OCONOMOWOC — The Plan Commission
voted unanimously to affirm hearing examiner John Fuchs’ decision to
deny developer Peter Renner’s WaterView Condominium project last
Wednesday evening, citing the design didn’t match that of the
historic Isthmus District.
The vote was 7-0 in favor of affirming Fuchs’ decision.
The nine-unit project is planned for 517-525 N. Lake Road. The
property sits on the edge of Fowler Lake adjacent to the dam and has
received criticism from residents in the Isthmus District for not
fitting the neighborhood.
Don Murn, Renner’s attorney, said the city’s ordinance on which
Fuchs’ decision was based was vague and unenforceable.
Renner quoted the ordinance which states “(all development, facade
and building changes must) complement other instances of similar
development in the Isthmus District which are consistent with the
He added he “would challenge any of you or any applicant to give me
a standard by which they could submit something that would satisfy
that requirement because it is simply unascertainable. It is not a
standard, it’s a statement without any context.”
Commissioner John Gross said the ordinance wasn’t vague, but rather
was built to allow flexibility because of how unique the parcels
“The city didn’t want to come up with the possibility of making it
all tickytacky,” Gross said. “It was meant to give maximum
flexibility so we could preserve as much as we could of the
Mayor David Nold said the city has gone through a construction boom
with condominiums being added to the downtown.
“But that’s downtown, that’s not on North Lake Road on a narrow
street by a dam,” Nold said “What (Renner) is proposing would fit
somewhere else much better or a redesigned building would look maybe
Nold added that adding nine families to a two-family lot would
increase traffic and density.
Should Renner and Murn choose to appeal the commission’s decision,
it will go to the Waukesha County Court of Appeals.
<<EARLIER: Renner appealing decision on WaterView Condominiums