Delavan to appeal development plans to Supreme Court

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DELAVAN—Add another round to the Sho-Deen fight.

In a closed session meeting Tuesday, the Delavan City Council voted to appeal a lower court ruling regarding the Sho-Deen development to the state's Supreme Court.

The decision means that at least part of a proposed 600-home development in the town of Delavan will, once again, come to a halt.

Delavan City Administrator Denise Pieroni said the “council authorized the city's attorney to file a petition” to the high court.

Because the session involved discussion of legal strategy, Pieroni said she could not say what lead the council to make its decision in favor of the appeal.

The move is another round in a decade-long attempt to build more than 600 homes on 285 acres at the corner of County F and Mound Road in the town of Delavan.

In July 2012, the Delavan City Council exercised its extraterritorial rights and denied Sho-Deen's rezoning request for 74 lots on a 36-acre tract called “Mound Road Estates.”

A city's extraterritorial rights extend 1.5 miles outside its limits.

Sho-Deen's plans for the area in question called for 74 lots over 36 acres with an average lot size of 0.36 acres. The city's land division requirements call for a minimum lot size of 1 acre, according to city of Delavan attorney Steven Koch.

Those requirements were established when the city updated its code in February 2011.

In response to the city's move, the Lake Delavan Property Co., a division of the Sho-Deen Group, sued the city. The Walworth County Circuit Court found in favor of the company, as did the District 3 Court of Appeals.

In its ruling, the appeals court concluded the city can exercise some control on land outside its borders, but it cannot reject a zoning request based on land use. Zoning must be done by a committee representing the city and each of the affected neighboring towns, the court ruled.

On Feb. 18, the Town of Delavan Board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning and conditional use permits necessary for the Sho-Deen group's plans. The company's next step would have involved taking its plans to the Walworth County Zoning Agency for approval.

The area under consideration has been designated “urban density residential” in long-range plans by the county and the town. Plans call for less than 5 acres per dwelling.

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