Lawsuit Over Waterfront Hotel Begins

Two days have been set aside for trial in Door County Circuit Court on a suit challenging the City of Sturgeon Bay’s decision to sell land on the west side waterfront to a developer proposing to build a hotel on the parcel. A group calling itself “The Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront” is contending that a portion of the land intended for the “Lindgren Hotel” was filled in decades ago, is, as such, public property, and its sale would be in violation of the public trust doctrine of the Wisconsin constitution. They point to the the bay’s original high water mark as evidence of their contention. In response, the city has countered that the high water mark being followed was set by the Department of Natural Resources. The suit was first dismissed in federal court early last year when Judge William Griesbach ruled that the decision should come from a state court. And, in January, Waupaca County Judge Raymond Huber, who will preside at the trial, refused to accept motions from either side to short-circuit the proceedings. The trial began Thursday at 9:30AM.

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