Sho-Deen development can move forward

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, June 14, 2014

TOWN OF DELAVAN—After nearly a decade of delays, a development in the town of Delavan might become a reality.

On Thursday, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court denied the city of Delavan's petition for review of a lower court ruling regarding the Sho-Deen development.

Town Chairman Ryan Simons was not available for comment Friday.

The court's decision means that at least part of a proposed 600-home development in the town of Delavan can move forward to the Walworth County Zoning Agency.

The latest legal challenge started in July 2012.

At that time, 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.

In response, 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 necessary rezoning and conditional-use permits necessary for the development. Sho-Deen's next step would have been to take its plans to the Walworth County Zoning Agency for approval.

In March, the Delavan City Council authorized Koch to file a petition to the high court, effectively stopping any further activity on the project.

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