Lac La Belle preparing Prestwick codes
Village Board approves Smart Growth changes

By Kelly Smith - Special to The Freeman

Dec. 26, 2018

LAC LA BELLE — Village staff has begun crafting zoning ordinances to control development of a corporate headquarters for the Prestwick Group near the Lac La Belle golf course following the Village Board’s final approval of amendments to the Smart Growth plan needed to accommodate the development.

Village Attorney Hector de la Mora said it will take at least 90 days for the Plan Commission and Village Board to approve what he anticipates will be three separate ordinances. One of the ordinances will control zoning on the approximately 27 acres where the “administration building” — as it is described in the development agreement between the village and Prestwick — is slated to be built.

The ordinance is expected to regulate the size, height, location, lighting, stormwater management control, parking, landscaping and open spaces and other issues related to the development.

The other ordinances will regulate zoning on the two parcels adjacent to the building, including a five- or six-lot residential development, according to de la Mora.

Village President Tim Clark assured residents attending the Dec. 19 Village Board meeting that they would be provided numerous opportunities at public hearings and meetings to make comments and offer proposals on the ordinances. De la Mora said there is also a possibility the Plan Commission and Village Board will soon be asked to approve plans by Prestwick for the construction of an event venue — dubbed “The Carriage House” — on the golf course that they acquired last year.

However, Clark said the village will take no action on The Carriage House until plans are presented to village officials and he is satisfied that Prestwick has completed work winterizing the golf course following late summer and early fall construction.

Reconstruction of the golf course and construction of the administration building are part of the development agreement that was privately negotiated between Prestwick and village representatives before it was approved by the Village Board following a 90-minute meeting closed to the public on May 2.

Residents’ accusations against trustees

Approximately 17 village residents who have attended Plan Commission and Village Board members have accused trustees of not being transparent regarding the development proposal and the amendments to the village’s comprehensive plan, called Smart Growth.

Three of those residents raised questions and expressed concerns about the development before the Village Board voted unanimously on Dec. 19 to approve the amendments proposed by the Plan Commission.

Clark and the trustees continued to describe the plan as a “mission statement” regarding the village’s future and claimed the amendments were purely procedural in order to gain approval from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Plan Commission (SEWPRC) to extend sewer service to the proposed headquarters.

However, de la Mora and Village Administrator George Stumpf have conceded that the amendments were necessary for the village to abide by the development agreement with Prestwick.

The amendments changed the village’s long-range commercial development policies to accommodate construction of the headquarters, cottages for overnight golf accommodations, and the residential development.

Clark and the trustees say the headquarters development and golf course reconstruction will increase the size of the village’s tax base, generating new tax revenues for the village in the future.

In addition, they say Prestwick has agreed to pay for stormwater management ponds near the proposed administration building and on the golf course that will reduce stormwater runoff and water pollution going into Lake Lac La Belle.

However, some residents living on Lac La Belle Lane, along the lake shore, have complained of flooding as a result of Prestwick’s reconstruction work on the golf course and the company’s failure to complete on schedule a stormwater control pond north of the golf course.

<<EARLIER: Smart Growth to be changed for Prestwick