DEQ Public Hearing in Saugatuck

The following announcement was posted in the today’s DEQ Calendar:

AUGUST 26, 2013 6:30 p.m.

PUBLIC HEARING ON PERMIT APPLICATION SUBMITTED BY SINGAPORE DUNES, LLC, SOUTH HAVEN, FOR ACTIVITIES IN ALLEGAN COUNTY, MICHIGAN. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division will hold a public hearing at the Saugatuck High School Auditorium, 401 Elizabeth Street, Saugatuck, Michigan, 49453. The hearing will be for Permit Application Number 13-03-0079-P, submitted by Singapore Dunes, LLC, c/o Stephen Neumer, P.O Box 958, South Haven, Michigan 49090. The proposed project is located in Allegan County, Saugatuck Township, T03N, R16W, Sections 3 and 4, 135th Avenue, Saugatuck, Michigan 49453. Within the Critical Dune Area, the applicant proposes to relocate, widen, and extend an access road and to construct utilities that will serve a Phase 1 development consisting of 19 single-family lots. Approximately 0.02 acres of wetland fill is also proposed. Contact Information: Ben Zimont, Water Resources Division, 269-567-3561.

This is one more step in the attempts by Aubrey McClendon to develop this property on Lake Michigan in Saugatuck. This area is home to State Endangered Prairie Warbler and Pitcher’s Thistle and Cerulean Warbler, as well as other threatened species and historic sites.

We need as many people as possible to attend this very important meeting.

This permit could center around whether an access road serving multiple properties must comply with slope, design and construction requirements of the sand dune protection and management act (SDPMA); or can it be excepted as an individual “driveway” for a property. Some of the distinctions between “access road” and “driveway” were clarified in the recent permit application for a road in White River Township. See May 11 post.

Members of the community have been fighting the project for years, starting before the property was even bought by McClendon’s company, Singapore Dunes. Recently, the township has pursued it’s right to enforce its zoning regulations on the development, to the extent that they do not conflict with the state’s SDPMA.

Preserve the Dunes joined a number of other environmental groups in filing an amicus brief in support of the township’s right to do so. See the July 21 post for more details.

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