Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Proposal Under Review

The controversy that has dominated Sturgeon Bay city politics for three years may finally be nearing a conclusion.

The City of Sturgeon Bay and Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront held talks with a mediator June 12 and 14 to discuss the placement of the ordinary high water mark on land on the city’s west waterfront. The city has tried to sell the land to a private developer to build a hotel, but the friends group has argued that the land is actually filled lakebed, and thus a part of the Public Trust Doctrine.

The negotiations between the two groups resulted in a settlement proposal that was reviewed by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council in closed session June 19. The council decided to send it to the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority (WRA) for review before they take action on it.

If the WRA and the common council both approve the settlement, it would then be up to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to accept the determination. If all of that falls into place, it would then be up to Judge Raymond Huber to lift his injunction from Feb. 10 that precluded the sale of the land.

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