Letters to the Editor


The City of Lake Geneva is intending, without saying so, to change the way that the comprehensive plan for future development is administered. The new complex mess of seemingly conflicting applications, falling brokenly here and there under ‘public participation’ gibberish, isn’t gibberish at all.  This new version of favoring coming development operations over the public good (passing unanimously) is set to allow the council to favor any outfit that comes along by modifying the comprehensive plan which was designed to directly prevent such modifications except at very specific points in the future (like every ten years).  Here are the details of this new smarmy legal play by Slippery Draper and a very likely unknowing new mayor:

Does resolution 18-59 eliminate, replace or affect section F of the Lake Geneva’s comprehensive plan? Section F requires the comprehensive plan to be updated at least once every 10 years, which has not been done and is due for an update next year in 2019?  If Resolution 18-59 does effect section For the update planned for next year, then the very title of Resolution 18-59 that says it is for the 2018 amendments is misleading and the Resolution should be denied; furthermore, in the resolution’s first whereas, the phrase “which has been updated annually” cannot apply to the comprehensive plan because it has been amended and not updated as it applies to Section F.  Near the end of the meeting when they got to Resolution 18-59, Draper gave a quiet, almost sheepish, reply and said that there would be a comprehensive plan update in 2019. However, resolution 18-59 may be used for the PPP (public participation plan) for the 2019 update which if it is, makes saying it is for the 2018 amendments misleading. There was no real discussion and the resolution was unanimously passed. But in parsing his words Dan Draper did not say that the Public Participation Plan in the resolution would not be used for the update. A couple of other interesting facts about resolution is that it is almost identical to one of two comprehensive plan amendments being proposed for this year’s amendments. And, one might wonder why resolution 18-59 is being signed by Mayor Tom Hartz, and then Dan Draper is signing for the city clerk, who normally signs resolutions. It is also interesting to note that according to Section F of the comprehensive Plan the update should be completed before 2019, but that will not be done.

Note: that the plan actually calls for the plan to be updated before 2019.  On the comprehensive plan update, Section F…the state comprehensive planning law requires that a Smart Growth comprehensive plan be updated at least once every ten years. As opposed to an amendment, an update is often a substantial re-write of the plan document and maps. Based on this deadline, the City of Lake Geneva should update this comprehensive plan before the year 2019 (i.e., ten years after 2009), at the latest. The city should continue to monitor any changes to the language or interpretations of the state law over the next several years.

Terry O’Neill, Lake Geneva resident and former alderperson

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