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Milwaukee, Wisconsin – The Milwaukee County Board adopted a resolution Thursday that expressed Milwaukee County’s opposition to the development of Sanctuary Woods and its desire to protect adjacent lands that are part of the Milwaukee County Grounds.

Supervisors requested that the City of Wauwatosa rezone as “parkland” the 43 acres of land adjacent to County Grounds Park, known as Sanctuary Woods, thereby protecting them from sale by the County Executive without public review or approval of the Board.

The resolution, prompted by a request for action from the Wauwatosa Common Council, also asks Wauwatosa to expand the boundaries of County Grounds Park to include the 43 acres, currently zoned as “special use – medical.”

Recently proposed development within the 43 acres not zoned as parkland has provoked strong opposition from Wauwatosa residents who want to protect the land for its natural beauty and ecological significance.

“After a public outcry, the County Executive is saying he wants to save the county grounds. Well, who is he saving it from, himself?” asked supervisor John F. Weishan, Jr. “He’s the one who has the power to sell those parcels to developers until it’s rezoned as park.”  

Supervisor James “Luigi” Schmitt, represents most of Wauwatosa on the Board of Supervisors and his district includes the County Grounds.  

“Over the years, I’ve listened to my constituents who have spoken out about the importance of protecting our green and open spaces, and I’ve heard them,” said Schmitt. “The county board wants to work with municipalities to protect parkland, so I’m very pleased that Wauwatosa has asked the county to cooperate with them on this and that we’re moving forward together.”

The resolution asking Wauwatosa to protect the Milwaukee County Grounds was sponsored by Supervisors James “Luigi” Schmitt, John F. Weishan, Jr., Jason Haas and Marina Dimitrijevic.

Supervisors adopted the resolution by a vote of 15 to 0.

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