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March 26, 2019 12:47 am

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Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance Announces Strategy To Stop Padnos Marina Project

The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance announced this morning a legal strategy to stop the proposed Padnos Marina at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River.

The Coastal Alliance, joined by the Gun Lake Tribe of the Pottawatomie and the Huron Band of the Potawatomie, have appealed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) decision to permit the proposed Padnos Marina.

Their claims are based upon Michigan state law that reads:

“Sand dune mining” means the removal of sand from sand dune areas for commercial or industrial purposes, or both.”

Sand Dune mining, or the removal of sand for commercial purposes, within Michigan’s Critical Dune boundary was prohibited in 1998.

North Shore of Saugatuck is proposing the removal of 240,000 cubic yards of sand, the equivalent of 20,000 dump trucks or a football field 90 feet tall.

The Coastal Alliance has also sued Jeff Padnos’s North Shore of Saugatuck in Michigan Appellate Court for a Nuisance per Se for knowingly breaking local zoning laws.

The claim is based upon the local ordinance that states: “Sec. 40-910. (h): In no event shall a canal or channel be excavated for the purpose of increasing the Water Frontage required by this section.”

North Shore of Saugatuck is proposing to add 3,400’ of water access to their 1,400’ of Kalamazoo River frontage. The Coastal Alliance is concerned that adding 50 120’ boats, nearly 6,000’ of boats or a little more than one mile, will make navigation unsafe at the Kalamazoo River mouth.

PO 1013, Saugatuck, MI 49453

The Coastal Alliance was recently sued by Jeff Padnos for a vexatious claim. North Shore of Saugatuck claimed the Coastal Alliance had no basis for appealing the approval of the proposed marina to the ZBA, Circuit Court, and the DEQ. North Shore sued for damages totaling nearly $10,000.

Coastal Alliance President David Swan said, “We are an alliance of civic organizations, primarily all-volunteer organizations, working to protect our local laws; laws that many of us helped craft. Jeff Padnos sued us as a way to silence our voices; to intimidate us.”

Jeff Padnos lost his lawsuit last week.

The Coastal Alliance also announced this morning a fundraising campaign through Go-Fund-Me to help finance their efforts to enforce local and state laws that prohibit the proposed marina.

Their campaign can be found at:…

The Coastal Alliance formed in 2007 in the face of the eminent threat of inappropriate and out-of-scale development on Lake Michigan’s last remaining undeveloped river mouth and duneland. Since 2007 our community has faced a series of lawsuits aimed at eliminating locally-determined zoning.

The Coastal Alliance has worked with various civic groups and homeowners associations, biologists, scientists, economists, planning experts, historians, activists, tribal nations, national organizations, lawyers and elected officials, and many others to ensure the river mouth, historic sites, and sand dunes remain protected.

In 2011 the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized the Saugatuck Dunes as One of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places – because of a proposed marina development at the river mouth.

Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance Announces Strategy To Stop Padnos Marina Project

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