Brian Pollard plans to “keyhole” the 330+ family homes he’s building, as part of his Symphony Bay Development, onto the 93 feet of Geneva lakefront he owns at Buttons Bay.
Brian’s housing development is over 2 miles from Geneva Lake, out along Edwards Blvd, but his ads claim Symphony Bay owners will have “private lake access” to world-famous Geneva Lake, and the opportunity to enjoy Symphony Bay’s private pier and boat club. Great marketing strategy for local developer friend, Pollard, but Brian probably should have been more upfront and named his development “Keyhole Bay.” Keyholing has been a common and acceptable practice on Geneva Lake going back to the early 1900’s. Keyholing arises whenever lakefront access rights are transferred to a limited number of adjacent back-lot properties, usually belonging to an association or subdivision, but without their own lakefront.
Brian Pollard is taking 93 feet of commercial lakefront property, and keyholing lake access rights to remote properties miles away at the site of the old race track where his development is under construction. The commercial lakefront property that Pollard is exploiting, using his keyholing scheme, is the old Van Dyke Fishing Boat Rental and Bait Shack property that Pollard purchased 20 years ago and has been using as a quasi-marina for boat-slip and buoy rentals. The fact that this property has B3 Commercial Zoning is the only reason such a bizarre and ambitious strategy could work, and why it’s so important that everyone work to keep commercialization of any residential lakeshore property to a bare minimum.
On Monday, Feb 26, there was supposed to be a public hearing at the Town of Linn, but that got canceled when citizens questioning approval of this conditional use permit found that the property sign (required to alert the public) had not been correctly erected. Mr.Pollard is a very professional builder and a trusted member of the community, but there remain concerns about this arrangement:
1) Safety issues caused by increased boat and vehicle traffic in an already crowded area.
2) Impact on the environmental quality of the lake and the Button’s Bay area from more intensive waterfront development.
3) Preventing copy-cat developers from commercializing lakefront properties and destroying the ambiance of the area.
Cartoon of the Week