Michael Dilworth, developer and property owner of land along Janesville Road on Little Muskego Lake, is "no longer interested" in selling land to the city, which became the center of heated public debate since it was introduced last August. However at the same August meeting, a second option was proposed that featured development of condominiums.
The letter from Dilworth attorney Gerald Boisits to the Common Council in August outlined the lake park concept along with an 'option A' featuring eight houses near the lake and two buildings off Janesville Road that would have condominiums and retail space for restaurants and gift shops.
The letter from Boisits to the city earlier this week did not mention future use of the land, and repeated attempts for comment from Boisits have gone unanswered. However, the letter did request that the "Park" be taken out of the master plan.
A similar letter from Foley and Lardner, the law firm representing the Nanette Gardetto trust also stated their withdrawal from selling the property to the city. They also asked for the property to be removed from references of future park development, so it can be "marketed without encumbrance." Again, attempts to determine what future plans Gardetto may be open to from Foley and Lardner were unanswered.
Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said if the possible lake acquisition notes are taken out of the city's comprehensive plan, "the properties will still be shown as their existing use which is medium density residential. Any change in a new use would require future amendments to the plan."
Reactions from council members to the were varied. Alderman Tracy Snead was a 'yes' vote on the earlier council vote to purchase the plan, and the author of a proposal to form an ad hoc committee to determine costs for development of a park. She lost her bid for re-election Tuesday to challenger Robert Wolfe, with her vote being a focus of his campaign.
"I'm not sure what to say. I am disappointed because I have spent most of my time defending my position for nothing now I guess," she said. "I wasn't married to the project but felt it had some real merit and should be pursued with caution to help create an epicenter for Muskego. Hopefully, we can find something that will help us with this downtown development and making Muskego attractive for businesses to be interested in coming here."
Alderman Dan Soltysiak, who had cast a 'no' vote on the purchase, was surprised over the landowners' reaction, but was hopeful the committee could still serve a purpose.
"The withdrawal of the offer to sell by the property owners for the Lake Park was a complete shock to me. I was looking forward to see what the adhoc committee developed along with what the research and public dialogue revealed," he stated. "One of the main reasons for the lake park that I have heard from many proponents was to create a gathering place and a focal point. I would like to see the adhoc lake park committee refocused to look at how and where we may be able to create this gathering place and a focal point for the community."