State law change affects Lac La Belle
Super majority vote of board no longer required

By Kelly Smith - Special to The Freeman

July 3, 2018

LAC LA BELLE — A state zoning law that some Town of Oconomowoc residents had hoped to use to block construction of a corporate headquarters adjacent to the Lac La Belle golf course has been repealed by the state Legislature.

“That section was repealed by the state Legislature when it passed Act 243,” Curt Witynski, deputy director of the Wisconsin League of Municipalities, said.

“It happened only a few months ago and word may not have gotten out about it,” he added.

Witynski was responding to a question by The Freeman regarding whether the previous state law applied to newly zoned property as well as rezoned property.

“It would have been a good question, but it is a hypothetical one now since that section of the law has been repealed,” he responded.

Town resident Claire Tompkins raised the possibility that the law might have required the votes of four of five village trustees to approve zoning for a corporate headquarters proposed by the Prestwick Group during a public information meeting last week.

In a later interview, she noted that the law required the “super majority” if qualified town or village property owners living adjacent to the property to be rezoned filed protest petitions with the village.

However, the action the village is expected to take in the future is the creation of a new zoning district, not a rezoning.

The headquarters, which is referred to as a “administration building” in the agreement between the village and Prestwick, will be located on land that Prestwick is expected to purchase from the village.

The village recently purchased the land, which is located in the town, from the state and plans to annex it.

After the land is annexed it will be zoned, according to village officials.

Village Attorney Hector de la Mora said he is optimistic that Prestwick’s plans for the “administration building” will be compatible with the golf course and surrounding woodlands and residential areas.

De la Mora said he believed the “administration building” will be designed more like a large golf course club house than a corporate headquarters.

The Prestwick Group is a family owned company headquartered in Sussex that generates more than $200 million annually in revenues using recycled materials to build outdoor furnishings and equipment for corporate clients that include prestigious golf courses and luxury resorts.

The company’s efforts to relocate its corporate headquarters and assembly plant to Delafield were blocked by city residents living near the site of the proposed development at the Highway C and Interstate 94 interchange.

Private negotiations commenced between Prestwick and village officials that were later discussed in closed session by the Village Board and ratified during a May 2 meeting.

A developer’s agreement between Prestwick and village enables Prestwick to rebuild the golf course which they have renamed The Club at Lac La Belle and proposes the construction of the corporate headquarters adjacent to the golf course.

Some village and town residents argued they knew nothing about the agreement although Prestwick officials described some of their plans during a invitation- only meeting with about 100 village and some town residents in mid June.

<<EARLIER: Lac La Belle trustee predicts no Prestwick headquarters