IN THE NEWS
A critical public hearing is being held at the Linn Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Monday August 24th.
Agenda is to decide if the Lake Geneva community wants lakeshore residential zoning gutted to make way for commercial development and exploitation on the Geneva Lakeshore.
Starting in the late 1800’s, residents of Geneva Lake began organizing for the sole purpose of keeping the entire Geneva lakeshore strictly residential, and non-commercial. In 1910 the first comprehensive plan, called the “restrictive covenant,” was authorized by fifty Lake Geneva families. Its motive principle was to maintain the lakeshore for residential use only. It became a legal document, and a part of all lake property deeds, restricting them and their heirs, plus all future lakeshore holders, from using the property for commercial purposes. The only exceptions were wharfs, marinas, and sailing clubs.
The 2025 Linn Comprehensive Plan, as well as the plans of all other municipalities around the lake, incorporated this restrictive covenant principle as part of their comprehensive plans. As a result of that kind of foresight, tourists and community resident alike, have come to Lake Geneva to tour its unique lakeshore by boat, tour boat, or lake path, and to marvel at the vista of beautiful homes on the lakeshore. This has only happened because of the covenant, and its founding principal of zoning the lakeshore for residential use only.
This powerful covenant is in danger of being invalidated. At this one vitally important public hearing on August 24th, at 7:00 p.m. in Zenda, Town of Linn, the future direction of what happens to a great part of Geneva Lake will be decided. The Linn Town Board and Planning Commission are being pressured to dramatically alter the 2025 Linn Comprehensive Plan, and to abandon the lakeshore residence principal!
The Linn Community: Town of Linn will make the ultimate, and decisive, decision on August 24th at 7 p.m. to either keep the Lakeshore residential, or to allow for the lakeshore to be used for commercial expansion and exploitation. If the Public shows up, and insists that the residential principal continue, as it has for the past 150 years, the lakeshore residential principal can be preserved for future generations.
Please attend this meeting on August 24th at 7:00 p.m. to show you care about the future of Lake Geneva. Or, if you can’t attend, write a message to the:
Linn Town Board/Plan Commission
Town of Linn,
P O Box 130,
Unfortunately, the new owners of the Geneva Inn are firmly behind this effort to commercialize the lakeshore around Buttons Bay. A similar attempt was made back in 2004, and the over 400 letters and petitions opposing commercialization of the lakeshore, stopped the previous owners from accomplishing the same thing.
Letter to the editor by Joanie Sommers, Lake Geneva writer, musician and woman of the world.
I was recently visiting Oak Hill Cemetery tending to the grave of an old friend. Weeding and such, making it a prettier place for new flowers. A hanging geranium, peach and with dark green leaves. The visit was to ask questions about life, and my for the peace that a graveyard can offer. Amongst stones old and new, ornate and chiseled, gray and crumbling. Always with a name and a date. Family groupings. Those with a beginning and an end. Those with a beginning and a dash. The children come to visit, avoiding the dash, awaiting the engraver’s chisel. Their spot. This grave of my friend says “Beloved Father,” next to “Beloved Mother.” Daughter not yet. I imagine his smiling face. I hear his southern voice. I can see nobody’s been there. Maybe moved to another state. I finish up and hang the geranium basket on its curving metal pole over the granite stones. I stand back in admiration of the green and flowers. I ask how he’s doing. I request an invisible visit for my son. I give the sign of the cross even though I’m not Catholic. And I end it. I look up through the acres of tombstones, and as usual, I walk and wind up the road, contemplating stranger’s names and dates.
As I am engrossed in the mossy stone of a baby who lived only a short two months in the 1800s I hear far off singing. A little creepy, I must admit. Thinking “I gotta get out of here.” I see a flock of turkeys beelining through the oak trees to my right. I read recently of a gang of turkeys in Massachusetts terrorizing the locals. They were ‘knocking’ at the windows of an old folks home. How polite. I’m afraid of the turkeys. I keep still and make sure my keys don’t make any noise. Then I think about Massachusetts turkeys and how different Wisconsin turkeys have to be. In Wisconsin the turkeys forage for acorns, scratch for crack corn, nibble up fallen loganberries and dance in the chuffa patches and sometimes sit upon their clutch of spotted eggs, turning them every hour for twenty-eight days, softly clucking out lullabies to imprint their little bundles of joy.
I put me fear aside and get some photos of the turkeys.
They keep walking. The chortling stops. No gobbling. Wattles swinging in the breeze. Just silence and beauty among the many headstones.
Turkeys, headstones and I.