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February 21, 2018 3:53 am

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Many Issues Still Need To Be Reviewed & Resolved Over Proposal To Build New Marina Along Park Street


        A proposed marina associated with the Dunegrass development to be located directly south of the Saugatuck Chain Ferry landing area, at the west side of the Kalamazoo River shoreline, “has a lot of issues,” and requires more discussion and further review before Saugatuck City can give its approval to the project, officials announced last week.
        Meant for the private use of the adjacent Dunegrass development project, the marina entails a special land-use application and is designated as a “major waterfront construction.”
        The proposed marina is 38 feet in length and features six boat slips, one boathouse, four golf cart parking spaces within the property, and three car parking spaces in the public right-of-way.
        The Dune Ridge SA LP is also looking at the possibility of constructing mooring for small watercraft directly south of the current proposal.
        “There is enough room for that?” asked Saugatuck Council Member Jane Verplank about all the features being proposed.
        “That is the question!” responded Saugatuck Council Member Bill Hess.
        City officials have asked the project engineers to meet with city engineers to address concerns.
        “The DEQ (the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) approved (on September 17) the seawall and marina and also addressed regulations concerning  dredging and where to put the dredging material, but the other parts requiring local ordinances and regulations still need approval,” said Hess.
        Hess is also the city representative on the Saugatuck Planning Commission.
        “There are a lot of issues,” Hess told colleagues during committee reports.
        He said one main concern with the project that officials have revolves around parking as well as the possible increase in traffic flow in the area.  
        “There are six boat slips but assigned parking for only three cars and the parking is on city right-of-way on Park Street,” said Hess.
        “There is no restroom on the boathouse, which is next to the Chain Ferry property (located just north of the proposed marina),” he said of the other elements planners found problems with.
        Furthermore, planners expressed concern about the project not being able to meet the  appropriate set backs of buildings from the roadway and property lines.
        The applicant, on the other hand, feels the project does meet all standards for a special use.
        “The size and intensity of our proposed docks will have much less intense use than the Casa Loma private marina, which is located directly south of the subject property,” states, in part, paperwork submitted by Dune Ridge, with Dave Barker as agent and Paul Heule as owner.    
        “Casa Loma has a similar use as the proposed project,” noted the developers.
        “This project will improve values of adjacent properties and increase future tax revenue for the city thereby creating economic benefit for adjacent owners as as the city,” Dune Ridge officials also noted in the documents. 

Many Issues Still Need To Be Reviewed & Resolved Over Proposal To Build New Marina Along Park Street

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