By Roger Utnehmer
A meeting to mediate a resolution to the Sturgeon Bay west side waterfront hotel project scheduled for Friday has been cancelled.
DoorCountyDailyNews.com has learned from a source involved with a group opposed to the proposed hotel location that developer Robert Papke is “done” with the project. According to the source, Papke reviewed the site after a mediation meeting coordinated by State Representative Joel Kitchens on Monday and said that if he could not build on the original location he was finished. As a result of that comment, the Friday mediation session has been cancelled.
Papke began development plans for a west side waterfront hotel but was stopped when the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront took the city of Sturgeon Bay to court. A judge ruled earlier this year that part of the proposed hotel location was on filled land and could not be developed.
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Rep. Joel Kitchens believes the hotel project is not dead, saying neither side would budge on where an ordinary high water mark (OWHM) could be placed, something he hopes comes in the near future.
District 1 Alderperson Kelly Catarozoli was shocked to hear the news and does not understand why the OHWM has not been obtained for the site.
District 7 alderperson Will Gregory was more surprised it took Papke this long rather than the actual decision to potentially pull out of the project if he could not build on the original site.
Phone calls placed to Robert Papke, Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham, and Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Vanlieshout have not as yet been returned. Their comments will be reported when they respond.