Town of Delavan Sho-Deen development fight continues

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, March 20, 2016


That's the sound of ringside bell marking another round of disputes over an Illinois developer's plan to build a subdivision in the town of Delavan.

Last week, the Delavan City Council turned down the plat for the second phase of the Shores of Delavan Lake, a project of Sho-Deen Homes.

Meanwhile, in other parts of Walworth County, the company has projects that are going forward, others that have stalled and yet another that has been dropped all together.

Here's an update:

Project: Shores of Delavan Lake

Location: Town of Delavan

The project plans call for more than more than 600 households in 399 single-family homes and 64 duplexes and apartments with space for another 148 households.

The project would eventually occupy 300 acres on the corner of Mound Road and County F. The first phase included 74 homes.

The city has a say in the project because it is within its extraterritorial boundaries that extend 1.5 miles outside the city limits.

The city in 2012 denied approval for the plans based on lot size.

The developer went to court and won. The city appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but it declined to hear the case.

Last week, the Delavan City Council again denied approval for the plans based on lot size, saying the city had changed its ordinance regarding lot sizes to make it fit the standards of surrounding communities. The council also was concerned about road right-of-ways for County F and Mound Road.

At least two city council members said they weren't opposed to the development but wanted to see some of the issues resolved concerning lot sizes and road easements.

Council member Chris Phillips said this kind of issue was one that “drives me crazy because everything takes so long to do.”

He voted against the project, but said he hoped it would be “brought around very fast” so it could get done.

Sho-Deen President Dave Patzelt said he wasn't sure what would happen next.

“We have several options in this situation,” Patzelt said. “A developer could stop and go away. That's not going to happen. There could be an intergovernmental agreement (between the town and the city). Or we could take legal measures.”

Patzlet said he didn't know what he would do next.

“There are no plans for a lawsuit, yet,” Patzelt said Friday.

Project: South Shore Club

Location: Town of Walworth

Sho-Deen has proposed a development on farmland between South Shore Drive and North Walworth Road to the north and south and Lake Road and Broad Street to the east and west.

Maximum lot size would be 15,000 square feet and a minimum of 10,000 square feet, according to the submitted documents.

The homes would range from 1,600 square feet to 2,800 square feet and cost between $200,250 and $300,000, Patzelt said

Initially, the project didn't raise controversy.  The lots needed to be rezoned from agricultural, but they weren't considered “prime” agricultural and can be rezoned, according to the county's comprehensive plans.

Sho-Deen Homes submitted a concept to the town of Walworth earlier in the year. It was then passed through the county planning and zoning process.

Since the development was proposed, people have come up to Town Chairman Joe Abell expressing support or stating “they had nothing against it,” he said.

But at a March 8 meeting, the board voted 3-0 to not refer the developer's request to rezone the property for the development, Abell said.

The meeting was full, with standing room only, Abell said.

Many of the people at that meeting expressed concerns about a development of its size in a town the size of Walworth. They also were concerned about the size of lots houses would be on, Abell said. 

The homes would range from 1,600 square feet to 2,800 square feet and cost between $200,250 and $300,000, Patzelt said.

Patzlet said he didn't know yet what the future of the entire project would be.

“That's the question,” he said.

Sho-Deen was great to work with through the process, Abell said, and if the company modifies its plans, it would bring those plans back to the town board first.

Project: Fontana Row Homes

Location: Fontana

The development between Highway 67 and Douglas Street includes 18 connected homes. Homes are 1,923 square feet to 1,980 square feet and range in cost from $419,900 to $459,000. Two have been built and are for sale.

Project: Pines of Big Foot

Location: Village of Walworth

Sho-Deen owns about 110 acres on the south side of Devils Lane/School Road and plans to develop about 180 homes in the area. The plans have been approved.

Project: Keg Room Tavern

Location: Williams Bay

A plan to renovate the old Keg Room tavern into commercial space and 22 condominiums has been abandoned, Patzelt said.

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