Fresh Water Concerns

Development sparks concern over wetlands

TRAVERSE CITY — Brianne Bee tries to keep her shades closed so she doesn’t have to look into her new backyard.

The area, once wooded, is now a cleared-out construction site for a new development. But the view isn’t Bee’s primary concern: It’s a planned road that will cut through a wetlands and creek by Bee’s home.

“I already get flooding from the creek in springtime,” said Bee. “If they’re going to fill that in, my property is going to get flooded.”

The Moorings development near Tom’s West Bay Shopping Center straddles Traverse City and Elmwood Township and one day will be home to more than 100 families. The state Department of Environmental Quality is taking public comment until Tuesday on stream and wetland permits needed on the site and will be scheduling a public meeting.

Bee isn’t alone with her concerns about the 45-acre project. Members of the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay, a group that advocates for clean water and preservation in the area, also expressed reservations. They’re particularly focused on a proposed road that runs through wetlands that catch runoff throughout the area.

“It’s basically constricting that wetland down, at least a third,” said TJ Andrews, policy specialist at the Watershed Center. “That’s a big concern.”

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