The denial of a zoning permit application in May of 2018 for Carlin Club Properties LLC to transport 18,000 gallons of water a day from property in the town of Presque Isle to a bottling plant in Marinesco, Mich., was upheld in Vilas County Circuit Court last week in a hearing conducted via telephone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vilas County Board of Adjustment ruled 5-0 after a public hearing in July 2018 backing the denial of the permit by Vilas County Zoning Admin¬≠istrator Dawn Schmidt. 

Board members said Schmidt properly determined the proposed action was not grandfathered when the zoning of 21 acres around Carlin Lake was changed from general business to single-family residential, with 2.4 acres remaining in general business.

Partners in the proposed business, including Trig Solberg of Minocqua, have been trying for several years to bottle and sell water from a well on the Carlin Club property in Presque Isle.

Carlin Club Properties LLC appealed the ruling to Vilas County Circuit Court, which reviewed the Board of Adjustment record and in April 2019 remanded the case back for further explanation. The Board of Adjustment conducted another hearing in November 2019 and again unanimously ruled the denial of the permit was proper.

“The off-site transport, bottling and retail sales are manufacturing; you’re not proposing a retail action on the property,” said Vilas County Board of Adjustment Chairwoman Joy Hanser.

Vilas County Circuit Judge Neal A. Nielsen III received the review and made his ruling last Friday, essentially indicating the Board of Adjustment followed the proper proceedings within the rules of the board, and its decision “was reached upon reasonable review of the law.”

Judge Nielsen indicated the sale of Carlin Club water ended years ago and was incidental to its main business and the proposed use would “not be a continuing of a non-conforming, but a change in use that would require a permit.”

“I’m satisfied the board made a fair effort and the Board of Adjustment decision will stand,” concluded Judge Nielsen.