OCONOMOWOC — Architectural
Commission Hearing Examiner John Fuchs has submitted his report to
the city in which he has concluded that the WaterView Condominiums
project is denied.
“It is my determination, acting as the Architectural Commission,
that the applicant’s proposal does not meet mandated design criteria
and approval is denied,” Fuchs said in his report.
The project proposed by Renner Architects was planned for 517-525 N.
Lake Road, located in the historic Isthmus District, which requires
special design standards to conform to the other buildings in the
According to the report, the standards require that all development
facades and building changes shall reflect building, scale, design,
configuration, details, material and color which reflect the
practices as common in the period between 1870 and 1930.
Fuchs said in his report that Renner Architects’ project was unlike
any of the other homes in the area.
“The homes in the area, particularly on Lake Road, are substantially
dissimilar to the proposed development, both in terms of mass and
other design criteria, and essentially the surrounding area does not
conform to the applicable design standards,” Fuchs said.
He stated that the project as proposed “does not conform to
applicable design standards, particularly in failing to adequately
reflect the architecture of the time, and further as to its mass,
style, form and various details relating to doors and fenestration.”
“I conclude it also fails to complement similar development in the
Fuchs said he recognized Renner Architects’ previous submittal
involving 12 units, and that the elevation, treatments and materials
have been taken into consideration, meaning the architect has
recognized the standards set for the Isthmus District.
“The effort in no way alters my conclusion at this time that the
project as proposed must be denied,” Fuchs said.
Renner Architects owner Peter Renner did not respond to a request
At the hearing on March 20, citizens came to City Hall to voice
their displeasure with the project, a point Fuchs said he noted in
“The citizenry overwhelmingly views the proposed development as not
conforming to the requisite standards,” Fuchs said. “One might argue
that those opposed have an inherent bias and thus argue there is
“It would seem more logical and likely that it is non-compliance
which motivates their objection.”
Isthmus Historic Preservation Society Director David Cullinane said
he was happy to hear it was rejected and added that it was clear the
project wasn’t in compliance.
“As pointed out by the hearing examiner, in addition to two
independent architects that reviewed this project, and all three of
them were in concordance that there was nothing about the project
that really fell underneath the zoning ordinances,” Cullinane said.
The Society has prevented 15 total architecturally important homes
in the Isthmus District, Cullinane said.
“I think out of town developers have had a long history of
attempting to destroy the culture of not only our neighborhood, but
our city,” he said. “This particular set of ordinances was put in
place exactly to prevent that.”
Cullinane said he thinks Fuchs’ denial was appropriate.
“We feel that it’s time that this developer found another site in
the city that the city can help him locate, so that he can work
within appropriate areas in the city, like other developers have,”
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