Katie Otanez, regulatory project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, said the denial was “based on adverse impact to navigation and safety.”
Chris Lisowicz, owner of the Spring Lake marina, had hoped to add three docks ranging from 245 to 291 feet, with 40-foot-long finger docks on the northwestern side of the property facing Keenan Marina. A fourth dock would have been used for services.
The project would have included removing 24 existing slips and creating 93 new ones.
Lisowicz would not comment on the denial, and he would not elaborate on future plans at this time.
The proposal has been on rough seas for many years. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality initially denied the project, but that decision was overturned. After a contested case hearing six years ago, the DEQ issued a permit in 2010.
But then it was the Army Corps of Engineers’ turn to weigh in on the issue.
More than 50 people chimed in with opinions during the corps’ 2010 public comment period.
“We considered a lot of information that was available about this particular area,” Otanez said.
Considerations included the number of boats that travel the area and the width of the navigable area.
In 2006, the DEQ denied Barrett Boat Works’ request for nearly 100 new slips, also due to concerns about navigable safety.
The Ottawa County Marine Safety Patrol, state Department of Natural Resources personnel and local leaders, including Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash, expressed concern about the narrowness of the navigable waterway if new docks were built there.
Barrett officials appealed the decision.
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