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Voters to chime in on Mirbeau plan

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Kayla Bunge
January 15, 2008
— The city council approved an advisory referendum question on the proposed Mirbeau-Hummel development, despite a request from the developer’s attorney to rescind it.

Attorney Robert Leibsle said in a letter Jan. 7 that the referendum is an illegal delegation of the city council’s duties.


“Delaying the rezone vote to April 2008 and the aldermen promising to base their decisions on the outcome of the referendum is totally in disregard to the aldermen’s sworn duty to inform themselves of the details and complexities of the project and then to make a reasoned decision based on the facts contained in the record,” Leibsle wrote.


He said it is unreasonable to expect the voters to do what is required of aldermen by checking yes or no on the ballot, and as such, the referendum will change the nature of the zoning process—from one that requires considerable thought to one “that may be based only upon competitive political views at the time.”


Not one alderman spoke up during the city council meeting. The approved question reads as follows:


“Shall the Common Council for the City of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, be advised to approve the Zoning Code Amendment and General Development Plan of the Mirbeau-Hummel Group?”


A second question

The city council also approved a referendum question on the extension of Edwards Boulevard from Highway 50 to Sheridan Springs Road, north of the new Target store.


The issue is being put to referendum as the result of direct legislation in 2006 requiring city capital projects that cost more than $1.05 million to be put before voters for approval.


The approved question reads as follows:


“Shall the City of Lake Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin, be authorized to spend an amount not to exceed $2,900,500 to complete an extension of Edwards Boulevard in a northerly direction from Hwy. 50 to Sheridan Springs Road, which amount will be funded in part by a private contribution of $600,000 and an estimated $750,000 in special assessments from property owners abutting this street improvement?”


Voters can weigh in on both questions April 1.



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