENSION

The communities around Lake Geneva are, one after another, modifying and updating their comprehensive plans.
In order to understand the importance of these modifications it must first be understood what a comprehensive plan is, and then why they are important to you. Comprehensive plans are those that communities come up with in order to allow developers an opportunity to see ahead of time what kind of developments the community is likely to support should a decision be made to develop in that community. These plans are vital to residents, property owners and even visitors to the community, although those entities seldom know how important until after something gets developed that they don’t like or find ugly or even unconscionable.   The comprehensive plan is the plan of intent for how the community wants to develop into the future, even in those circumstances where the community might not want any development at all.

Developers and development financiers all know about comprehensive plans, and most of the older ones rue the day back when there were no such things as these plans. Back in early America developers bought property and then did what they damned well wanted with it without respect to what others living around and being effected by what they did might think or want. Badly laid out cities and towns abound across the nation because of the lack of earlier comprehensive plans. A lot has changed, but one thing that hasn’t changed is just how much attention is paid by developers to get comprehensive plans put into place that go a bit beyond comprehension for those who might be effected or live near the development considered after a plan is adopted. It is natural for the developers to want total freedom in making development decisions, just as it is quite natural for those possible effected by development to want to control the amount and direction of such development.

Jeff Sanders Planning Consultant

Jeff Sanders, Planning Consultant

Two local comprehensive plans are up for reconsideration. One is the plan for Town of Linn and the other is for the City of Lake Geneva. Isn’t it interesting that those two communities are the very two where the Geneva Inn sits neatly sprawling across both. Jeff Sanders, the consulting expert hired by Town of Linn said recently: “The issue of annexation is fundamental to the comprehensive plan update process. As I have mentioned during past meetings, I have some experience assisting rural townships in countering overly aggressive neighbors. At some point in the future, should the Town of Linn formally ask me to engage more deeply in this issue, I’d be happy to “have a go at it” as it were. However, at present, I am under contract to the town solely for the purpose of preparing an update to the current comprehensive plan. As such, my engagement on any issue(s) outside of that context would potentially be a conflict of interest.”

Amazing little note there. Annexation is fundamental to the plan process but Jeff is so tied up in preparing an update to the comprehensive plan that he cannot work ‘outside the context’ of whatever role he has in order to consider and discuss one vital little thing which happens to be fundamental to that process. By the time Jeff finishes the update, which will include that part about annexation, will be happy to look into “having a go at” whatever annexation issues Town of Linn might be interested in. Astounding comment made by the intelligent and dedicated professional Jeff certainly is.

The Geneva Shore Report is going to attend every meeting by every community around the lake toying, playing or preparing changes to a comprehensive plan. There is something going on around the lake, and the GSR is going down to the “rail” on one knee to put an ear on that cold steel and see what can be heard coming down the tracks.

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