The new BigFoot development.
The Linn Township Board violated its own comprehensive plan, conducted an unfair and very restrictive public hearing. They paved the way for Mr. Pollard to exploit his 93 feet of commercial lakefront property to bring a huge number of this home buyers down to Geneva Lake as members of a Club House/Lodge. Mr. Pollard’s 800 plus member Club House/Lodge in Button’s Bay is situated between the Geneva Inn property and Mike Lazzaroni’s. Mr. Pollard has 93 feet of lakeshore and 566 sq. feet of lakefront property, from the pier up to the road, with half of that tiny parcel being part of the lakeshore path. The Club House/Lodge is to be built across the road (South Lakeshore Drive), for the use of the vacation home buyers who will leapfrog from Mr. Pollard’s Symphony Bay Development on Hwy 120. Membership of an unlimited number of “other residential developments the owner may elect to include.” The conditional use permit also:
- Includes an arrangement with the Boat House business next door for membership in their Boat Club, and access to Geneva Lake, plus use of their extensive parking facilities.
- Members can rent the 14 slips on the Pollard Pier, join the Boat Club next door or access any of the Boat Clubs or Boat Rental facilities around Geneva Lake.
- On weekends, the main Club House/Lodge can be rented out by members for wedding receptions, birthday parties, anniversary parties etc.; porch areas of the Club House can be utilized for socializing and as a staging area for showering and changing after using the lake, beach, boating and other recreational activity.
- The Club House grounds are available for parking, recreational activities, picnicking, grilling and sports activities.
Then there are auto traffic problems. Members come from far away so they will be forced to drive to the Club House in Buttons Bay, thus aggravating an already heavily trafficked area of local car and truck traffic using South Lakeshore Drive along BigFoot Beach. Added to this, is traffic from all the State Park and Beach visitors, Boat House Restaurant patrons, Boat House Boat Club members, Lazarroni Boat Slip and Buoy renters, Geneva Inn Boat Slip and Buoy renters, Geneva Inn Restaurant patrons and workers, Geneva Inn Banquet Hall and Meeting Room participants, Geneva Inn rooming clientele, plus traffic to and from the 4 Geneva Inn residential rental properties and their guests. To make matters worse, all this traffic is navigating a dangerous, nearly 90-degree angle curve in the road.
There are also walking traffic problems. The view of Geneva Lake along Big Foot Beach, “Paradise Drive,” is epic. There’s no parking signs there, but cars line up to take photos of the view, along with hikers on the Geneva Lakeshore path, that also runs alongside South Lakeshore Drive. Additional foot traffic on the road comes from beachgoers constantly cutting across the road from the State Park.
Boat Traffic problems: Buttons Bay is already a mass of parked boats on normal days, but on weekends powerboats anchor along Big Foot Beach and totally fill the Bay. Once Mr. Pollard is allowed to offer Boat Club membership, and lake access thru the Boat Club next door to the Club House and the members go to get their boats, the scene will be pandemonium. Maneuvering a boat thru that mass of boats will, at the very least, be dangerous and treacherous.
Mr. Pollard’s marketing program is directed almost exclusively toward the active lake lifestyle and boat club access in order to attract vacation home buyers. After investing $250 to $300 thousand dollars on a weekend vacation home, these buyers won’t accept being put on a “wait list,” but will be constantly demanding boat and lake access for their families and friends.
Environmentally Sensitive area: The health of Geneva Lake, like all bodies of water around the world, has been deteriorating of late because of climate disruption, invasive species, overuse, and abuse. The area around Pollard’s property has always been an extremely environmentally sensitive area of wetlands because it feeds into Buttons Bay Creek, that then empties into Geneva Lake right next to Big Foot Beach in a steady rusty stained stream. Pollard’s Club House will now add a septic field to accommodate 400+ members, thousands of square feet of impervious surfaces, and the stormwater runoff it produces…a tangible environmental insult to the health of the lake.
Precedent-Setting: it can be expected other developers will follow Mr. Pollard’s lead. Up until now, it cost millions of dollars to have property on the lake. Today, Mr. Pollard will sell a row house out on Edwards Blvd. for $250,000 which includes a membership in his Club House on the lake for you, your family and friends to enjoy the “lake Life” and access to the Boat Club. People enjoying and sharing the wonders of Geneva Lake is wonderful, as long as they don’t adversely impact the ecosystem, but soliciting for an abusive number of more powerboats on the lake is a disaster. The county meeting was canceled by Mr. Pollard at his request. There may be hope here. The GSR will report more.
Couple of the Week