| Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash
Development of a marina and condo south of Saugatuck Dunes State Park was recently approved to move forward when the Michigan Court of Appeals approved the project despite the efforts of environmental groups.
The two-year court battle was first brought to court when the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance challenged the township planning commission's decision to begin construction in the area. The alliance argued that the development would cause damage to surrounding properties but the court determined that the alliance did not have standing in its case.
Jeff Padnos, owner of the development firm NorthShore of Saugatuck, LLC, was happy with the appeals court’s decision and looks forward to starting the project.
Jeff Padnos, owner of NorthShore of Saugatuck development firm | Facebook
“This ruling affirms all the prior rulings that we have complied with all the rules and regulations,” Padnos told the Holland Sentinel.
The court did decide to send one issue back to Allegan courts for reconsideration. The Coastal Alliance made claims that the NorthShore proposal violates local zoning ordinances. Since the Court of Appeals felt that this wasn’t properly addressed at trial court, it has been remanded.
The Coastal Alliance is satisfied with the court’s decision to reconsider some points of the case, but is continuing to fight for the historical and cultural significance of Saugatuck Dunes State Park. The group has joined several other organizations, including Native American tribes in the area, to preserve the land.
NorthShore’s Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit is still pending.