Surprise excavation starts on disputed site

Scott Sullivan
Local residents and officials have complained for years about the rusted gas station sign poles towering over the land, near the I-196 Douglas exit/entrance, long owned by Fleming Brothers Oil Co. The township cited Fleming July 21 in Allegan County 57th District Court for a use violation regarding the barricades and requesting the structure/sign also be removed because it exceeds township height limits. “Mr. Fleming has not responded,” the ZA told The Commercial Record Aug. 14. The owner has also declined to return phone calls from the newspaper seeking comment. A pre-trial conference Aug. 18 between the township’s and Fleming’s attorneys failed to resolve the matter. Heavy machinery began site operations Sept. 3, just before Labor Day tourists arrived in town.

Saugatuck Township’s legal efforts to clean up a long-closed gas station site grew more contentious last week when its owner began gravel crushing and excavation there.

Taped to a post in front of the 2900 Blue Star Hwy. property fluttered township zoning violation notices ignored since July 21. Behind it, heavy machinery roared and groaned.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Sept. 10 Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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