WASHINGTON — After months of negotiations, the Ozaukee County
Board Wednesday approved its part of a 101-acre land acquisition
deal in which the county will contribute $1 million, though only
a portion will come from the county budget.
will go toward the Cedar Vineyard Development, which will be
built along Lake Michigan on Highway C, from the city of Port
Washington south to a northern section in the town of Grafton.
The plan calls for a mixed-use development of upscale homes and
a 100-acre public nature preserve overlooking the lake. A
vineyard is planned for the west side of Highway C.
was 23-2, with Supervisors Don Dohrwardt of Fredonia and LeRoy
Haeuser of Mequon voting against the resolution.
“It will be
a momentous vote, because it will be the point at which the
dealings between municipalities and developers will ... become
normal,” said Dohrwardt, concerned the county would suffer in
the future because of how the financing was established. “I am
not comfortable setting up this precedent.”
Board Supervisor David Larson of Port Washington disagreed.
project is an incredibly unique project,” he said. “Any decision
we make on one particular project does not bind us to anything
in the future. Any project that comes after this, we weigh that
on its own merit.”
partnership involves the county, the city of Port Washington,
the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Waukesha State Bank, the
Highview Group and the Parallel 44 and 44 Door wineries.
Group will acquire the property from Waukesha State Bank, which
foreclosed on it in 2011. A transfer of ownership would be
granted to Ozaukee Washington Land Trust and/or to the county,
the board resolution said.
Half of the
county’s $1 million contribution is expected to come from a
$500,000 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant, said county Planning and Parks
Director Andrew Struck.
amount of the grant is still pending, dependent on a second
appraisal, which is expected in the coming weeks, Struck said.
Land acquisition grants are based on 50 percent of the DNR
certified appraisal value of the land or the purchase price,
whichever is less, a memo from the DNR to county officials said.
$325,000 will come from the developer within five years, with
specified residential lots used as collateral, according to the
developer or successor will provide an annual payment to the
county, according to the agreement, to cover 100 percent of the
estimated annual maintenance costs, estimated at $15,000 to
net acquisition cost totals $200,000, which will come out of the
county’s 2015 general fund.
entire Cedar Vineyard project comes to fruition and the tax rate
stays favorable, the county could gain $93,000 on the
accumulated property tax values after the 20-year tax
incremental financing district closes, according to information
provided in March by County Administrator Tom Meaux.
the county receives about $378 in property taxes annually for
the agricultural acreage, county information said.
county’s Park and Open Space Plan for Ozaukee County objectives,
the added park land would allow for passive-use, nonmotorized
recreational activities, such as a 4-mile stretch of beach
access along Lake Michigan, a rest area for the National Lake
Michigan Water Trail, limited hunting, trapping, fishing,
cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, wildlife and bird
viewing activities, as well as restoration and management of
critical species and scientific research opportunities, said
county parks information.
Denise Seyfer can be reached at