By Paul Schmitt
The attorney for the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront is hopeful that Tuesday’s DNR withdrawing of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) declaration may lead to a potential settlement. The Wisconsin DNR withdrew the ruling from February based on a material factual error. Friends group attorney Mary Beth Perenteau says the Department of Justice could not ascertain the basis for the mapping of the meander line that was used to determine ordinary high water mark after she questioned the validity of process months ago. She says this may be a good time to revisit a potential settlement that was approved by both parties but was rejected by Sturgeon Bay’s Waterfront Redevelopment Authority last year.
Peranteau says that neither party expected the ruling to be withdrawn and that some members of the Friends group have already reached out to the city. Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says he was surprised at the ruling but could not comment on which direction the city may pursue.