Grand Traverse Audubon Club

Turtle Lake

Benzie County Planning Commission June 6, 2006
P.O. Box 377
Beulah, MI 49617

The Grand Traverse Audubon Club is concerned about the rate at which population growth and land development have been consuming the landscape of this region.

At Turtle Lake and its immediate surrounding wetland and forested areas, during visits on May 9, May 24, and on June 2, Grand Traverse Audubon Club members have observed, in addition to 50 more common avian species, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Michigan threatened species, which, in some degree, due to habitat loss, has disappeared from the landscape of many parts of Michigan.

Extensive, varied forested areas like this, that buffer small inland lakes, contribute to water quality. They can also provide necessary habitat for valued and often rare animal and plant species whose numbers have been decreasing due to habitat loss and/or fragmentation. This habitat loss or fragmentation increases the vulnerability of these species to predation and to the prospect of disappearance from this area, if not of extinction.

Lest we lose entirely or see destroyed the very things we treasure most about this area , it is imperative that environmental protection and preservation action, such as described in your Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance, be diligently pursued.

Accordingly, the conclusions of Dr. Grobbel of Grobbel Environmental & Planning Associates in his document dated June 1, 2006 RE: Review of Proposed Site Plans, Master Deed and Application for Site Condominium Project, “The Oaks at Turtle Lake” and the Supplemental Evidence/Proposed Findings of Fact of attorney Kristyn Houle regarding the Preliminary Condominium Subdivision Plan/Site Plan Review of the “The Oaks at Turtle Lake” clearly delineate deficiencies in this application that warrant more careful scrutiny of this project and all the impacts to your community that this proposed project entails.

For the reasons listed above, the Board of the Grand Traverse Audubon Club supports a slowing of the approval process so that the due diligence responsibilities of the Benzie County Planning Commission are met.

Bob Carstens
Vice-president – Environment

Cindee Dubey
President – Grand Traverse Audubon Club

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