BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR: VOTE “NO” TO PROPOSED KOHLER COMPANY BALLOON ON A STRING ANNEXATION.

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KOHLER COMPANY is petitioning the City of Sheboygan to annex several Town of Wilson properties(750+ acres), including a portion of the Kohler-Andrae State Park, via “Balloon on a String” annexation.  Kohler is seeking this type of annexation because it will require the petition signatures of only THREE persons living within the proposed annexation territory. In order to ensure the signatures of these three people, the Kohler Company has purchased two homes in the proposed annexation territory. 

This type of hostile annexation is rarely used as it is very contentious because there is no requirement for unanimous consent. This type of annexation turns neighbor against neighbor.   Property owners will be forced to annex to the city when they don’t want to do so. Further, the courts have ruled in some previous cases, this doesn’t meet the legal requirements of annexation. In other words, the narrow path that Kohler is seeking to take (the string) in order to connect the city to their proposed golf course land (the balloon) is irregular and arbitrary.

The Town of Wilson has been working with the Kohler Company since 2011 for a possible development of land in the Town. The only COMPLETED application submitted by Kohler Company to the Town of Wilson was for the Town’s last remaining Class B Reserve liquor license.  The Town voted to approve this license.

Per the Town of Wilson Zoning Ordinances, a Conditional Use Permit is required from Kohler. The Town’s Zoning Ordinances state: A proposed conditional use shall be denied unless the applicant (Kohler) can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Town, that the proposed conditional use will not create inappropriate or undesirable impacts on nearby properties, the environment, or the community as a whole.  In order to knowledgeably evaluate the proposed project, the Town of Wilson hired consultants (including Kohler’s preferred consultant) to complete an independent and impartial evaluation of all impacts of the proposed golf course to the town.   The consultants have not even started their review because they do not have the necessary information. The Kohler Company submitted an INCOMPLETE Conditional Use Permit to the Town of Wilson. The Town of Wilson has not yet been able to vote on this matter due to an INCOMPLETE application.

Per the State of Wisconsin a Wetland Permit is required. The Kohler Company submitted an INCOMPLETE Wetland Permit application to the Wisconsin DNR.  The Kohler Company was asked to submit a long list of additional information and many complex questions were asked by DNR experts.  Like the Town of Wilson, the DNR will not make a decision based upon an INCOMPLETE application. 

A permit to fill wetlands is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE).  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is just beginning its process of determining the proposed project’s potential impact on wetlands, Lake Michigan, the globally rare ridge and swale dunes, and all endangered and threatened natural resources.  Their review may also uncover INCOMPLETE information.

We are asking you to Vote No to the Kohler Company’s Petition for Annexation for the following reasons:

1.    The proposed territory is not contiguous to the City of Sheboygan.

2.    The proposed territory has irregular shape.

3.    The proposed territory has more homogeneity with the Town of Wilson than the City of Sheboygan.

The Town of Wilson, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been diligently working with the Kohler Company to receive complete information. 

In an action signaling that the Kohler Company is looking for a “weak link” in this process, the Kohler Company has resorted to requesting a contentious annexation. 

We are asking you to VOTE NO against proposed annexation. 

Don’t let the City of Sheboygan become the weakest link in order for a private developer to be allowed to manipulate a town for his profit and to steal away our State Park.

Vote NO to the hostile, contentious annexation proposed by the Kohler Company.

 



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