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Horeb's Corners Obituary

10/10/2000 - 10/10/2003

horeb's corners perspective illustration

Sadly, in October 2003, Horeb’s Corners, succumbed to the death of a thousand cuts inflicted by the Village of Mt. Horeb and its legal and planning consultants.

Horebs’s Corners struggled through over 2.5 years and 100 public meetings and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to educate and cajole the Village into making a zoning decision to allow for the neighborhood design that matched the Villages Comprehensive Plan. Just when it seemed imminent that the Village had exhausted its ability to avoid making a decision its hourly legal consultant convinced it to hire a planning consultant, Vandewalle and Associates.

Between a Village Board that had no expertise or leadership, and the legal and planning consultants who stood to make more money by dragging out the process and avoiding a decision, it became more and more evident that death was inevitable. Despite all the work that had been done prior to hiring the planner, Mike Slavney proposed to start the planning process all over again beginning with a “long range plan” that would project land use patterns for when the Village population expanded from its current 6,000 to 25- 30,000.Slavney then proposed to use that plan to generate a transportation plan, that could be used to revise the comprehensive plan, that could be used to generate impact studies, which could be used to create impact assessments. Once all those planning plans were complete it would be possible to consider Horeb’s Corners. Of course all those plans to plan for planning would also require legal consultation, and cost huge amounts of money for a Village of 6,000.

The simple answer to the huge cost of proposed consulting would be to gouge the developer and Horeb’s Corner to pay for every last dime. The Village legal consultant licked his lips and whipped out his bic and wrote up a developer’s agreement to do just that. Horeb’s Corners explained that it had already bled through $300,000 and was disinclined to write a blank check without at least some preset performance goals and time limits or spending caps, the Village whined that it had already spent $25,000 on their consultants and wouldn’t accommodate Horeb’s Corners need to limit the blood loss and killed it.

Horeb’s Corners is survived by a plan for a strip mall, low class business park, starter homes and a few undersized soccer fields. There will be no service, but any mourners are welcome to direct comments to the Village or its consultants. Condolences are also welcome at Community By Design, Inc. who also suffered through this ordeal.

Horeb’s Corners supporters pointed out that at twice the current growth rate the proposed plan would envision 100 years growth. They noted that the Wright Brothers first flight was 100 years ago and Ford had just invented mass production, but nobody seemed to think that planning 100 years into the future was arrogant and foolish.

Crazy as it sounds, when Slavney found there wasn’t money immediately available for all these planning plans, he backpedaled and said that all those planning plans were “probably a waste of time” and borrowed a design for the North Beltline Highway around Madison –population 250,000- designed for up to 70,000 ADT and explained that it was appropriate for a redesign of Mt. Horeb’s County Highway ID in place of Horeb’s Corners street design appropriate for 10 to 20,000 ADT.