Janesville53.7°

City says "no" to Mirbeau-Hummel

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Kayla Bunge
April 29, 2008
— No boutique hotel.

No vineyard and winery.


No cottages, townhouses or duplexes.


The city council unanimously denied Monday night the proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development, overturning the plan commission’s narrow approval in November of the rezone and general development plan.


Resounding applause followed the decision.


The Mirbeau-Hummel plan goes against the requirements of the city’s master plan and south neighborhood plan, said Alderman Gary Dunham, who moved to deny the rezone and general development plan. There was no other discussion.


But that’s likely not the last the city will hear from Mirbeau-Hummel representatives. The developers filed a notice of injury against the city April 7, saying the city council violated their rights by asking voters to weigh in on the proposed development.


“We’re not going anywhere,” project executive John Terrell told The Janesville Gazette upon filing the notice. “We intend on protecting our property and procedural rights.”


Voters overwhelmingly defeated the advisory referendum, 1,377-414, on April 1.


To bring legal action against the city, Mirbeau-Hummel has to file a notice of claim. The city could then deny the claim, which would give Mirbeau-Hummel six months to file a lawsuit.


The developers were confident the city council would approve the plan because it “meets and exceeds” the requirements of the city’s master plan, Terrell said.


The proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development divided city residents from the start.


Some said it would be too much, too fast. Some said it would be detrimental to the environment. Others said the proposal would allow the city to control its growth through one developer over the next 15 to 20 years.


The Mirbeau-Hummel plan calls for a 100-room boutique hotel with 12 villas, a spa, banquet and conference facilities, 57 single-family cottages, a vineyard and winery, a restaurant, retail and 882 homes on 710 acres on the city’s south side.



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