West Side Development in Accordance With High Water Mark

Posts on social media indicating that the City of Sturgeon Bay did not do due diligence regarding the ordinary high water mark and public trust issues related to a proposed west side waterfront hotel prompted a news conference at city hall Thursday morning. City Attorney Randy Nesbitt acknowledged that attorneys Frank Kowalkowski and James Kalny had sent a letter to the city suggesting that the site of the Sawyer Hotel Planned Unit Development is subject to the Public Trust Doctrine which is contained in article nine of the Wisconsin Constitution…


Nebitt said, after a year and a half of discussion on the issue, the Department of Natural Resources issued a determination of concurrence with the approximate high water mark. He said the location identified by the DNR was mapped out by Baudhuin Incorporated and the document was recorded with the Door County Register of Deeds on October 28th. Nesbitt said the ball is now in the DNR’s court…


Nesbitt said that the determination of the ordinary high water mark was made by DNR staff and legal counsel, not the City of Sturgeon Bay. He said the city was doing its part to comply with that determination. Nesbitt was asked if the waterfront process will continue locally…


During his presentation, which included questions from the media and public, Nesbitt pointed out that the letter submitted by attorneys Kowalkowski and Kalny included a map indicating a ordinary high water mark that, if used, would eliminate the Cellcom building from its current location at the foot of the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge. He later noted that the map’s affect would also cover Bay Shipbuilding and the working tugboats on the waterfront.

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