Rezoning Update


     Approximately 40 residents attended the hearing to consider rezoning Mr. Farb's property along Hwy. 47. Many people spoke to the committee, although most present in the audience were opposed. There were about 8 speakers on both sides of the issue. The chair, Gary Beier, asked for a show of hands among the audience on which side each supported. By far, at least 75% of those present opposed the rezoning proposal.

     The crux of the problem is deciding how to balance the amount of space for trades/business with the desire to preserve the natural environment, which has been the major attraction for Lake Tomahawk. All seem to agree that Lake Tomahawk needs a comprehensive plan to develop the economic vitality of the town. A vast majority of Town land belongs to the state, which limits options. It would appear that solid leadership is needed to address all the issues and generate enough discussion so that consensus can be reached to move forward. Essentially, there are many ideas out there to be considered. The good ones have to be found and a plan developed so that all needs are met. The business interests have legitimate concerns, as do the residential owners. A concept that "we all live under the same tent" needs to be fostered. There's a place for all of us, IF we can learn to work together.

     Some speakers highlighted the need to develop "fringe" areas along Hwy. 47.  Others urged developing the downtown area, where several unused lots could be turned into shops to attract visitors. Still others could be made more attractive with a bit of work. Giving more financial support to the downtown beautification committee would be a start in providing an impetus for "clean up", "paint up", fix up" ideas. The Beautification Committee has already designed and installed new entry signs as motorists enter the town.

    The town could use its' assets (lakes, trees, clean water) to attract people who would spend their money. Currently, visitors are attracted to other nearby areas.

    Somehow, a proper balance needs to be found between competing interests if the town is to move forward economically. This can be done; other towns have done it. Perhaps the Town Board would do well to study the progress of other towns in becoming stronger economically and model their policies after them.

    In denying Mr. Farb's request, several member of the Oneida Zoning Committee indicated that Lake Tomahawk needs to develop its' own long-range plan, one that's suited to the people here.


     The Oneida Co. Zoning Committee has scheduled a public hearing on this issue at the Sloan Community Center, Lake Tomahawk, on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 (7 PM). If wish to be heard on the topic, or lend your support, mark this on your calendar to attend. Your presence matters. The outcome may depend on what happens at the meeting.

[Background on this issue follows]


    Many of you may be wondering about the results of the Lake Tomahawk Town Meeting that took place on Feb. 8, 2006 regarding the agenda item to re-zone Mr. Farb's property along Hwy. 47.

Mr. Coffen, the Town chair, made a motion to rezone the property, but failed to achieve a second. Mr. Gary Sowatzka read a prepared list of reasons he opposes the change. Mr. Coffen, then, motioned the issue as, "dead on the floor". That received a second and it passed. Christy Nemcek abstained from voting throughout the proceedings.

The meeting results will be referred back to the Oneida Co. Zoning Board.

It would appear that Mr. Farb was unsuccessful in gaining the endorsement of the Lake Tomahawk Town Board for his re-zoning petition.


    The Lake Tomahawk Town Board met on Jan. 11th and voted to table the agenda item proposal of Mr. David Farb to rezone his parcel of land along Hwy. 47 near Duck Road. The proposal would attempt to change the zoning from Single-family Residential to Business Commercial.

    The next Town Board meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM, Wednesday, February 8, 2006 in the Sloan Community Center. At that time the rezoning issue will be revisited and an "advisory vote" will be taken by the Town Board supervisors.

    Contacting elected representatives by telephone would be an effective method to express yourself on the issue. You may also send letters to:

Town Board of Lake Tomahawk

PO Box 396

Lake Tomahawk WI 54539

Includes:    Ed Coffen, Town Chairman

7260 Maple Rd.

Lake Tomahawk, WI    54539

Gary Sowatzka, Town Board Supervisor

7273 Kelly Dr.

Lake Tomahawk, WI    54539

Christy Nemcek, Town Board Supervisor

7734 Trout Rd.

Lake Tomahawk, WI   54539

Gary Baier, Oneida County Zoning Committee Chairman

9378 Norway Lane

Tomahawk WI   54487

Other members – Oneida County Zoning Committee:

Patsy Peters

7085 Bass Lake Rd.

Lake Tomahawk, WI   54539

Ted Cushing

P.O. Box 121

Hazelhurst, WI    54531

Franklin Greb

284 Wesley Rd.

Three Lakes, WI    54562

Scott Holewinski

7729 Channel Rd.

Eagle River, WI    54521


   The meeting on Feb. 8th will be a "working meeting" for the Lake Tomahawk Town Board. That means you may attend, but whether or not you may speak to the Board is a matter of discretion of the chair, Ed Coffen. It would be good if you could attend to show support. According to a statement made at the Jan. 11th meeting, Ed Coffen said the public will have an opportunity to provide their input on this issue at the public hearing of the Oneida County Zoning Committee. The date is yet to be determined.

  To recap:

   At this point, Oneida County Zoning Committee has asked the Lake Tomahawk Town Board for an "advisory decision" on the re-zoning issue. Once that has happened, the five-member county committee will hold a public hearing, at which you may attend and provide your input. The Oneida County Zoning Committee will then vote one way or the other, before sending to the whole Oneida County Board for final action.

   Since Mr. Farb's re-zoning proposal has been tabled until the Feb. 8th Lake Tomahawk Town Board meeting, the "advisory vote" will presumably be taken then.