Town of Lisbon — Neighbors living near the intersection of highways Q (County Line Road) and 164 have filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County Circuit Court to block development of a gas station/convenience store and restaurant on the southwest corner of the intersection.
The complaint asks the court to declare “null and void” a decision by a special town review board in August 2015 that permitted the development despite decisions by the plan commission in 2014 and 2015 denying developers a conditional use permit.
The lawsuit also asks the court to reinstate the plan commission’s decisions to deny the permit for the development that would be located on the site of a former Association Bank branch office located at the roundabout intersection.
The half-dozen neighbors, members of the Bark River Brigade, filed the court action on Dec. 14 against the Lisbon town board, plan commission, special board of review, and Wexford Heights LLP, the developers of the project.
This is the second time the Bark River Brigade has sought court action to block the development.
The previous attempt failed when the state supreme court in November refused to review lower court decisions that denied motions by the group to intervene in a circuit court case involving the developer and the town.
The developers filed a lawsuit against the town following the plan commission’s rejection of the plans.
In an attempt to settle the dispute, lawyers for Wexford Heights and the town’s insurance carrier agreed the town board would create a special board of review to allow the developers another chance to gain approval of the conditional use permit.
After holding hearings in July and August 2015, the special board of review decided to grant the permit.
The Bark River Brigade then asked the circuit court to allow then to intervene in the legal action between the town and the developer.
The circuit court denied the request.
In this latest legal action, the neighbors argue they are entitled to have their issues with the special review board litigated in court and the previous court decisions related to whether they could intervene in the circuit court case between the town and the developer, and did not relate to their issues with the special review board.
In his complaint, attorney Joseph Cincotta argues the convening of the special review board was “inapplicable and not appropriate” and other provisions of state law should have been applied.
In addition, he argues, the neighbors were prejudiced because the developers were given three opportunities to obtain a conditional use permit.
The special board decision should be voided and the case reviewed by the circuit court because the neighbors were denied proper due process by the review board because the board did allow the neighbors to submit certain information and “undue pressure” was applied to some of the members of the board to approve the permit.
Cincotta also argues that town zoning codes do not permit the use of the land being proposed by the developers.
He pointed out that the land is in a B-2 local business district.
The permit uses in that district do not include gasoline stations, convenience stores and car wash and oil change facilities.
During nearly three years of hearings, the neighbors objected to the development say it would increase traffic, noise and water pollution, and reduce the values of their property.
In February 2016, the plan commission permitted the developers to add a car wash and vacuuming station to the development.
Town Chairman Joe Osterman said lawyers for the town’s insurance carrier would prepare a response to the complaint filed by the neighbors.