Barry County Plan Commission rejects Spoor Amendment

by Austin Marsman

Lucas Spoor

Fire, fury, confusion and relief highlighted Monday night’s hearing before the Barry County Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss and vote on a text amendment to county zoning laws, to allow marinas in areas zoned “mixed use.”

Lucas Spoor, owner of The Landing on Gun Lake and advocate of his amendment, spoke first before the board. He threatened to withdraw his text amendment and asked a few questions of the board.

The main line of questioning circled around the classification of a marina.

“Is the Circle Inn Restaurant a marina? Is Bay Pointe Inn a marina? Is the trailer park on Marsh Road a marina? Is the Citgo Gas Station a marina?” he asked.

The board made no official responses.

After Spoor spoke, Cliff Bloom, Gun Lake Protective Association attorney, opened the hearing with harsh words for Spoor.

“I’m stunned… this gentleman [Mr. Spoor] has taken up your time and these folks’ time because he didn’t do his homework on the true definition of a marina.”

Sandy Knoll, an outspoken opponent of development on South Shore, encouraged a decision.

“I think it’s time the decision was made, we have been waiting and waiting,” she stated.

Public comment lasted for a long time thunderous applause was made after each comment opposing the marina.

Orangeville Township Trustee Rob Perrino also spoke. He went over what went on at the meeting where the Township Board adopted a resolution against the proposed Spoor Amendment.

County Commissioner Ben Geiger pointed out that Spoor’s application answers totaled 10 words. Some answers, including to the question of potential impacts, were one word: No.

The commission took a few minutes to deliberate a decision. The body ultimately dealt a death blow to any hopes of the Spoor Amendment being approved by unanimous decision.

“I’m very happy with tonight’s decision, it was the right one.” Said GLPA President Rob Heethuis, “Now we await Mr. McManus and his decision.”

Zoning Administrator Jim McManus now will have to make a recommendation to the Barry County Board of Commissioners.

(Photos by Austin Marsman)

COVER PHOTO: Orangeville Township Trustee Rob Perino told the Barry County Planning and Zoning Commission about its resolution.

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