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Posted: 03/21/07

Lake residents opposed to boardwalk, dredging

Observer News Editor
      Residents who live on Cusick Lake spoke in opposition of plans to install a boardwalk and deck on wetlands on the lake and dredge a portion of it during a March 15 public hearing conducted by officials from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The hearing was held at the Washington Township Municipal Building.
       The Private Group of Shelby Township has applied for a permit to install a boardwalk and a deck in wetlands on the lake, which is located on 32 Mile Road, west of Mound, in Washington Township. The boardwalk and deck are part of a proposed residential development called Arcadia Estates that will include seven lots. The development is proposed to be located on the southwest side of the lake.
       A total of 645 feet of six-foot wide boardwalk will be constructed in wetlands near the lake's shoreline. The boardwalk will serve as shared access to the floating docks by the development's four waterfront lots.
       A 15-foot x 20-foot deck is proposed to be built adjacent to the boardwalk. Approximately 1,485 cubic yards of material will be dredged from approximately .38 acres of lake bottom/wetland to construct a channel for boating access to the lake, according to the application.
       Several lake residents expressed concern that the proposed dredging will adversely affect the lake and its ecosystem. Residents told the DEQ officials that the lake is home to fish, frogs, turtles and more.
       "It will be irreversible," said resident Ben Pollock of the dredging's effect.
       He questioned who monitors the dredging.
       Lake resident Mike Rowley told the DEQ officials that Cusick Lake is a glacial lake that is spring-fed and not large.
       Another lake resident, David Cooper, expressed concern that residents of the proposed Arcadia Estates would introduce large, power boats to the lake. Current residents primarily have pontoon or fishing boats.
       "The lake just can't take four more good-sized boats," Cooper said.
       Washington Township Planning Commission Helen Sergott told DEQ officials that the commission had approved Arcadia Estates' preliminary site condominium plan. That plan, approved in May 2006, included three lakefront lots, according to Sergott, not four as proposed in the application to the DEQ. She said the commission was also concerned that nothing be constructed in the wetlands.
       "I am extremely disappointed in the developer," she said.
       David Dortman of the DEQ said public comments on the proposed application would continue to be accepted in writing through March 25. He said all public comments would be incorporated into the department's review of the application.
       A decision on the application must be made by May 17, Dortman said. The DEQ can issue the permit, issue the permit with provisions or deny the permit, Dortman said.
       He noted that the permit decision must be made based on specific criteria, not on the support or opposition for the proposed development.
       The application is available for review at the DEQ Website, or in person at the Land and Water Management Division, DEQ, 27700 Donald Ct., Warren, MI 48092-2793. Call (586) 753-3862.

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