April 17, 2017
State of Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality
Water Resources Division
Grand Rapids District Office
State Office Building, Fifth Floor, 350 Ottawa Ave. NW, Unit 10
Grand Rapids, MI. 49503-2316
Subject: Marina Expansion Application Submission Number 2NV-M2FV-ZZTZ
Site Name: 08-11925 Marsh Rd-Shelbyville
Dear DEQ Official:
The Gun Lake Protective Association (GLPA) is opposed to the proposed Marina Expansion submitted by Lucas Spoor at 08-11925 Marsh Road-Shelbyville. The GLPA opposes the proposed Marina Expansion for the following reasons:
- There are other existing marinas and resorts on Gun Lake in this area, none of which have over 20 boat slips. The proposed expansion to 54 slips would set a new benchmark in the area that may encourage others to seek expansion.
- Gun Lake has two heavily used public access sites – one at the Allegan County Park and one at Yankee Springs State Park which provide easy access to the boating public.
- GLPA retained Progressive AE to conduct a “Recreational Carrying Capacity Study” for Gun Lake that was conducted in April 2005 and subsequently revised in February 2006 and June 2006. That study made a specific finding that “(P)eak use on Gun Lake is estimated at 327 boats, as compared with the lake’s estimated recreational carrying capacity of 193 boats. That is, it is estimated that the peak use of Gun Lake is at 169 percent of the lake’s recreational carrying capacity.” (page 13)
- The same Study also stated – “It may also be prudent for the townships to consider special land use regulations for marinas to help ensure the construction and operation of these facilities would not adversely impact Gun Lake or surrounding properties.” (page 14)
- Property owners on Gun Lake are already paying over $50 a year to mitigate invasive species that are brought into the lake from boats, and adding additional opportunities for the spread of invasive aquatic species would be detrimental to the best interest of the lake.
- There is currently a proposed repair for the Gun Lake Dam which sets the water level of the Lake, and property owners will be paying up to $200.00 each for the work. Basically, the proposed development would allow slip owners/renters to take advantage of the lake while the residents pay the cost of repairing the dam.
- The GLPA is in regular consultation with the Barry County Marine Patrol which has expressed the view that additional boat traffic will impose a greater burden on their limited resources for patrol. GLPA has in the past provided additional funding for Marine Patrol and should not be burdened with the potential for additional costs for a Marina providing access for more boats.
- The proposed Marina is at a congested site on Marsh Road which has significant vehicle traffic during the summer months which is compounded by joggers, bikers, walkers, and adults and children crossing the busy road to access the lake. A new boat launch ramp in this congested area will create a public safety hazard, and as previously mentioned, there are public and private launches that are more than adequate for a reasonable carrying capacity for the lake.
- Yankee Springs Township has taken a position in support of the GLPA opposition to the proposed Marina Expansion and we anticipate that Orangeville Township would also like to have an opportunity to take a position on the proposal.
- GLPA holds no animosity against the applicant for making this request, and in fact we hope he is very successful with his business utilizing the existing marina with the 20 available boat slips.
In summary, the GLPA opposes the proposed Marina expansion and requests the DEQ “deny” the request in Submission Number: 2NV-M2FV-ZZTZ. We further request that the DEQ schedule a public hearing on this matter so that the views of the general public and lake residents can be hear before taking any action to approve this request.
We appreciate the DEQ taking the opportunity to consider our comments. Attached is a complete copy of the “Recreational Carrying Capacity Study Gun Lake Barry and Allegan Counties, Michigan” conducted by Progressive AE referenced above.
Chairman, Gun Lake Protective Association
Enclosure – Recreational Carrying Capacity Study Gun Lake by Progressive AE .
Cc: Yankee Springs Township