Letter to the editor:

I am writing this letter in opposition to the proposal to amend the City of Lake Geneva Comprehensive plan at 833 Wisconsin Street in the Maple Park National Historic District from its’ current status as part of a residential neighborhood.

Changing the comprehensive plan at 833 Wisconsin Street, and allowing Joint School District 1 to raze the existing home to construct a parking lot will disrupt the continuity of our historic district and I believe, de-value the adjacent homes, and destroy the character of this section of the district. In addition, if also utilized by the city as a public parking lot will contribute to increased traffic, noise and create safety issues in our residential neighborhood. Will that property also be removed from the tax roles? We are paying for it and losing money too.

I would also respectfully point out to the aldermen and mayor that YOUR constituents have, within the past year, voted NO to using tax monies for a parking area. With the exception of those of you who may not own property in the city, we all pay a substantial percentage of our tax dollar to the school district (as pointed out to me by the mayor). The tax monies of your constituents, who have already voted NO, will now be used to pay a very high price for a house the school considers a tear down (a matter of opinion, by the way) and construct a parking lot at even more expense. This strikes me as fiscally irresponsible on the part of the school district, and not representative of the desires of your constituency.

The school district cites teacher parking, traffic congestion and safety around the school as part of the reason for their request. If there is a problem that exists, I believe there are alternatives that have not been thoroughly explored, such as permit parking for the school staff on school days. Research finds that there are 170 parking spaces available in the area directly adjacent to the school. (The school district website lists a staff of 81). (Objectively speaking, I have not observed a parking problem in Lake Geneva early in the morning on a school day). Where is the school districts’ research to support this expenditure of funds?

There is a very short period of time that there may be congestion on Cook Street while parents pick up their children, but that problem is not going to be solved by a parking lot across the street. That is a people and a traffic control problem, not a parking problem.

Most importantly, I feel that changing the comprehensive plan is a violation of the aesthetics and ambiance of the historic area of our city, and is in contradiction to Section 98-109 of the City of Lake Geneva Zoning Ordinances that speaks to the application of preservation standards to historic neighborhood design which are intended to be long term, and preserve and enhance the area, not detract from it. The continuity of the Historic Maple Park district should not be interrupted at the expense of adjacent homeowners and residents. Where will the comprehensive plan be changed next?

Charlene Klein,
817 Wisconsin Street,
Lake Geneva, WI


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