Special Counsel Approved for Waterfront High Water Mark Process

The City of Sturgeon Bay will hire a special legal counsel to guide the city through the declaratory ruling process of the Department of Natural Resources in connection with the ordinary high water mark for a parcel on Sturgeon Bay’s west side waterfront. On a vote of four to three, with Mayor Thad Birmingham breaking a three to three tie, the council Tuesday agreed to hire Paul Kent, a Madison attorney with expertise in the field. When Waupaca County Judge Raymond Huber ruled in favor of a group opposed to a hotel on the waterfront property, he noted that the city property referred to as “parcel 92” could not be sold until the Department of Natural Resources determined the ordinary high water mark by way of a declaratory ruling. The process includes a public hearing. After city staff reviewed the statute, with input from the city attorney, it was decided that attorney Kent should be hired to act as special counsel in the declaratory ruling matter expected to come before the DNR. During debate on the matter, council-member Kelly Catarozoli explained why she was opposed to the idea…

But alderman David Ward said the city council should not hesitate to protect its interests by hiring an expert in the field…

Mayor Thad Birmingham had to cast the tie-breaking vote because alderman Rick Wiesner was excused from the meeting.

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