Our Place

The comprehensive plan…again!
March 9th will be the second reading of the updated Lake Geneva Comprehensive Plan, and, if it’s anything like the first reading that took place at the February 24th city council meeting, nobody observing should blink an eye, or they will miss the nearly non-existent “reading” completely. Monday, March 2nd, was originally planned for the production and distribution of the final adopted comprehensive plan, but that changed, not that it was clearly changed on the city website for the public to see. The Lake Geneva City Council meeting on March 9th will have the “final” of the plan added as an item on the agenda, and any discussion may never take place unless the public speaks out during public comments at that meeting. Once again, the community is at “breakpoint” for limiting or stopping the commercial development of Hillmoor, the closing of Wrigley Drive and the rerouting of South Lake Shore Drive past BigFoot Beach.


It was not trespassing. 
If properly posted, the Wisconsin trespassing statute 943.15 says that whoever enters a “posted” construction site, without the consent of the owner, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. However, as described in detail by the statute, the sign, or signs, have to be “properly posted” or they are not enforceable. Some signs only require posting in a local paper while others require specific details on how and where they are to be posted (like speed limit signs). Failure to properly post city or county or state signs makes the statutes not enforceable. Such is the case with the trespassing statute 943.15, where a very detailed description, and a list of the sign requirements for a construction zone, are listed.  Without meeting those requirements, about what has to be on those signs (like the identity of authority, the area covered by the limit, and so on) the law cannot be enforced because it does not apply and therefore the specified penalties cannot be assigned.

The trespassing law, State Statute 943.15, specifies the minimum requirements for a “posted sign” and all of those conditions that must be met for the law to apply, which, in the case of the citation handed out to Mr. Dick Malmin, with respect to the Gage Marine tank installation, clearly were not meet.

1.) There were not 2 conspicuous signs, as required
2.) The signs used did not contain the name of the person giving the legal notice
3.) The signs did not include title owner or legal occupant of the land.

Therefore, the signs clearly did not meet the “posted” requirements, thus making the statute unenforceable. In addition to lacking the required posting, it could also be questioned that, as a citizen in a public park, Mr. Malmin had the tacit consent of the owner (the city) to be there, as any person has the right to be in a public park. Further supporting that issue is that the construction company employees lacked any posted legal notice to authorize justifying their own presence in the park, or what they were doing in the park. There was no one from the DNR, the State of Wisconsin, or the City of Lake Geneva present at the site, and the construction firm went to the trouble of hiding the identity of the company by taping over the company’s name and contact data. There was no prior city council discussion, approval for authorization for the excavation or permission for the removal and replacement of the oversized gasoline tanks on city property. A person can’t put up a tent or hold a meeting in a public park without a permit approved by the city council, but digging up the tanks and making that section unusable for months is perfectly okay? The only citation was given to the only person who questioned what was going on.


Person of the Week

Sheri Ames Lake Geneva

Sheri Ames is a long time resident of Lake Geneva and is an advocate for keeping the small town feel and loves Lake Geneva and living here.

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