2/13/09, HP Klock Park's destruction is a fool's gamble
A recent article about possible golf course delays quoted four Harbor Shores representatives. No one from Protect JKP or anyone else dedicated to preserving Jean Klock Park was contacted regarding the serious, pending legal issues surrounding the use of JKP for three golf holes.
There is no legal obstacle preventing the developer from completing the course. Plaintiffs filed a motion for a restraining order to prevent any further alteration of the park's historic and/or natural features until the case could be decided on the merits. The motion was denied.
A few facts concerning the federal legal action: A consultant's environmental survey of JKP states that it is incomplete "due to time and resource constraints." Neither the extent of dune cuts nor number of trees to be removed from the park has been disclosed. The $900,000 appraisal for what the developer calls the "last and the largest piece of prime real estate that's so very close to Chicago," is not only absurd, it cannot suffice. A second, independent appraisal is legally required. A narrow, 1.47 acre post-industrial parcel on the Paw Paw, the highest value mitigation parcel, was appraised at $714,000.
Take a look at the elephant in the room - the depressed U.S. economy, a very soft second-home market and fewer people playing golf. Speculating on the permanent destruction of JKP's natural features - our public heritage - for the slim possibility of one generation's private profit is a fool's gamble.
Nicole Moon, Benton Harbor
Reopen the gun range? This defies all logic
Twice now you have taken a lot of space on your front page to indicate that the Berrien County sheriff can probably just waltz into Coloma Township, change a few things and start shooting. I do not believe this to be the case, given the facts.
1. The plaintiffs in this case won in the Michigan State Supreme Court with a unanimous decision - the first unanimous decision there in many years.
2. The Coloma Township Board voted unanimously against the gun range.
3. The plaintiffs and their supporters spent over $100,000 to win this case.
4. Incidentally, the Berrien County Board of Commissioners spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money continuing to build the gun range while it was in litigation. I do not believe they would do such a thing with their own money, and I believe they should be held accountable for this.
Paul Friday, Coloma
Gun range matter has already been settled
The gun range was wrong when the state Supreme Court reviewed the case, and it is wrong now. What gives the county the arrogance and bull-dozing opinion that it has the right to go against a unanimous Supreme Court ruling?
The county must obey the anti-noise ordinance that was promulgated by Coloma Township (MCL 41.181). The act gives local government the power to adopt and enforce ordinances regulating public health, safety and welfare of persons and property. The Michigan Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, resolved that the county and sheriff are not immune from local zoning or ordinances. Yet the sheriff and county persist in their flawed judgment and continue to assume the residents of Berrien County do not understand the needs or wants of their communities.
The plans for the range were not supported by the Coloma Township Board in 2005. The answer was no then and it should be no now!
Cathy Thieneman, St. Joseph