The wording in the city’s comprehensive plan is very important.
The addition of even a single word can change the interpretive meaning of a statement, as was done with adding the word “resort” on page 3 of Draft #3 (of the comprehensive plan) in the “land use recommendations summary”. The meaning and the intent of the term “private recreation” as used in the city’s comprehensive plan was changed with the word “resort”.
The statement reads as follows: “Retain the private recreation designation for the former Hillmoor Golf Course to enable development of the site as a resort or other privately-owned recreational use.”
There are three issues with this sentence. The first two issues are positive but the third means the destruction of Hillmoor as we know it with the addition of the word “resort”, which is like giving an Achilles’ Heel to the developers, while the statement itself is a trojan horse for the property’s future. First: The section “Retain the Private Recreation designation for the former Hillmoor Golf Couse” sounds like, and is, a victory for those who want to preserve the Hillmoor property as “private recreation”.
Second: The last few words in that sentence “privately-owned recreational use” is an excellent way to define “Private Recreation,” because the term “Private Recreation” can have meanings that would not be the intent or acceptable use of the former Hillmoor property.
Third: The addition of the words “to enable development of the site as a resort” adds a whole new meaning to the use of the term “private recreation”. The intended use of the term “private recreation” is that it should be a recreational activity open to the public and that it would be an asset to the city and not in competition with the city or its businesses. Resorts, by their very nature, are self-contained commercial establishments that try to provide most of a vacationer’s wants, such as food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping, on the premise’s facility. Any “resort” on the Hillmoor property would be in competition with the city and city businesses and that would make it an overall detriment to the city and not an asset to the City of Lake Geneva. For that reason, that sentence needs to be rewritten and the three words (resort or other) removed from it. The sentence should read as follows: “Retain the private recreation designation for the former Hillmoor Golf Course to enable development of the site for a privately-owned recreational use open to the public.”
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