DNR Issues High Water Mark Ruling for Granary Property

The Department of Natural Resources has issued a ruling on the ordinary high water mark for a parcel on Sturgeon Bay’s west side waterfront that has been the focus of a lawsuit involving the city and a friends group. The state agency, in a lengthy document, set the dividing line between what is considered public and private property after taking testimony at a public hearing in September. Earlier, Waupaca County Judge Raymond Huber, presiding in Door County Circuit Court, ruled that the DNR had to set the ordinary high water mark before any land could be sold for development. In the meantime, developer Bob Papke, whose Lindgren Hotel was proposed for the waterfront parcel, decided to end his pursuit of the property, citing the uncertainty of the situation and his contention that the city did not follow through on its end of the bargain. He is currently suing the city.

Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout says, in one respect, the decision mirrors a preliminary ruling issued by the DNR…

As for the land referred to as parcel 92, VanLieshout says the DNR decision does place a chunk of the property on the public side of the high water mark…

VanLieshout says the ruling will be studied, he will meet with the Sturgeon Bay City Council, the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, which was a participant in the lawsuit, and a consensus will be developed on how to proceed.

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