Sturgeon Bay council votes to settle Papke lawsuit

By Roger Utnehmer


A big check to developer Robert Papke could be in the mail soon. The Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to settle a lawsuit against the city filed by Papke over the development of a proposed west-side waterfront hotel. Papke sued the city in June of 2017 for $540,534 claiming the city was negligent for not informing him about concerns regarding the ordinary high water mark at the location of the proposed hotel he hoped to develop.


In a list of expenses, Papke claims $180,000 as “compensation to the developer for three years of work at the city’s request.”


The hotel project was blocked when Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront won a court challenge claiming the hotel would be located on former lakebed which must be held in trust for the public rather than private development.


The city council vote to settle Papke’s lawsuit requires his agreement before terms will be released to the public. The attorney representing Sturgeon Bay in settlement negotiations, James Kalny, suggested that agreement could be reached as early as today.

When Papke agrees to the proposed terms, Kalny said, details will be released.


Council member Kelly Catarozoli came out of closed session and moved to approve the agreement.



David Ward and Seth Wiederanders voted against the settlement. Ward stated the reason for his opposition.



You can read more about the history of the west-side waterfront hotel litigation by using the SEARCH link at and entering Papke.

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