Posted: November 1, 2018

The Proposed Padnos Marina —
What You Need To Know

  1. singapore development saugatuck dunesNorthShore of Saugatuck does NOT have all the necessary permits
    to dig the proposed marina.
  2. The Army Corps of Engineers has NOT issued a final decision.
  3. The Coastal Alliance has appealed in court 2 of 3 approvals – those from Saugatuck Township and Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ.) 
  4. After more than 650 days on the market, NO lots have been sold at the NorthShore of Saugatuck development, according to MLS records. The two houses being built are spec houses.

What to expect and when

  1. The Army Corps will not issue a decision on the proposed marina until AFTER a negotiated settlement regarding the impact to the historic site of Singapore is agreed upon.
    • The Coastal Alliance, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the three local Potawatomi tribes — the Gun Lake Tribe, the Huron Band, and the Pokagon Band – have been granted consulting party status in the negotiation.
  2. The appeal of the DEQ approval
    • The Coastal Alliance was granted standing (permission to appeal). The trial will likely take place in early fall 2019.
  3. The appeal of the Planning Commission approval
    • The Coastal Alliance appealed to Michigan’s Appellate Court. After we receive standing, the trial is likely to take place in spring 2019.
  4. The Coastal Alliance sued NorthShore of Saugatuck for a Nuisance Per Se
    • The proposed marina violates local zoning. The Coastal Alliance sued the property owner for knowingly violating local zoning. The Coastal Alliance must first prove standing.
  5. NorthShore of Saugatuck sued the Army Corps over a land dispute along the channel.
    • The two parties have agreed to pause while negotiating a settlement. We have no timeline on a settlement.

We Remain Optimistic

  1. The proposed Padnos marina clearly violates local zoning that reads, “In no event shall a canal or channel be excavated for the purpose of increasing the water frontage.” 
  2. The DEQ granted standing to the Coastal Alliance to appeal the marina permit 
  3. The proposed Padnos marina fails to meet any of the required Public Interest factors required for a permit. 
  4. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources includes nearly all of the NorthShore of Saugatuck development in the map outlining the proposed expansion of Saugatuck Dunes State Park.
    • The State has been interested in purchasing all of the land between the State Park and the river since 1982. It remains interested!

Comments needed on Saugatuck Dunes State Park Draft Master Plan

Here is a link to the Department of Natural Resources draft Master Plan for Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

Even if you don’t have time to review the entire plan, please submit comments to the DNR before 10/30 (though they always accept comments after the date as well).

The Coastal Alliance is reminding citizens what we’ve been saying about Saugatuck Dunes State Park since 2001:

Keep It Wild  Keep It Whole  Make It Grow

The Park is a place for quiet nature study – keep it that way. The Park needs no roads or concessions. The only thing the Park needs is to expand.

The DNR has included the NorthShore of Saugatuck land in the proposed expansion plans. This has been part of the State Park plan since the original plan was approved in 1982. We applaud the DNR for their perseverance in wanting to keep the Saugatuck Dunes a whole eco-system.

Letter from former-chair of Saugatuck Township Planning Commission

Here is a link to a letter written by the former chair of the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission. The first half of this letter clearly details the systemic issues in the Township’s mishandling of the proposed Padnos marina application.

This letter underscores the importance of our legal appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed Padnos marina.

Here is a quote from the letter:
“During the planning meeting for the final vote on the marina, Saugatuck Township attorneys were also caught off guard on the potential application of section (h) of 40-910. When citizens wanted to discuss that section of the ordinance, Township Attorney Smith scrambled, but effectively blocked discussion by advising that it wasn’t on the “agenda.” The commission was rushed and forced to vote on the marina with little to no discussion of how this pivotal ordinance might apply.”

Coastal Alliance ads – series of ten

The Coastal Alliance has been running a series of ten ads in the Commercial Record. We have also posted the ads on social media where thousands to viewers of responded to them. The ads aim to educate readers on the many legal issues facing the proposed Padnos marina.

Heads up – we will be doing more fundraising…

Thank you! For supporting our work to protect the Saugatuck Dunes and Saugatuck’s Historic Kalamazoo River Mouth Neighborhood from harmful development.

The Coastal Alliance has successfully raised nearly $100,000 this year. THANK YOU!

The Coastal Alliance has no paid staff, no office space, and zero overhead costs. The Coastal Alliance is an all-volunteer organization; we remain nimble, persistent, some would say obsessive. We aren’t going away. We will fight the proposed Padnos marina with every ounce of energy we have. Nearly all of our funds are being spent to enforce local and state laws.

Our only option has been to fight the proposed marina in court. It was not our first choice. We hired renowned Conservation Designer Richard Shaw of Design Workshop to encourage the Padnos and Bosgraaf families to align their NorthShore of Saugatuck development with our Community Values (not to mention our local zoning..) as articulated in the Tri-Community Master Plan. Unfortunately, Richard’s suggestions were ignored.

Our legal strategy is expensive, but it is currently our only option to stop the proposed marina.

Please make the Coastal Alliance legal fund part of your year-end giving.

Here is a link to our website where you can make a private donation through PayPal.

Of course, we accept checks as well. Our mailing address is: Coastal Alliance, PO 1013, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Together we can stop the proposed marina and protect the Saugatuck Dunes and Saugatuck’s Historic Kalamazoo River Mouth Neighborhood.

Thank you for your continued support.
We are grateful.

The Coastal Alliance Board