Madison Lawyer Says Public Should Vote On Lakeside Park Master Plan

Almost 7 years in the making, and the decision on whether the Lakeside Park Master Plan moves forward or is paused could be decided tonight as the Fond du Lac City Council meets. On one side is Lakeside Forward, which has the backing of numerous local businesses and $5 million to jump start the plan, and could include an amphitheater with an ice rink, as well as a multi-purpose use building, with a bistro and meeting space, located on lighthouse peninsula.

Opposition has come in the form of thousands of residents who do not like the idea of the iconic lighthouse peninsula views being disrupted by a building being placed there. The group has brought two petitions to the table, one which would not allow any development of the lighthouse area, unless approved by residents via a vote in the general or special election. The other petition asks for a public referendum prior to any work being done on Oven Island.

City Attorney Deb Hoffman told Council last week that it was her opinion that the petitions were in conflict with the resolution adopted by the Council back in February of this year. On Tuesday, Friends of Lakeside Park, which is the group opposing the plan, released the findings of Mary Beth Peranteau, a lawyer with Madison-based Wheeler, Van Sickle and Anderson. According to Peranteau, who cited  numerous similar examples in the state, just because Council adopted a resolution, there’s no reason not to bring the matter to City residents and allow public approval for specific elements of the Master Plan. One thing is certain…it won’t be a short meeting tonight. The meeting is set to get underway at 6:00 pm