Living Here

Lake Geneva’s Planning Commission approved both the General Development Plan, and the Precise Implementation Plan for the requested Oakfire Restaurant modifications.
Although listed as a modification for appearance purposes, in actuality it will be a new 38-foot-high concrete and glass building. Most approved modifications only affect the residents next door, but with Oakfire Restaurant being on the city’s lake front directly across from the beach, this modification affects more than just the neighbors, it affects the entire lake front, and hence the entire city. Tom Hartz, successful restaurateur, but failed “Phantom of the Opera” theater owner, made the motion to approve. Oakfire Restaurant (formerly Scuttlebutts Restaurant) is located next to the Popeye’s parking lot on Wrigley Drive. Last month the filed application for building modifications to the Oakfire Restaurant (effectively a new building) was sent back for clarifications. The confusing picture (still included in this latest application) showed a pictorial of the renovated building, as being the same height as the two story building west of it; whereas, the two story building is twenty-six feet tall and the new Oakfire Building (although called a two story building) will be the height of a three story building at thirty-eight feet. The new Oakfire building would be about two and a half times taller than Popeye’s Restaurant located on the other side of Oakfire.

Note: The height of Popeye’s Restaurant was listed as fifteen feet in one document and seventeen feet in another. The Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of the application has set a precedence that opens Wrigley Drive to modern developments with no regard for the historic surroundings and buildings in the rest of the downtown area. One can expect that there will be applications for additional tall modern looking buildings along Wrigley Drive, starting with the future development of the Popeye’s parking lot. This decision to approve a thirty-eight foot concrete, glass and fake wood building is setting a precedent for a permanent change to the appearance of the city’s lake front. Whether viewed as a beauty mark or a scar, this decision by the Planning Commission has altered the direction and appearance of the City of Lake Geneva’s lake front. It has also bound the hands of future Planning Commission decisions by setting this precedent that will assure similar tall glass and concrete structures are approved (for if denied the city would be open to possible litigation). For better or for worse, everything effects everything along the lake front, and this lake front is about to change. The external changes brought about by Oakfire Restaurant are to take place between November 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017.

Things we see Living Here

Pole Tethered at Riviera Pier lake Genva

A telephone pole floated in to the Riviera Pier area. So they tied it to the railing so it wouldn’t get away.

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