Aldermen shut out Fowler Lake Village claim
After closed session, council denies developers’ request

By Ryan Billingham - Enterprise Staff

March 5, 2015

OCONOMOWOC — The Oconomowoc Common Council closed the doors at its regular meeting Tuesday to confer with an attorney on a resolution rejecting a joint claim by firms involved in Fowler Lake Village, a failed mixed-use condominium complex downtown.

The council cited a Wisconsin statute allowing a governmental body discussing strategy involving litigation to enter into closed session.

The council agenda made reference to a claim filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court by Rockwell Development, LLC and Fowler Lake Village, LLC — the two development groups that ultimately failed to progress beyond a developer’s agreement with the city, due in part to consistent opposition from within the community.

The Common Council reconvened into open session about 40 minutes later and unanimously passed a resolution disallowing the claim of the two development groups.

Lawyers for the firms asked the court in January to review proceedings conducted by the city of Oconomowoc and the Common Council regarding its decision to deny the developer’s agreement for Fowler Lake Village.

The city responded in court and will go into mediation with the groups. The first status conference is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Milwaukee attorney Joseph Wirth attended Tuesday’s closed session. He is named as attorney for the city in court documents.

Other business

■ The council approved a resolution to hire Waukesha-based Ruekert and Mielke to perform the city’s engineering, construction management and inspection services for the 2015-2016 street maintenance program.

■ Smoking e-cigarettes may soon be prohibited on the grounds of any building leased or used by a public school in the city after the council passed a first reading of an ordinance change aimed at prohibiting students from using nicotine vapor at school.

Several aldermen raised concerns about the scope of the ordinance, but passed the initial reading.

■ The council approved a Class B liquor license for Hops & Leisure LLC for the building that used to house Sammy’s Taste of Chicago.

■ An ordinance allowing residents in Paganica Court to remain on private well and septic systems passed. The ordinance is similar to others passed before it. Due to the high cost of laying water and sewer main, the city grants exceptions occasionally, but may change the ordinance depending on development in the area.