Singapore Trails Will Pay KLSWA $100,000 To Move Illegal Sewer Lines & End Court Fight
A bank that owns the local Singapore Trails Condominium property now owes the Kalamazoo Lake, Sewer and Water Authority (KLSWA) $100,000 as part of a recent settlement agreement in Allegan County Circuit Court, according to Saugatuck City Councilman Mark Bekken.
The information came to light during the Saugatuck City Council meeting Monday night.
The council discussed the case involving what was described as a public utility easement violation by the Singapore Trails Condominium Association.
Bekken said KLSWA and the association had come to a settlement agreement stemming from that developments’ structures encroaching on the KLSWA public utility easement (the main water line and effluent line found underground).
The encroachment posed a big problem for KLSWA representatives who claimed it would cause major issues for a lot of the utility’s customers down the road, making it difficult if not impossible to perform maintenance or improvements on those lines obstructed by certain buildings.
Bekken, who also is president of the KLSWA board, shared Monday that the Allegan County Circuit Court ruled that Singapore Trails would need to compensate the KLSWA to the tune of $100,000 so that KLSWA could move the sewer lines from their existing location to an area guaranteed to be free of obstruction.
In 2011 KLSWA was compelled to file suit against Founders Bank and Trust which foreclosed on the development when its builders defaulted on the mortgage. Subsequently, the public utility subjected its sewer customers to a legal fee increase to pay for the sewer line move, estimated to cost $200,0000, according to KLSWA representatives.
Another legal case discussed Monday by the city council - this time in closed session - involved the owners of the property being leased by Lakeshore Loding at 735 Lake Street in Saugatuck.
Ronald and Marilyn Kronemeyer, owners of the property, have filed a lawsuit in Allegan County Circuit Court to overturn an earlier ruling by the city Zoning Board of Appeals that found Lakeshore Lodging’s commercial use at that location exceeded local zoning laws.
Zoning administrator Michael Clark ruled Dec. 6, 2012, the business was violating zoning by exceeding the lot’s use as set by the ZBA in 2003. At that time the ZBA denied a request by the then-occupant - a real estate company - to expand operations from 75 percent to 100 percent of the building on the property.
The lot is zoned R-2 residential and houses a structure first built as a residential unit. The Kronemeyers bought it in 1992, at which time the east half of its upstairs main floor was used as a real estate office and two lower-level garages housed the firm’s accessory uses. The property’s west half was then a residence.
The Kronemeyers are now fighting to allow more of the buildings’ space to be used for commercial purposes by their tenants.
Citing attorney client privilege, city officials voted to go into closed session Monday to consult with legal counsel concerning a settlement strategy for what they said was the pending litigation.
In other city news from Monday, the Saugatuck City Council unanimously approved the two mayor appointments of Mike Deem for Historic District Commission and Janet Schmidt for Saugatuck Township Fire District Board. The Deem term expires August 1, 2015 while the Schmidt term runs till June 30, 2016.
“We a had good, quality candidates (that applied to fill those open seats),” said Saugatuck Mayor Bill Hess.