the 81, development, public hearing, farmland
Site of Proposed Development, "The 81 on East Bay" | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Dear Friends of Old Mission Peninsula,

I am writing you regarding yet another important, huge meeting regarding the future of our Peninsula. On Thursday, November 17, the twice rescheduled public hearing for the 81 on East Bay will take place again at St. Joe’s Catholic Church, at 7 p.m. Please mark your calendars. If you are out of town, please make an attempt to return to the Peninsula. This may be our “last stand” in the battle against The 81 as proposed. (Editor’s Note: Read more about the upcoming public hearing here.)

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Why they waited this long is anyone’s guess. Some have speculated that they were waiting for a “quieter time” on the Peninsula with fewer residents and home owners around or maybe to “wear down” the public’s interest. We can’t let that happen.

There are only two issues to be considered by the board as mandated by a judge:

1) To have a proper emergency fire exit road. Apparently, they have bought off one of the neighbors and are putting the road through their property. Fine, that battle may be lost.

2) To have proper soil and erosion studies. This is where we can win. The drastic landscape changes and deforestation planned will create a devastating erosion problem. We plan on having experts present to testify to this. There is also the question of the soil itself. As a former farmland, this property could be contaminated. The developer will not perform a soil test.

Here is a 2013 soil test from similar farmland on the Peninsula with similar farming practices as The 81 back in the 1960’s and 70’s. The excessive amounts of lead, arsenic and mercury are highlighted. Add to this the fact that they want a community septic system which, if this development fails like so many have, will become the responsibility of the township to maintain.

Old Mission Peninsula, Farmland, Soil Test
Old Mission Peninsula Farmland Soil Test

We need your presence at this meeting. The future of the Peninsula is at stake. If this passes, it will set a precedent for all future development on the Peninsula. If you do attend, don’t be afraid to speak, to grab the microphone and add your two cents, even if it’s repetitive of what was said by a previous citizen. We have a friendlier board now and they are willing to listen. We have overwhelming numbers in opposition to this proposal.  We just need to speak up. As taxpayers, we all have a right to be heard.

Please encourage your friends and neighbors to attend, as well. Let’s show everyone that no matter what time of year, we are united in our opposition to this poorly planned development.

Yours for the Peninsula,

Dr. Jim Komendera,
President, Preserve Old Mission

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 the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my 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. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. I’ll be there! BUT speaking in favor of the development! HOW DARE YOU, try to prevent this! is meets zoning criteria and has been approved before. were all of you there assisting in writing of the zoning code? Did you Bitch then? Cmon, get a grip, just beause you want it a certain way?!


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