WaterView condominium project hearing Wednesday
Public comment welcomed on Lake Road development

By Alex Nemec

March 14, 2019

 The view of the proposed WaterView Condominiums from Fowler Lake looking southwest. The building on the right is a 3,800-square-foot condo with three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms. On the left is a 25,000-square-foot, eight-unit building.
Rendering courtesy of Jason Gallo

OCONOMOWOC — Renner Architects, along with opponents of the proposed WaterView Condominium project at 517 N. Lake Road, will state their case of why, or why not, the project should be approved at a pubic hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Peter Renner, founder of Renner Architects, did not return calls for comment.

Oconomowoc City Planner Jason Gallo said Renner Architects will give their presentation about their project, citizens against or for the project will be able to speak and then the city’s own hired consultant, Peter Rott of Isthmus Architecture out of Madison, will talk about the project, as well.

The members of the city’s architectural commission recused themselves from the project, giving way to hearing examiners to decide the fate of the project.

Once everyone speaks, the examiner will look at the findings of fact, but most likely won’t make a decision on Wednesday, Gallo said.

Director of the Isthmus Historic Preservation David Cullinane said his group hired Trego Architects to review Renner’s plans for the project.

“(They) detailed dozens of violations of this project for the existing zoning regulations for the isthmus historic district,” Cullinane said.

Cullinane said his group has had lots of support and that the project would dwarf other buildings in the area.

“The way that the zoning was set up that any subsequent buildings on the isthmus have to reflect the scale in addition to the style, and in addition to the architectural component, that were within that period of time from 1870 to 1920,” Cullinane said. Cullinane said he thinks the community would welcome Renner’s talents, just not at this location on North Lake Road.

“Developers sometimes try to ignore or attempt to get around the community’s wishes because there’s such large profit incentives,” Cullinane said. “We’re not against development, but we don’t want to destroy existing architecturally and historically important sites just purely for profit.

“This is not someone who cares about Oconomowoc, this is someone who cares about making money.”

<<EARLIER: Developer submits new plans for historic Lake Road site