Archived Story

Zoning board denies DNR request

Published 7:02pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More than 100 people packed the Ontwa Township Hall for the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Sept. 3.

The meeting was to discuss the former Dock property and the proposed boat access site by the Department of Natural Resources.

The Eagle Lake Improvement Association, which represents a majority of the homeowners on Eagle Lake, has been against the proposal, claiming that it was concerned over safety, feasibility and legality.

In a letter to the editor, Margie Allan, association resident said, “We feel the proposed development is much too large for Eagle Lake and the lack of DNR due diligence around these issues should raise red flags for all involved in this discussion.”

Several association members and property owners were the first to speak about the project at the zoning board meeting. They made a presentation and questioned the interpretation of the term “park.”

The board also heard from the Department of Natural Resources before a response was given by the Zoning Administrator Wayne Hardin.

According to the lake residential ordinance, a park is allowed. The DNR questioned if what they were trying to do would qualify as a park.

The DNR planned on putting in two boat launches, a pair of maneuvering areas, parking for vehicles with trailers for 45 spots, a fishing pond with access pier and vehicle parking, toilet facilities, natural areas and buffers, as well as a shelter building and a boat washing station.

Nowhere in their plan did it mention a park according to zoning board member Jerry Marchetti.

After a lengthy discussion, in which more than 20 people were heard, it was voted on by the board of appeals 4-3 that by definition it did not qualify as a park under the current lake residential ordinance.

The DNR may now file an appeal or take legal action if it wishes to pursue the project.

“The next step is really up to the DNR,” board member Jerry Marchetti said. “What they want to do from here I don’t know.

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