Sunday, September 07, 2008

Do more than just take Harbor Shores at its word

HP 9/6/08


In a recent letter Michael Kinney claims that my reasons for opposing the taking of 22 acres of Jean Klock Park for private development are misleading (“Klock plan critics too often are misleading,” Wednesday). He tells us our park can be just like Silver Beach, jam-packed with thousands of people visiting each week, and encourages us to browse the Harbor Shores Web site in order to “clearly understand” the project.

I took his advice. There are images of a quiet, secluded beach with a couple strolling along the shore, a family of four picnicking alone or a lone sailboat at sunset. These are the views Harbor Shores officials say they must have to lure rich golfers, prospective exclusive homebuyers and investors. Who is being misled, and by whom?

Mr. Kinney says that the dunes will not be touched, yet the conversion proposal clearly states that “open,” “forested” and “grassy” duneland will be replaced with golf greens. He says that the three holes will replace an “ugly” parking lot and “unusable” wetlands. Actually, only about half of the parking lot will be replaced, and it is only a small fraction of the land in question. The existing parking lot is discreetly situated behind the dunes and does not affect the view. The conversion puts a new parking lot between the dunes and the lake, which will be truly ugly.

Protected wetlands are supposed to be “unusable,” except by birds and other wildlife, as well as people who appreciate unspoiled nature. Maybe Mr. Kinney needs to do more research beyond Harbor Shores’ promotional materials. I suggest he go to

Scott Elliott Benton Harbor