TOWN OF GENEVA
LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
January 23, 2012
Plan Commission Chairman Joe Kopecky called the monthly meeting for the Town of Geneva Plan Commission to order at 6:32 p.m. He asked everyone to rise and say the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call-present were the Chairman, Jim Anton, Gary Cocroft, Phyllis Olson, Andy Schmidt, and Mike Mumford, and Jim Thometz. Attorney Richard Torhorst and Building Inspector Joe Mesler were present. A quorum was declared.
Andy Schmidt made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 19, 2011 meeting as presented. Phyllis Olson seconded the motion. There was no discussion. The motion passed 6-0. Gary made a motion to approve the agenda as presented. Jim Thometz seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0.
Walworth County Alliance for Children-Conditional Use-The request for a conditional use is to build a 4,300 square-foot building to be named the Child Advocacy Center for Walworth County. Bill Henry, Paula Hocking and Attorney Leibsle presented information regarding the request. Before the presentation started, Chairman Kopecky stated contrary to e-mails that were being circulated, The Plan Commission members have not discussed nor decided anything privately regarding the conditional use request for the Children’s Advocacy Center for Walworth County. He also said neither he nor the Commission Members needs any additional convincing that the services which WCAC provides will be an asset to Walworth County so there will be no need to spend the evening hearing testimonials regarding the benefits of WCAC; therefore the applicants were requested to address issues previously unresolved before the Commission. Also, the Chairman noted that many misinformed individuals have made an issue, primarily through widely broadcast email messages and Facebook posts that the Town is only concerned about the negative cost impact this facility will cost the Town of Geneva for “emergency services”. As previously stated to Director Paula Hocking, the costs of emergency services are not a concern to the Town of Geneva as previous to issuing a building permit for construction, we will have in place an agreement for reimbursement to the Town of Geneva for such expenses (a ‘p.i.l.o.t.’=payment in lieu of taxes’ agreement). Thus in fairness to the Commission Members and other applicants scheduled appearances for the evening; Chairman Kopecky made it clear that no testimony is needed on these issues.
Bill Henry again reviewed the drawings that were previously presented to the Commission. A major decision has been made that the site would need to be five-acres due to the City of Elkhorn ETP Requirements if the site remains in the Town of Geneva rather than the City of Elkhorn. Previously the decision had been made to only lease the land minimally required to accommodate the planned building however Mr. Henry recommended that they not proceed with that plan to avoid paying State of Wisconsin mandated prevailing wages. It was his recommendation that substantial funds could be saved by prevailing wages and instead working with volunteer labor through Lakeland Builder’s Association. Henry also has eliminated showing a proposed addition to avoid Walworth County requirements of storm water drainage analysis. Mr. Henry stated that the building will have a residential feel to it. Paula Hocking the Director of the Child Advocacy Center restated the need for the proposed building because the number of cases rises every year. The Child Advocacy Center would be pro-active for prevention of child neglect, child abuse, and sexual and mental abuse of children.
Several interior details were discussed: the building lobby/public toilet room area would be secured and separated from the remainder of the building with locked doors allowing only authorized personnel to enter the building beyond the lobby. There would be an intercom to speak to a person behind the reception area window. The interior doors would be secures until someone with an access card would allow entry. Thus the lobby is cut off from the rest of the building with only one point of entry and/or emergency exit from this area, which is a life-safety concern. Building Inspector Joe Mesler’s voiced his concern that neither fire alarm system nor sprinkler system is planned for the building. He said he would recommend a minimum fire alarm system and would prefer that both a fire alarm and sprinkler system be installed. Bill Henry stated that neither a fire alarm nor sprinkler system were required for this building per minimum code requirements.
Chairman Kopecky expressed his continued concern with the County donating five-acres of taxpayer owned property for a privately owned 4,300 square foot building and stated no proof has been offered indicating that serious negotiations have taken place with the City of Elkhorn to relax the minimum five acre ETP (Extra-Territorial Platting) requirement. Joe said he talked to the Mayor of Elkhorn who stated that he did not know anything about the Child Advocacy Center. Joe asked Bill Henry if he had talked to the Mayor. Bill said no, that he only talked to someone in zoning about the Center previously who stated they would need to apply for a variance for less than five acres. Attorney Robert Leibsle said Elkhorn requires minimum five-acre sites for any lands located within one and one half miles of their boundaries. He also said the five-acres allow for growth potential on the site. In the future the Center would like to have a playground, and would have the space to add onto the current proposed building. In response to Chairman Kopecky, Attorney Leibsle stated that the Elkhorn City Attorney is still reviewing whether the five acre ETP requirement could be waived so he could not offer a final answer regarding that issue.
Chairman Kopecky questioned why the five acre site south of the HHS Building was not being considered as it is useless for a large building due to the underground utilities which cut the site in half but that sufficient room remains to accommodate the proposed building and several additions to it. Permanent easements could be entered into to protect the existing underground utilities, farmland and ensure access to the site while reserving the other five acre site for future County and City of Elkhorn needs. Paula Hocking said the helicopter noise will disturb interviews but when questioned believed that would not be the case although both are similarly distant to the Lakeland Medical helipads.
David Weber, the current County Supervisor representing several communities including the
Town of Geneva said this Center is needed and the County Board fully supports the Center. Chairman Kopecky asked David Weber how Walworth County can rationalize giving away five-acres of County owned land for free to a private organization. Supervisor Weber did not answer the question but instead stated that if the Center is not built in two to four years that the land would be transferred back to the County and that the land would be deed restricted to prevent any other entity from building on the five acres.
