By Tim Kowols
The city of Sturgeon Bay is waiting on the Department of Natural Resources to set a date for its declaratory hearing concerning the west side waterfront. A week ago, the DNR gave its preliminary determination of the disputed Parcel 92 indicating a site slated for a planned hotel was above the ordinary high water mark while its neighboring grain elevator was not. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says they have kept contact with Green Bay’s SMET Construction, the developer that was planning to turn the grain elevator into a brewery.
VanLieshout thinks the preliminary determination was a positive for the city and is grateful the Common Council approved the use of a special counsel familiar with these types of situations. He also understands that there is still a process ahead.
According to VanLieshout, SMET Construction has not given him any indications on their future involvement in the site after the determination and does not know when the declaratory hearing will take place. In a release from the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, the group believes the DNR’s analysis is not based on the natural changes of the shoreline and contradicts the court’s decision earlier this year.