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The 81 on East Bay Development
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The public hearing for The 81 on East Bay development originally scheduled for Nov. 8 has been re-scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. The development borders Boursaw Road and as per the application, could include up to 41 single-family lots, new paved roads, and up to 40 boat docking spaces along the East Bay shoreline.

The hearing was rescheduled in part because of new information and documents which need to be reviewed by the Township. The application itself, submitted by The 81 Development Company, LLC, is in excess of 1000 pages.

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The hearing will cover only those two issues remanded back to the Township by now-retired 13th Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers in a January 2016 ruling. Those issues include the the location and functionality of the emergency access road, and whether the standards for soil erosion, grading and storm water have been met,

At the Oct. 25 public hearing, the Peninsula Township Board heard presentations from developer Kevin O’Grady’s representatives regarding those two issues. No other issues could be considered with regard to the development, which was approved by the previous Township Board in August 2015 (prior to public information that the land was farmed for decades), but challenged in court by township resident James Komendera and the nonprofit group, Preserve Old Mission. The group’s suit led to the January 2016 ruling by Judge Rodgers.

Because of the length of the presentations, no decision was made at the Oct. 25 public hearing. Read our full report of the meeting here.

Information regarding the development is available to view and download on the Township website, under the Oct. 25, 2017 Special Meeting of the Township Board. However, because of the length of the application itself, it is not included in the packet, but available for viewing in the Township Planning Department at the Township Hall, 13235 Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Feel free to stop by the Township Hall between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or contact Township Planner Brian VanDenBrand, (231) 223-7314, [email protected], for more information.

Written comments regarding this item may be submitted to Peninsula Township Clerk Joanne Westphal, 13235 Center Rd. Traverse City, Michigan 49686, no later than 12 p.m. on December 6, 2017. If you are planning to attend this meeting and are in need of reasonable auxiliary aids or services, contact the clerk, (231) 223-7321, or email [email protected].

You may also have noticed an Earth Change Permit posted on “The 81” site along Boursaw Road. This permit was issued by the Grand Traverse County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Department (dated May 9, 2016 and expiring May 9, 2018).

Township Supervisor Rob Manigold notes that it is legal for them to post the permit; however, no earth change is yet permitted because it falls under Peninsula Township’s Special Use Permit, and no decision has been made as of yet.

Read all coverage of ’The 81 on East Bay” development here


  1. If this man is allowed to develop this site like he did his home on Bluff Rd., it will be an environmental mess. If we need developers at all, they need a heart for our environment. Fingers still crossed for our peninsula.

  2. Thank you for the update, Jane. We appreciate your efforts very much. I see that the Township has now posted the new date on their website.

    Have you noticed that on the Nextdoor website the discussion of Speeding on the Peninsula has recently included comments about additional parcels for sale, increasing development, and traffic concerns. I am hopeful that what would be right overcomes might.


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