Local Judge Rules in Favor of TC in Shoreline Controversy
Boats anchored off a popular beach in Grand Traverse Bay may get the boot after a recent court ruling. Traverse City has been debating the issue with the state for more than two years. The city wants to expand the boat-free swimming zone on West Grand Traverse Bay, but the DNR wouldn't allow it. A local judge has now ruled the DNR doesn't have a say. The ruling says the decision to move anchored boats down the shoreline is up to the city and not the state. “It's a very big deal,” says Karrie Zeits, City Attorney. “This decision was the absolute best possible decision the city could have reached and I couldn't have hoped for more out of the circuit court.” City leaders feel during the summer, dozens of boats create what some have called an “unpleasant experience for beach-goers.” But boaters don't agree. “Overwhelmingly, the Traverse City residents have spoke against this,” says Jack Nowland, who frequently enjoys relaxing on a boat just off the shore. No changes will be made to the current rules until the city commission takes action. The mayor says that will happen very soon. But the fight may not be over. The DNR can still appeal the judge's ruling, and many feel it will. “We have received the ruling and are currently reviewing it along with the attorney's general office,” says Mary Detloff, Spokesperson for the DNR. “Our legal office plans to meet with the attorney general [Wednesday] to determine if anything further can be done.” 9&10's Ryan Raiche and Photojournalist Jeremy Erickson have the story.