Home All ‘The Moorings’ Behind Tom’s West Bay: An Ecological Atrocity and Alarming Eyesore

‘The Moorings’ Behind Tom’s West Bay: An Ecological Atrocity and Alarming Eyesore

The Moorings Development behind Tom's West Bay | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Editor’s Note: This letter is in response to a story published in “The Biz” section of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, regarding a development called “The Moorings,” near the intersection of M-22 and M-72. “A portion of the 40-plus acres of the property behind Tom’s West Bay Shopping Center has been stripped of trees to make way for 91 single-family homes,” notes the story by Dan Nielsen. Read the rest of it here.

Is “The Biz” section of the Traverse City Record-Eagle giving its readers the business or what? Its failure to challenge the developers’ shameless spin job on the ecological atrocity and alarming eyesore, The Moorings, was an insult to all of us who have been robbed of yet another scenic vista, not to mention the wildlife who once made homes there.

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“The Biz” allowed the developers free reign to pontificate on how their obliteration of an entire hill actually benefits the environment by ridding the land of “invasive species” and oh, by the way ( wink, wink!) makes room for a hundred or so McMansions from which those environmental crusaders profit.

As a long-time resident whose family goes back generations in Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties, I find it increasingly irksome to tour our once beautiful area. The Meijer monstrosity has polluted Acme creek and covered our old sledding hill in concrete. Now, the very gateway to Leelanau County has been destroyed and the greedy people behind it expect accolades for their environmental efforts.

It’s enough to make one wonder just what or WHOM is the invasive species around here?

Jan K. Pezzi, Suttons Bay

Photo Credit: Jane Boursaw

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. Residents of Old Mission and (more importantly – Peninsula Township officials) – take heed; this is what the peninsula is going to look like if you allow the current township board to make terrible, environmentally terroristic decisions such as the recent one to allow scumbag developers to clear cut trees, erode the land, plant fertilizer-filled lawns that will drain directly into the bay, and allow more millionaires to further destroy the once-pristine land on the peninsula. Traverse City is becoming a complete nightmare for people who live here – congested roads, excess garbage left in our parks and beaches, and tens of thousands of people flocking here to “see the beauty” that they are causing to disappear. Someone must stop the marketing craze of northern Michigan. It’s sickening to watch this community turn into what is beginning to look like Troy, Michigan. Pretty soon the superhighways needed for all this traffic, massive 9-story hotels, buildings etc that all cater to tourists are going to ruin this entire area entirely.

  2. I grew up just to the north of that hill on Carter Road. It rivaled Wayne Hill as far as views of the bay. I spent much of my childhood exploring that hill and the fields and orchards to the west. Deer were in abundance and it was a place to find morel mushrooms. It makes me sick to my stomach to see what’s been done here.

  3. I am appalled that this was EVER allowed to happen! Where was the oversight? How do these greedy people live with themselves? There was so much wildlife in those woods, including a family of eagles. I am just disgusted, and wish there was a way to hold these people accountable.

  4. With all the growth in the Traverse City area constantly increasing, changes will take place. More businesses will open, more housing will have to be provided for the increasing population. If people can’t accept that as a fact, then maybe they should pack up their belongings and leave this area….or learn to accept and live with the changes. But most importantly, stop bitching about it and make your choice.

  5. Growth is going to happen folks it’s a beautiful area that you all enjoy so why can’t others? Seems your the ones being selfish. I’m willing to bet that at some point the property your home sits on was once pristine woods also and people were upset when they were cut down and your house was built. But hey you got yours screw the rest.

  6. I believe people have certain rights to create, build, purchase, sell, or whatever. Thats what makes America great. I am always shocked when someone criticizes a development like the Moorings especially when you havent seen the finished product. Sure it looks bare now but Im sure it will look great once finished. I have sat through countless township meetings listening to all the people who are anti development. Its the same thing over and over…. The trees… The wildlife…. The views. To those people I ask why didn’t you go buy the land and protect the view? Why is it ok for one of those greedy developers to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for property, pay interest and taxes so others can have a protected view? I ask where do you live? Is it in the middle of a field that never had a tree? I doubt it. There are thousands of acres of protected land in the Grand Traverse Area and much more just sitting there vacant. Who do you think pays for all those public parks? Those greedy developers create an increased tax base to benefit all. Next time look in a mirror before you cast a stone.

    • Looks like your developer friends weren’t as great as you thought they were. They’re destroyed the land and fought between themselves for more money while the land sits bald and empty. Not unlike their heads.

  7. I just love how people feel it is there right to walk, jog, play, do whatever they want on private property that people have the right to develop. You want your views, you want your open areas but you don’t want to pay for it. You want it for free and you want to tell people what can be done with it. City’s grow and because of that we have more jobs and better ways to make a living so we can stay and enjoy it here. We are nothing like Troy so suck it up and embrace the growth that is going to happen or just pack up and leave.

  8. It is sad in a way, but let’s be honest, it’s the price we pay for making all those top ten lists we’re so proud of being on. You can’t be on top ten lists, limit urban sprawl, restrict taller buildings, and still have affordable work force housing! And don’t forget, the house you’re living in was once a beautiful field or forest that a greedy developer wrecked so that you would one day have a place to live.


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