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Town of Summit and Aurora Health Care ask judge to void hospital vote

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Request for summary judgment reiterates County Board had no grounds to reject Town’s approval of proposed hospital

The Town of Summit and Aurora Health Care have asked a judge to set aside the Waukesha County Board’s rejection of a hospital proposed for Summit.

In a legal brief filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court, Aurora and Summit ask Circuit Judge Mark S. Gempeler to declare that the County Board’s vote was illegal and void “and that there exist no grounds for the Board to disapprove Summit’s rezoning of the Summit parcel.”

The Summit Town Board had unanimously approved the proposal for a hospital and clinic on Pabst Farms land at the southeast corner of Interstate 94 and Highway 67.  In April, however, the Waukesha County Board ignored the wishes of the Town and refused to grant the required zoning change.

The brief asserts that county supervisors went beyond their legal authority and based their votes not on legitimate land use issues but rather on arguments that relate to regulating the health care industry, dictating competition and trying to control the marketplace.

The brief states that Summit undertook an extensive seven-month review process into the land use issues relevant to Aurora’s zoning request.  The process included numerous meetings and two lengthy public hearings.  The Town Board painstakingly reviewed hundreds of pages of written records, studies and reports, the brief states.

“Waukesha County discarded Summit’s careful work on the land use issues, disregarded the County’s own professional staff statements on land use issues, and simply as a matter of politics reversed Summit’s decision.  This conduct represents an abuse of discretion and an error of law by the Board,” according to the brief.

“Defendants have not – and cannot – come forward with evidence tending to show that any legitimate purpose of zoning laws would be furthered by their veto of Summit’s rezoning.  Therefore, their action was unconstitutional and void because it was clearly arbitrary and unreasonable, having no substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals or general welfare,” the brief states.

“Because the board reversed Summit’s approval for illegal reasons – namely, to regulate the health care market and to shield ProHealth from competition – the court should grant plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment,” the legal brief says.


Ron Irwin
Aurora Health Care
Len Susa
Chairman, Town of Summit

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