Grand Haven Tribune

October 21, 2014

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See Michigan Votes, Page 3 Tomorrow's Weather Sunny and cool High 54 Low 35 Grand Haven Tribune Keep up with breaking news 24/7 at BY ALEX DOTY Developers have received the go-ahead for their plan to build an RV camping facility on the city's east side. The Grand Haven Planning Commission approved the site plan during its most recent meeting. "It was a site plan review, so the next step would be to get permits," city planner Jennifer Howland said. The approved plan allows property owner Kris Fewless to construct an RV campground on the site of the former Eagle Ottawa Leather Co. tannery, at the north end of Beechtree Street and the east end of Fulton Avenue. It would have 150 sites along the Grand River. Eagle Ottawa closed its operation at 20 N. Beechtree St. in Grand Haven in 2006 after more than a century of tanning hides along the Grand River. In the mid- 1990s, the operation's workforce peaked at about 1,000 employees. The initial plans for the nearly 20-acre site call for sites with full utility hookups, an office area, a chil- dren's recreational area and a pool. The campground would also maintain access to the river for its guests. There'd be a walkway along the water and internal pedestrian access, and floating docks. In comparison to the proposed east-side camp- ground, Grand Haven State Park includes 174 camp- sites. Sites there allow for both tent and RV camping. The sites for the planned new campground are designed to accommodate larger recreational vehicles. Based on the initial design, each site would be at least 25 feet wide by about 70 feet deep. Concrete pads would be provided for the RVs/travel trailers, and one parking space per campsite would be Tribune file photo/Alex Doty This vacant area, once the site of the Eagle Ottawa Leather Co. tannery, could soon have another use — an RV campground. The city's Planning Commission recently approved the plans by developers to build the 150-site campground. Eagle Ottawa campground gets approval See CAMPGROUND on Page 3 So it begins... Tribune photos/Marie Havenga ABOVE LEFT: Karl Rowland rakes leaves into the suction end of a leaf truck. Rowland said he and Linda Disbennett were on a 26-mile trek to pick up leaves from the entire bike path around Spring Lake. "We'll be doing this all week," he said. "Once the leaves start to fall, it's nothing but leaves." ABOVE RIGHT: A Spring Lake Village public works employee picks up leaf piles along Fruitport Road on Monday morning. Tribune photo/Marie Havenga Local municipal crews are scrambling to suck up leaves along streets this time of year. Spring Lake Township Department of Public Works employee Linda Disbennett blows leaves along a township bike path Monday morning. BY ALEX DOTY The issue has been all over the news and the subject of a local community forum, and now the Norton Shores man who initiated the Dewey Hill cross removal effort took the time to introduced himself to Grand Haven City Council. "We want to see that (hill access) given to anyone in the city who wishes to use Dewey Hill," Mitch Kahle said Monday night. "For a long time, we've seen systematic discrimination to non-Christians in this community." Kahle said he believes the situation is "all or nothing" — meaning that if his group isn't allowed to use the hill space, then displays such as the cross, Nativity Scene and Coast Guard Festival messages shouldn't be allowed on the hill. Kahle's partner, Holly Huber, and Grand Haven Township residents Brian and Kathy Plescher joined Kahle at Monday night's City Council meeting. He said they would attend each meeting until their issue was resolved. "We want the city to do the right thing — equal access and opportunity to everyone," Kahle said. "This society is about equality for all people." Kahle and his group have sent a request to the city to place banners promoting subjects such as atheism, pro-choice and gay rights on the hydraulic lift that sits atop Dewey Hill. The request asks that the city remove the cross 'All or nothing' issue Mitch Kahle addresses City Council about Dewey Hill cross Tribune file photo Mitch Kahle, the man behind the Dewey Hill cross removal group, spoke at Monday night's City Council meeting and introduced himself to city leaders. Calling it an "all or nothing" situation, Kahle urged City Council to allow his group to display their own messages on the hill, or else allow nothing on the hill. See CROSS on Page 3

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