Lake Geneva Settles Lawsuit with Geneva Ridge

The City of Lake Geneva settled a ongoing Federal lawsuit with Geneva Ridge Joint Venture, LLC for $2.1 million. The city’s insurance carrier paid the total amount.The League of Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Co. was the city’s carrier. Geneva Ridge dismissed all claims and causes of action against:

CITY OF LAKE GENEVA,
WILLIAM P. CHESEN,
TODD KRAUSE,
GARY DUNHAM,
MARY JO FESENMAIER,
PENELOPE ROEHRER,
ARLEEN KROHN,
TOM SPELLMAN,
DONALD TOLAR,
FRANK MARSALA,
DON RUTKOWSKI,
ALAN KUPSIK,
THOMAS HARTZ,
MATT KUEHL,
DENNIS LYON, and
MARTIN H. SMITH,

In a press release date 9.15.2011 the city states that on: “June13th, attorneys for the parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that established certain parameter for a settlement; however, Geneva Ridge Joint Venture, LLCĀ  reserved its right to finalize the settlement after the vote on the amendment of the comprehensive. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding, the City agreed to vote on the petition by August 31, 2001, but it was specifically provided that the Memorandum of Understanding in no way bound the city to vote one way or the other on Geneva Ridge’s request. ”

At issue now is if the City illegally committed “contract zoning” in the amendment to the comprehensive plan on 8.31.2011. The press release seemed to address that issue with the following: “In fact, the recommendation by the Planning Commission, and the amendment tot the comprehensive plan that was ultimately passed by the city Council was different from the request by Geneva Ridge Joint venture, and different from the parameters set forth in the Memorandum of Understand. As a result, neither the City nor Geneva Ridge Joint venture were bound to settle the case after the amendment process was complete.”

During the fall of 2007 Geneva Ridge Joint Venture and Mirbeau Spa had a pubic hearing on a development. After the public hearing was closed, the recommendation of the Plan Commission came before the Lake Geneva City Council for a vote. The vote was delayed and a advisory referendum was proposed by then Alderman William Chesen and seconded by Alderman Larry MaGee, both were up for election the spring of 2008. City Attorney Braden, at the time, recommended against holding a referendum on the issue after the public hearing was closed. Mr. Chesen went on to become Mayor and Mr. Magee was replaced by Penny Roehrer. The referendum for the project was defeated by 77% of the voters in the Spring of 2008 election.

Part 3 of 3

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