Sunday, August 16, 2015

Realtors: Shhh - - Don't say Waukesha's Lake Michigan diversion for growth

Waukesha's application for a Lake Michigan diversion calls for average daily water importing greater than what the city uses and also calls for making some of the diverted water available to a service territory expanded by 80% into some undeveloped acreage and several neighboring communities that did not apply for diversions on their own.

At huge costs, too.

I have called that planned beyond-its-boundaries distribution by Waukesha the application's weakest link - - and look who is advising its members not to go to upcoming hearings next week and talk about water for growth, business and land development expansion: the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Look to the advice at end of the group's pre-hearing "Call to Action," and also don't miss for further ironies the letter in support of the application signed by eight elected GOP politicians which criticizes opponents alleged to have "political" agendas.

GMAR Call To Action - Tell the DNR to Approve Waukesha's Request for Lake Michigan Water.

Next week the DNR will be holding three public hearings on Waukesha's application for Great Lakes water.  We encourage you to tell the DNR to approve the application.

The DNR has concluded that accessing Lake Michigan water is the only reasonable alternative for Waukesha, however, opponents are waging a well-funded and well-organized campaign to stop it. 

The first hearing is Monday, August 17, 2015, beginning with a DNR presentation at 5:30 pm, then public testimony at 6:30 pm. The hearing will be held at the Carroll University Center for Graduate Studies Auditorium (LL14).  Please note that this is not at the main campus.  The address is 2140 Davidson Road, Waukesha. 

There will be two hearings on Tuesday, August 18th, one in Milwaukee (1:00 pm presentation, 2:00 pm hearing at the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, 1240 N. 10th Street, Milwaukee) and another in Racine (5:30 pm presentation, 6:30 pm hearing at the Racine Masonic Center, 1012 Main Street, Racine).

We encourage you to provide spoken testimony at one or more of the hearings in support of the DNR's conclusions and Waukesha receiving Lake Michigan water. 

Testimony will likely be limited to three minutes (about 400 words).  You should use your own words to express your opinions and feelings about the water application, and how it will affect the city and its residents and businesses.  It is important to show that this proposal affects real people and businesses.  Try to refrain from comments that relate to more water for growth or expansion of businesses or land development. That is not the objective of the application. Click here for some talking points

For more info go to


Max B. said...

The realtor membership wasn't consulted regarding this latest political manipulation by the leadership.

Realtors are interested in one thing, and one thing only: more commissions.

You'd hope this time they'd use that self-interest to realize that prospective buyers with alternatives are NOT going to chose to buy in Waukesha, what with water rates going to $900/year for an average family, tens of thousands of dollars in hook-up costs if they're buying into the expanded service area, and an uncertain water future that relies on 3 other communities for its source and return flow. Oh yeah, and a water utility drunk with power.

Max B. said...

Oh, and Realtors: Con't call a spade a spade and don't talk about the elephant in the room, or is that the elephant in the expanded service area.

Anonymous said...

I say let's compare the voter list for Waukesha to the recall Walker list if the majority (51%) didn't sign the recall petition....... "Let them eat cake"

Bill McClenahan said...

In fact, Waukesha’s application is all about sustainability – switching to a water supply that can be recycled back to the source, instead of causing damage to 700 to 2,300 acres of wetlands, as well as streams, lakes and aquifer. That’s the DNR says the plan by opponents would cause, even if water use was dramatically reduced below forecasts.

Population growth in the service area is projected at 0.5% until build-out. Only 15% of the land in the area is available for development. In the city, any development is essentially in-fill. The area outside of the city is also largely developed, but on wells and septic. Only 0.2% of that area is undeveloped commercial land and only 0.5% is undeveloped industrial land. So no, development is not the purpose of the application for a healthy, sustainable water supply.

Apparently that tiny amount of potential development is what has you all worked up. Not damage to a huge amount of wetlands. Not cutting off groundwater to streams and lakes.

The Journal Sentinel actually drove around the area to check on your typical sprawl claim. See

Anonymous said...

Waukesha's application is about "divide and conquer".

In this case the Great Lakes Water Compact.

Jim Bouman said...

Bill McClenahan would do us a favor by proudly declaring that he's just an ordinary guy speaking up in the interests of ordinary Waukesha residents. But, that would require our ignoring the fact that he's been getting a fat check every month--for years-- to keep on toiling as the flack for the real estate interests and The Waukesha Water Utility Commissioners who are pushing this insane diversion scheme.

Anonymous said...

Assemblyman from Waukesha, Scott Allen is a realtor. He signed the letter in support of to Kathy Stepp.

Anonymous said...

Question Bill - If an existing 250k home with 2 acres in the Town is annexed into the city and REDEVELOPED into 8- 1/4 acre homes valued at 300k each, home much is it now worth?

Answer - $2.4 million.

What about apartments???

This application is all about sprawl.

Anonymous said...

I Love it!

They start by saying, "You should use your own words..."

Then they go on to say... but don't talk about expansion and growth.

They then follow it up with a link to some helpful talking points for their members to use.