Chairman Kopecky asked about instead using land next to the nursing home. David Weber said he thought that land could be considered would be a good location and thought he would bring that issue up to the Walworth County Supervisors. Chairman Kopecky stated that he considers the matter of the final site location undecided at this time subject to further analysis and final answers, but that he would allow the Commission to proceed with their recommendation regarding the project with the site issue and the pilot agreement as well as any other issues the Town Board may deem requires being addressed by the town board as their meeting February 13, 2012.
Two residents of the Town spoke in favor of the project. The Commission then closed the public hearing. Phyllis Olson made a motion to recommend to the Town Board to approve the conditional use for the Child Advocacy Center for Walworth County to build a 4,300 square-foot building. Mike Mumford seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0 vote with Chairman Kopecky abstaining which is typically his choice except when needed to break a tie vote. Andy Schmidt made a motion to recommend a condition to the Town Board that a full fire alarm system and smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors be installed within two (2) years of occupancy. Phyllis Olson seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0 with Chairman Kopecky abstaining. This item will be on the February 13, 2012 Town Board agenda.
The Lodge at Geneva Ridge W4240 Highway 50-Amend the current conditional use for the Lodge, and request a conditional use for senior and assisted living. Warren Hansen will present the two requests. This request is in the ETZ with Williams Bay. Vance Antinou was present to answer any questions about the senior and assisted living facilities. Warren updated the Commission on the plans stating the convention center would be eliminated and so would the water park. That is why the original conditional use would be amended. A new water tower would be constructed. The senior and assisted living facilities would have one hundred (100) rooms for independent living, forty (40) rooms for assisted living, and twenty (20) rooms for memory care which would be dependent care. Attorney David Williams and Scott Lowell represent the Condo Association Owners were present. They were present at the December meeting requesting answers about the condition of Red Chimney Road and how the proposed senior and assisted living facilities would affect the Condominium Association. Many years before a written agreement had been signed with the condo owners and Interlaken. The concern now is to have a new agreement in place with The Lodge at Geneva Ridge and the Condominium association. Warren Hansen had met with Attorney Williams and Scott Lowell after the December Plan Commission meeting. An agreement between the association and the Lodge was supposed to have been worked out. Attorney Williams stated he had only received a draft of a new agreement. Scott Lowell said all he wants for the condo owners is to protect their interests and keep them informed of what is going on at the Lodge in writing and to co-operate with the Lodge. Chairman Kopecky said he wants Warren Hansen and Vance Antinou to work with Attorney Williams and Scott Lowell on an agreement for the condo owners, he suggested they look into bringing Red Chimney Road up to Town standards and then dedicate the road to the Town of Geneva, he advised Warren to look into a garage for the senior and assisted living facilities, requested a developer’s agreement, and fire prevention for the whole complex for the next meeting in February. Phyllis Olson made a motion to table this request until the February 27, 2012 meeting. Gary Cocroft seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0.
The Lodge at Geneva Ridge W4240 Highway 50-Amend the conditional use-Nick Johnson will present plans to update the outside lounge area with a gas fire-pit, re-do the pergola, and improve the existing landscaping. This request is in the ETZ with Williams Bay. Nick restated the proposed plans He had a representative from Prairie Tree Landscaping show plans of different trees and shrubs and landscaping changes that would update the property. He said there would be more outdoor seating for weddings, or for conventions at the Lodge. There would be down-lit lighting that would not exceed thirty-five (35) feet and would comply with the Town of Geneva’s light ordinance. Andy Schmidt made a motion to recommend to the Town Board to approve amending the existing conditional use for the Lodge at Geneva Ridge to update the outside lounge area subject to compliance to the original conditional use. Phyllis Olson seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0. Nick will be at the Town Board meeting on February 13, 2012 for a recommendation.
Mercy-Walworth Medical Center Highway 50 and 67-Conditional Use-The request is for two (2) illuminated directional signs with internal LED lights that are not moving, and a building mounted sign. Jones Sign Company will have a representative present and Richard Gruber will be present for the request. This request is in the ETZ with Williams Bay. Richard Gruber presented the request. He said the two illuminated directional signs are needed because of the public access off of Highway 50. The wall sign will not be illuminated. Andy will post a sign on the property. They will be at the February 27, 2012 meeting for a recommendation.
Doug Schuldt N3382 County Road H-Rezone-He is requesting to rezone two parcels from B-2 to R-2. He is remodeling the old Schultz’s liquor store into a home, and would like to build a new home on the adjacent lot. Doug stated he had talked to Nick Sigmund at Walworth County. Nick said he had no problem with the rezone request as long as the Town would update their Master Plan in October. Gary Cocroft will post a sign on the property. Doug will attend the February 27, 2012 Plan Commission meeting for a recommendation on his rezone request.
ETZ updates-The Town of Geneva will have to appoint a new substitute for the ETZ because Jack Ames is no longer on the commission. This will be on the February agenda.
Joe Mesler presented the Building Inspector’s report. He said there were nine new permits. He suggested the commission and him schedule a workshop to update the commission on various items. Chairman Kopecky reminded the ETZ board members there would be a meeting on January 26, 2012 at 700 p.m. in Elkhorn and at 8:00 p.m. in Williams Bay.
Phyllis Olson made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10: 00 p.m. Jim Anton seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0.
Respectfully submitted, Mary Van Lue
Mary Van Lue