Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:41 pm
Almost 90 percent of the homeowners in the 29-square-mile Geneva Lake watershed say large residential development in the watershed is not needed and should not be encouraged, according to a survey conducted by the Fiscal and Economic Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
The survey also found that more than 80 percent of those homeowners oppose large residential development in the watershed. The survey was commissioned by the Geneva Lake Conservancy, which is a nonprofit organization that promotes stewardship of the area’s land and water resources. The survey was conducted between September and December and was sent to 1,610 randomly selected property owners in and around the watershed. The survey area included Lake Geneva, the Town of Linn, Williams Bay and Fontana.
More than 70 percent of those surveyed said that the watershed should be protected, even if that means limiting future development in the area. "Residents are strongly concerned that any potential for a reduction in water quality of Geneva Lake will have a significant impact on them," said Russ Kashian, an associate economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Development pressure has been increasing in the Lake Geneva area in recent years as sprawl from the Chicago area continues to push north of the state line. "We believe that many, if not most, local citizens want to preserve the small-town and rural Wisconsin flavor of our communities, while accommodating growth when, where and how it will best serve their needs," said James Celano III of the Geneva Lake Conservancy.