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Town of Waukesha seeks halt to Town of Brookfield incorporation process

June 07, 2012
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By Laurel Walker of the Journal Sentinel

June 07, 2012 0

Waukesha - The Waukesha Town Board is seeking to halt further proceedings in the Town of Brookfield incorporation petition until its appeal of a circuit court ruling is decided. The ruling dismissed the Town of Waukesha as a party to the case.

The town's attorney estimated the process could take up to nine months.

A temporary delay of a May 15 public hearing on incorporation before the state Incorporation Review Board, as requested by the Town of Brookfield, was granted earlier so interested parties could attempt mediation.

The first mediation session involving the Town of Brookfield, the cities of Waukesha and Brookfield and the village of Sussex was held May 30, and further sessions are scheduled for June 21 and 28, said Richard Czopp, Town of Brookfield administrator.

The Town of Waukesha has not participated in mediation, he said.

Now an attorney for the Town of Waukesha, Dean Laing, is seeking a further stay, stating in a Waukesha County court filing that since the Town of Brookfield has been trying to incorporate since 1999, "a delay in the proceedings for another six to nine months pales in comparison to the 13-year-old process."

If mediation is unsuccessful, the Incorporation Review Board would ultimately issue a decision for or against the incorporation after a public hearing. Based on the board's finding, a circuit judge would either dismiss the petition or order an incorporation referendum of those living in the proposed village.

Since the Town of Waukesha was removed as a party at the start of the incorporation process, it could not file an appeal of the decision later, Laing said.

He argued that even if the Town of Waukesha wins its appeal and is reinstated as an interested party in the case, it probably would come too late for any future appeal, leaving the town irreparably harmed.

A hearing on the Town of Waukesha's request for a further stay is set for June 27.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Donald J. Hassin Jr. dismissed the Town of Waukesha from the case in March because it failed to meet a court deadline for submitting necessary documentation that the Town Board had authorized its involvement in the court challenge.

The Town of Waukesha objects to the incorporation because the Town of Brookfield has included about 288 acres of Town of Waukesha territory in a 4.2-square-mile area proposed as a new village.

The area is centered near Goerkes Corners, where I-94 and Highway 18 meet. That site is where Marcus Corp. plans to develop The Corners residential and retail development, anchored by a Von Maur department store.

About Laurel Walker
Laurel Walker covered local, school and county government for 20 years -- the last half of that at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- before she was named Waukesha County columnist in 1997. Today she writes about the people, places and events around metropolitan Milwaukee with a broad suburban focus. She was the youngest of nine children raised on a central Wisconsin farm before leaving the nest for journalism studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a masters degree at the University of Oregon. She has spent the last half of her life in Waukesha County, where she and her husband raised two sons. Though she has a fondness for life in Waukesha, she eagerly partakes in the culture of the big city to the east and the recreation of the forests to the west. With sons in the arts, she has a special fondness for symphonic music concerts and art museums. She finds peace in a good book at a Northwoods getaway weekend, adventure in family visits to the east and west coasts, and satisfaction in a column well-written that reaches readers.
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