For more than a decade, Shodeen Homes has been trying to build a subdivision in the Town of Delavan. But a law allowing the neighboring city of Delavan to weigh in has prevented the project from moving forward because city officials have not approved the project.
Dave Patzelt, president of Geneva, Ill-based Shodeen, though his company would finally get the green light Monday from the city to proceed with plans for The Shores Of Delavan Lake, a 379-lot subdivision.
The item was originally on the City of Delavan’s Jan. 4 plan commission agenda with a recommendation for approval. City staff requested removal of the item saying the city attorney had not had a chance to complete his due diligence and submit a report.
“We submitted all of our documents in accordance with the traditional schedule, and all of the sudden the attorney pulls it and they are conducting a more detailed review,” Patzelt said. “It’s got me a little nervous.”
City Administrator Denise Pieroni said the Shores of Delavan proposal will be on the Feb. 1 plan commission agenda.
“I’m a little miffed that it got to the point it did,” Pieroni said. “This was a premature recommendation. The city continues to have concerns.”
Shodeen purchased 2,000 acres of land in the Town of Delavan and Walworth County in 2004 and 2006 with the intention of subdividing the land and building in excess of 600 single family homes.
The town has given Shodeen approval for the project. But the city has extra-territorial plat approval because the development is located less than 1.5 miles from the city’s boarder. The land could one day be annexed into the city. If the city approves the project, Walworth County, which has already approved Shodeen's rezoning requests, will also have to approve the project.
The Shores of Delavan Lake project would be built in eight phases and includes 315 single-family homes, 160 multi-family homes and 64 duplexes located on 270 acres to the southeast of the Mound Road and County Highway F intersection.
The single family homes would be built first and the multi-family homes would be built as the market absorbs them, Patzelt said.
“It’s not uncommon for these projects to take 10-20 years,” Patzelt said. “Home sizes change, home styles change and developments are tweaked as the market changes. We don’t see 600 families waiting in line to buy all of these units, but we think 10-20 years is reasonable in Delavan.”
The 10-year hold up to the project, however, had to do with the first subdivision Shodeen wanted to build in the town, Mound Road Estates, a 74-lot development that will be built in the middle of The Shores project.
After getting the necessary approvals from the town, the city rejected a preliminary plat for Mound Road Estates. Shodeen sued and was victorious in Walworth County Circuit Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The matter went to the State Supreme Court, which wouldn't hear the case so the appellate court's ruling stood.
Now that the Mound Road Estates subdivision has been approved by the city, by court order, Shodeen will attempt on Feb. 1 to get approval for The Shores of Delavan Lake.
Patzelt said Shodeen has already spent millions on the developments before shovels have even been put into the ground. The Shores and Mound Road developments themselves will cost in excess of $100 million once building begins, Patzelt said.
“This is private enterprise in the middle of a city that is trying to prevent competition and fighting a town,” Patzelt said.