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Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance appeals MDEQ permit for dune development

Dunes near Saugatuck
Norm Hoekstra
Dunes near Saugatuck

A citizen led group in Saugatuck is appealing the state’s decision to permit development along the Kalamazoo River.

The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance wants the Department of Environmental Quality to reconsider its decision because it says the proposed Padnos Marina violates a state law against sand dune mining for commercial purposes.

Jeff Padnos is the developer who wants to build near the dunes. He was not immediately available for comment.

David Swan, the President of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance, says the current threshold for sand dune mining is three thousand tons.

“Padnos is looking to remove two hundred thousand tons. That is a staggering difference,” Swan said.

Swan says the group is also suing the developer of the proposed marina because it breaks local zoning laws. Specifically laws that keep the river mouth from being congested with boat traffic.

“We’re worried about navigation safety and that’s why we have three local business owners who have all signed affidavits saying this will impact my commercial vessel,” he said.

Padnos recently lost a lawsuit where he wanted $10,000 in damages from the Coastal Alliance for fighting his proposed development.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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