Sunday, November 01, 2009

Harbor Shores News

We have some extremely important developments to tell you about. The first is that we are finally a 501 (c)(3) organization which means all donations are now tax deductable! Another development is that we have been assigned a hearing date for the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids for Tuesday, November 3rd , of next week. We don’t anticipate that a ruling will be made on that day, and expect that a decision could take up to 6 months. That means that the wait is more than likely not over. We hope that you will please consider making a donation at this time. The fight to return Jean Klock Park’s land to the general public has been, and will continue to be, costly in every way.

On Wednesday, October 21st , representatives from the City of Benton Harbor and Harbor Shores went before the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board (MNRTF) to present an overdue report on the progress of the park improvements, the mitigated parcels and trail way system. The MNRTF Board was the first to approve the conversion and mitigation proposal of the park and was given a slide presentation that showed that the developers did not do what they had promised. It was shown that much more than 22.11 acres of land was developed, and that in essence, all that is left or accessible to the public is the strand of beach. You may view a side-by-side comparison on the new web page “A Strand of Beach.”

The MNRTF Board was not pleased with what has transpired and indicated that the situation had been in part mishandled by them. As a result, the current MNRTF Board and the DNR are requiring some additional review of the conversion and are requiring the developers to answer specific questions that have either went unanswered or have since arisen.

Recently we received a notification of a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing regarding the paths and boardwalks on mitigated parcels B, C, and D for the conversion of JKP. The permit also calls for the excavation of 1,747 cubic yards of “unsuitable soils” to then be replaced with sand and limestone. The application does not mention any type of remediation for direct contact criteria of contaminated soils and areas; but every replacement parcel for the conversion area of JKP, except for parcel C, does require some form of remediation before they can be safe for public use. You can find a link to the public notice and permit application on the home page of the newly rebuilt website of the Friends of Jean Klock Park at:
The meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at Michigan Works! 499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, Michigan, 49022.

There has been no decision as yet of the separate Federal lawsuit hearing that took place on August 28th. We will notify you as soon as one has been reached. For more information you can go to:

We will be resuming monthly meetings beginning in November and will send a notice when we have scheduled a time and location. In the meantime please visit our newly restructured website at While there, we hope that you will make an online donation through the safe and secure PayPal account we have set up.

Thank you for your on-going support and as always we ask that you forward this update to friends and family who also care about our public heritage!

Carol Drake
Vice President
Friends of Jean Klock Park