Oconomowoc’s mayor hopes Renner Architects scraps its idea of
building a 12-unit condominium building in the 500 block of North
Lake Road after the city already turned down two of its plans
because they failed to meet restrictions.
Peter Renner of
Renner Architects wants to raze the home at 517 N. Lake Road, which
the company purchased last month, and combine that lot with the
vacant property it also owns at 525 N. Lake Road to create one
parcel that would hold a 12-unit condominium development and a
three-bedroom, single- family residence.
Both of these
parcels are within Oconomowoc’s Isthmus District. Under the Isthmus
Design Standards of the city’s ordinances, which were created more
than 20 years ago to protect structures in that area, the building
scales, design, configuration, details, exterior material and color
of any development,
building change in that area must reflect practices that were common
between 1870 and 1930.
application for the proposed development was brought Sept. 13 to the
Oconomowoc Architectural Commission, which determined the project
didn’t meet the design standards. Renner was told to come back to
the city with a new plan — and he did. City Planner and Zoning
Administrator Jason Gallo said Tuesday that the second drawing
Renner recently submitted was still not consistent with the
requirements. When the city informed the architects of its findings,
the group pulled the item from the city, which took it off the
Architectural Commission’s October agenda.
Nold agreed with
the commission that the second proposal is not up to snuff and said
what Renner wants to do isn’t going to work.
“As of right now
what he wants to do is not something we’re going to vote affirmative
on,” Nold said.
Even if the
project passed the Architectural Commission, Nold thinks it wouldn’t
have the favor of either the Planning Commission or Common Council.
He said Renner
would have to change the look and size of the project considerably
in order to get approval.
“It’s not going
to be what he wants,” Nold said.
Bringing down the
The home at 517
has a great deal of historical significance. City documents show the
3,752-square-foot home was built in 1920.
According to the
“Quester’s Guide to Historical Oconomowoc,” one of Oconomowoc’s
famed citizens, John Rockwell, owned a home on that property.
However, there is no indication whether any part of Rockwell’s home
is in the current home.
“If it’s as
historically significant as we think it is, it’s going to be awfully
difficult to take it down,” Nold said.
Nold added, “My
hope is the owner of the property comes to the conclusion that what
he wants to build is not going to be acceptable there.”
change picks up steam
project remains up in the air, The Isthmus Historic Preservation
Society, a group of Oconomowoc citizens formed in support of
architectural guidelines the city has put in place for the area,
continues to grow.
Last week, the
group’s Facebook page had exceed 5,000 “likes,” while about 750
people had signed its petition in an effort to prevent the home
located at 517 N. Lake Road from being demolished, the group’s
Executive Director David Cullinane said.
The group is
also picking up support from residents of other states — people
Cullinane said participate in the area’s historic walk while on
vacation in Oconomowoc.
is nothing short of explosive right now,” Cullinane said.
City Clerk Diane
Coenen said Renner Architects’ proposal has probably given the
Oconomowoc Architectural Commission the most feedback it has
received on one topic since she began working for the city in 2004.
Peter Renner has
not returned a number of calls the Enterprise placed in search of
comment on the topic.
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