Along with this purchase came concerns that the township could use eminent domain to obtain adjacent land.
This power of the township to take private property for public use potentially threatens a historic home sitting upon the adjacent 1.2-acre parcel.
The beautiful home on this property was built in the early 20th century and features a partial stone facade. The homeowners recently requested and were granted a designation of the home being of “historic significance” by the Spring Lake Village Historic Conservation Commission.
Spring Lake Township is interested in building a new fire station and possibly a township hall on the recently acquired land. Adding adjacent property would provide more space for these projects. That would likely include clearing the land before building on it — which would, in turn, destroy a cherished piece of history.
Township Supervisor John Nash has said there is no truth to rumors that the township would take the property in question by eminent domain. But it is property the township has expressed interest in buying, as it would square off the township’s land.
We hope Nash sticks by his word.
This community cherishes landmarks of historical significance, especially those that have been kept in good shape through the years.
Historical buildings and landmarks are important to the ambiance of our community. Shiny new buildings are exciting, but historical buildings are irreplaceable and a necessity to the character of our area.
We must help protect and preserve the roots of our community. But beyond that, we need to protect property owners from the sometimes far-reaching powers of government.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier, Nick White and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.