Town of Linn Comprehensive Plan Review and Revisit?
The Town of Linn will began it’s re-do of the Town of Linn Comprehensive Plan and Map of Geneva Lake on Tuesday September 27th at 6:00. A Special Town Board Meeting was held Tuesday night in the first floor conference room to discuss the “process” to be followed so the town can meet the state’s mandate requiring all of Wisconsin’s municipalities to revisit and review their comprehensive plans every 10 years. The Town of Linn Board has tremendous leeway on how they can conduct the Comp Plan Review, from simply rubber stamping the old 2004 plan to a total revamping of that plan.
For that reason, the “process” they choose to follow is vitally important to the future residential character of the Geneva Lake shoreline. Specifically, in reference to the Geneva Inn’s insistence that their residential lakeshore properties be rezoned as “commercial” so they can spread their businesses along the lakefront. Otherwise, the Geneva Inn claims they might have to close their businesses and leave the town with an empty eyesore on the lakeshore. Unfortunately, this threat and pretense was taken seriously by Linn’s Planning Commission last year, and they did recommend the Linn Town Map be changed to allow the Geneva Inn expansion on the lakefront, despite strong public opposition.
Fortunately, the Town Board rejected the map change; however, that rejection was based on a technicality and did not reflect how the town board would otherwise have voted. Although, seeing that the town chairman was convinced that the Geneva Inn threat was real, he might have pushed to get the Inn the map change they wanted because of its stature and relative importance in the community. The lakeshore map change will certainly be a key element in the upcoming comp plan review, but the excuse that the town will be forced to accommodate the Geneva Inn, or else they will close their businesses, should ring hollow, since the Geneva Inn just spent a million dollars redoing their restaurant. The fact that they reportedly installed a second kitchen would seem to indicate their confidence that they have the town convinced to allow them to proceed in being free to further spread their businesses along the lakefront.
Those opposed to further commercialization of the lakeshore will once again need to make their feelings known. That first opportunity was Tuesday night at 6:00p.m. on the 27th, in Zenda in the very small conference room (was that tiny room picked deliberately or out of ignorance?). At previous meetings where the comprehensive plan redo was on the table there was only one issue publicly discussed: preventing annexation of Linn territory by the City of Lake Geneva, Fontana or Williams Bay. The other item, previously not openly discussed, is the accommodation to the Geneva Inn’s demand to change the Linn Map to designate the three lakeshore residential properties owned by the Geneva Inn from residential to B3 Lakeshore business. The Linn Planning Commission may repeat last years vote to make this map change, which the board may very well have approved if the community had not risen up to resist such an affront to the lake.