Judge denies motion in Fowler Lake Village suit

By Ryan Billingham - Enterprise Staff

March 4, 2016

OCONOMOWOC — A Waukesha County Judge has dismissed a motion filed by the lawyers representing parties involved in the failed condominium project Fowler Lake Village, but the city may not be off the hook yet.

In February, James Hammes, a lawyer representing Fowler Lake Village LLC and Rockwell Development LLC, filed a brief detailing arguments to bolster his clients’ claim the city and the Common Council acted arbitrarily and negligently when it voted down a developers’ agreement after the city’s Community Development Authority passed a memorandum of understanding — an informal agreement between parties.

Lawyers for the firm asked the court in January to review the proceedings through what is called a certiorari — a review of the conduct of a body. The judge requested briefs from both parties.

The city filed a brief that argued the memorandum was not a binding agreement and that Rockwell Development LLC never applied for a developer’s agreement. It also argued it “properly exercised its jurisdiction.”

The plaintiffs argued in their brief that should the council refuse to act in accordance with prior commitments the city made, the plaintiffs should be entitled to pursue the remaining causes of action for damages.

The remaining causes action were stayed until the certiorari was resolved. Now, with it dismissed the path is clear for the plaintiffs to pursue other damages.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis also ordered a scheduling conference take place at 10:30 a.m. on March 14.

Meanwhile, the city has met several times in closed session, most recently on Tuesday night before its regular council meeting, about the lawsuit.

Neither the city or attorneys for the plaintiffs returned messages before press time.



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