The new ten-year comprehensive plan may be pushed out even further than February.
During Monday night’s Lake Geneva City Council meeting during the public comments, the council members were made aware of the fact that there is no penalty or consequence for not completing the plan by a certain date and that some communities have completed comprehensive plans years behind schedule. Attorney Draper agreed with and backed the public comment. With that being said, item thirteen (a) on the agenda read discussion/action regarding working schedule and incorporating additional public participation for the comprehensive plan schedule, did not pass quietly.
Alderperson Cindy Flower spoke up and questioned the comprehensive plan schedule and the amount of public input involved, and questioned why the document that coordinates with the map and its changes, which is about eleven chapters, has not been seen, nor has a meeting taken place focused on discussing the details thoroughly. Cindy Flower was not alone. Alderpersons Dunn, Straube, and Halverson questioned the issue also.
The nonexistent public survey was brought up and the fact that it should be done and could result in responses and input from residents that are not able to come to meetings or workshops or are not comfortable speaking in public. Alderman Skates voiced his opinion stating that ten years ago when the comprehensive plan was being worked on there were only two sessions that weren’t well attended and a survey was done. This time he believes they have absolutely knocked it out of the ballpark and have had more public participation to be put it out there in as many avenues as possible, forgetting a survey. Alderperson Straube, however, did not forget and asked for the results of the survey ten years ago, expressing concern that not enough residents had been reached.
Ten years ago, six hundred ninety some residents responded to the survey, which is a fairly good number. Alderman Dunn also questioned the Lake Geneva Plan Commission, which is the committee at the helm of the ship, and in charge of the changes to the comprehensive plan and the city council either approves it or not. The planning commission is mostly made up of members that are very new to Lake Geneva which begs the question, “How can they know what is best for the city if they are still getting the lay of the land?”
Mayor Hartz tried to push the concerns aside stating he wants clarification. The mayor put Flower in the hot seat asking her what he called her “friendly amendment” would include, and to be specific with wording and dates, as well as wanting to know how a survey would be worded, and what any extra meetings would include and cover. After a lot of discussion regarding the proper procedures and duties of the different committees and clarification of the comprehensive plan, an update calendar amendment was made.
Flower stood her ground and asked that her “friendly amendment” include a joint workshop between the plan commission and the city council following the public open house to review the Hillmoor concept, and prior to the finalized draft three of the comprehensive plan update. The amendment passed unanimously.