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ACTION ALERT - Cottage Home presents to Planning Commission Tuesday, March 28
Posted: Mar 26, 2017

Please attend Tuesday’s Saugatuck Township Planning Commission meeting.
7 PM, Saugatuck Township Hall, Blue Star Highway.
Please consider submitting a letter to voice your concerns.

Below are points to understand and to consider as you voice your concerns:

Cottage Home, a developer from Holland, has proposed a private marina development that requires the removal of 160,000 tons of sand from the area around the buried ghost town of Singapore. For context: 3,000 tons is typically the amount of sand removal that triggers the need for a sand dune mining operation permit.

Cottage Home is requesting a special use permit for a marina. This should be denied until an environmental impact study can be completed. The scientist who has studied the wetlands of the Saugatuck Dunes for two decades has stated, “This new development plan …. would completely change the hydrology of this special site.”

The National Trust for Historic Places has also voiced concern about the impact to the site of Singapore. The permit should be denied until a plan is in place for when Singapore or Native American artifacts are discovered during the proposed excavation.

Cottage Home is requesting setback variances exceeding a 30% change that must be denied by the Planning Commission, or at the least sent to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Creating more than 20 spaces for 100’ yachts greatly increases density in the marina basin. Most 100’ yachts have quarters for captain and crew. These ‘residences’ should be included in the density calculations.

What Cottage Home is requesting is excessive.

With more than 300 acres, 1,700 feet of Lake Michigan beach, and nearly 4,000 feet of Kalamazoo River mouth frontage why is Cottage Home requesting a special use permit to create a private marina that necessitates the removal of 160,000 tons of sand from a historic site, less restrictive setbacks, higher density, 17 additional acres of commercial zoning, and the elimination of strict conditions imposed by the DEQ.

If Cottage Home is clustering as a way to honestly minimize the impact to the Saugatuck Dunes then they also need to 1) use city sewer, 2) show the buildable areas (areas the DEQ would actually grant critical dune permits for development) that they are setting aside as a way to explain that their proposal is trying to protect the dunes and wetlands.

As their application stands now, Cottage Home is being excessive.

Please review the sixty-year history of conservation efforts for protecting the Saugatuck Dunes.
The Sixty-Year History of Protecting the Saugatuck Dunes - under news stories on our website.

Please review the overview of regulatory issues facing any development in the Saugatuck Dunes.
Laws regulating development in the Saugatuck Dunes - under news stories on our web site

The Coastal Alliance hired a design team to review the Cottage Home application. Below are a handful of issues they found:
a) Why would an exception be granted to the R-2 zoning Rear Yard setback of 75 feet for lots on the Kalamazoo River? The requested 50 foot setback creates the type of visual impact the code seeks to disallow.
b) The Applicant is proposing set back requirement for accessory buildings of 10 feet from side and rear lot lines. The locations, size, and height of all accessory buildings must be disclosed in this application to comply with the zoning code requirements. The application discloses that “each residence will be equipped with an attached or unattached garage of not less than two stalls and not more than three stalls and that one additional detached structure of a size as determined by the Review Committee will be permitted for storage or accessory garage space”. These accessory buildings are not shown on the exhibits or requested in the application and the addition of these structures would create greater visual impact and density on the site.
c) In addition, the applicant must show they comply with section 40-274 of the code that states that “in the R-2 riverside residential zoned district, Accessory Buildings may not occupy more than ten percent of the area of the Parcel upon which situated.”
d) The 12’ tall partially enclosed boat sheds are shown to be outside of the lots rather than 10 feet within the lot lines.
e) Code Sec. 40-277 says that No Buildings or Structures, other than docks, Piers, bulkheads, seawalls and other similar Structures, shall be located less than 75 feet from the River's Edge. The applicant should show the boat sheds, accessory buildings and all structures meet this 75 foot setback requirement.
f) The applicant requests a 10 foot side yard setback. This is an exception from the code requirements Sec. 40-277 requires lots with width of 125 or greater (lots 16,17,21, and 27) have no less than 15 foot side yard and the combined width of both Side Yards shall be not less than 40 feet.
g) The applicant should state that they will comply with Sec. 40-277 that “A strip 25 feet in width bordering the Water's Edge of the applicable body of water shall be maintained in its natural state or shall be planted and maintained in grass, trees, shrubs or other plants.”
h) The applicant must state if they comply with Code Sec. 40-277 height requirements. “In the R-2 riverside residential zoned district, no Building shall have a Building Height exceeding 35 feet or 2½ Stories, whichever is less. No Dwelling having a Pitched Roof shall have a Building Height of less than 14 feet, and no Dwelling having a Flat Roof shall have a Building Height of less than ten feet. No Structure shall exceed a Building Height of 50 feet, except as otherwise provided in section 40-625(c).” And also comply with Sec. 40-631. - Accessory Buildings “limited to a height which does not exceed the lesser of 1½ Stories or 25 feet”.

Please recognize the Coastal Alliance continues to directly encourage the property owners, Jeff and Peg Padnos, to meet with Richard Shaw, of Design Workshop, to find a solution that balances conservation development with community values.

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P.O. Box 1013 • Saugatuck, MI 49453 • (269) 857-1842 • coastalalliance@me.com