Nonprofit group pushing back on development of unspoiled Lake Geneva lakefront land. The University of Chicago is selling the land to developers.
Online PR News – 23-January-2021 – Williams Bay, WI – Williams Bay Community Group Pushes Back On Observatory Woods Development Plan
Petition Drive Seeks One-Year Moratorium To Preserve Woodland and Lakefront Areas
Citing concerns the COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited public participation, the Williams Bay Association for Land Preservation (WBALP) is petitioning for a one-year halt in the process of developing the woodland and lakefront areas surrounding the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay.
WBALP is conducting a direct legislation petition drive to collect signatures from eligible Williams Bay residents who support a proposed ordinance calling for the moratorium. A proposed amendment to the Village of Williams Bay Comprehensive Plan is currently pending before the Village Plan Commission. If approved, previously untouched woodlands would be rezoned from "Public and Institutional" use to “Large Lot Residential” use.
"Residents and elected officials of the Village of Williams Bay have the responsibility to protect these areas," the proposed ordinance reads in part. "The COVID-19 pandemic presents serious barriers for public participation." A moratorium is necessary "in order to temporarily protect the public interest and welfare," according to the proposed ordinance. The woodland and Geneva lakefront areas are designated as primary environmental corridors by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
"The residents of Williams Bay want a seat at the table," said Sandra Johnson, WBALP founder. "We want to be sure that our elected officials are working on our behalf."
Volunteers for the community organization will be canvassing Williams Bay neighborhoods on Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24. They will be seeking signatures from Williams Bay residents who are at least 18-years-old. Those interested in signing the petition can also visit Steamers Coffee Shop at 26 W. Geneva St., in Williams Bay.
About the Williams Bay Association for Land Preservation:
The Williams Bay Association for Land Preservation (WBALP) advocates for the preservation of undeveloped, and environmentally and historically significant land for our community’s health and heritage. These areas are designated as primary environmental corridors by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and are considered some of the best remaining woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitat areas in Walworth County. WBALP seeks transparency in our local government and asks to be part of the conversation. Learn more at http://www.stowl.org.
For more information contact: