Hillmoor golf course art

White River Holdings purchased the former Hillmoor Golf Course property in 2016, and later ended up suing Lake Geneva because of stifled efforts to consider redevelopment.

Lake Geneva aldermen have reaffirmed their decision to hire professional planners to study redevelopment options on the former Hillmoor Golf Course property.

The city council voted 6-2 during a special meeting Oct. 7 to uphold an earlier decision to hire Vandewalle & Associates to develop a concept plan for the former golf course.

Aldermen Shari Straube and Tim Dunn voted against the planning work.

The council initially approved the study Sept. 9, but then decided to reconsider on a motion by Straube, who changed her mind and opposed the planning work.

The city wants the planners to present options for the future of the old golf course property in anticipation of a move by property owner White River Holdings LLC to pursue some sort of redevelopment. The 200-acre golf course closed more than 10 years ago, and the property at 333 E. Main St. is now dormant.

Straube said she opposes the city’s new study because she is concerned the city might end up rezoning the old golf course.

Mayor Tom Hartz said Vandewalle & Associates will present the city with three development options, possibly including one that maintains the property’s current zoning.

“I think having three concepts for us to look at, including one that looks at what it looks like now, only benefits us,” Hartz said.

The city has agreed to pay $29,500 for the planning work.

Dunn said he continues to oppose the work, because he believes the city should wait for White Rivers Holdings to come up with a proposal for the property.

“I think it’s up to the owners to bring us a proposal that would knock our socks off,” Dunn said.

The Oct. 7 special meeting did not include time for public comment on the planning work, and some people in the audience raised objections.

Former Alderman Pete Peterson later told aldermen that some people in Lake Geneva want the old golf course to remain undeveloped.

“Hopefully, you will live up to your responsibilities and do what the public wants,” Peterson said.