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SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - One person was arrested and the Saugatuck police chief closed down a public comment meeting about a proposed settlement on development of dunes owned by Aubrey McClendon.
More than 500 people attended the public comment session at Saugatuck High School, which was to be perhaps the final public discussion over this land.
The meeting was scheduled to be held in the high school gym, but a conflict moved this meeting to another, smaller room. More than 200 people were inside the room and another 300 were lined up outside.
The line to get in stretched outside the meeting room, around the corner and down the hallway, almost going to the buildings entrance.
Fire officials were letting people in 10 at a time until they reached room capacity of 200. The Saugatuck police chief ended the meeting less than 45 minutes after it began because it was too crowded.
"It was extremely hot and they were starting to get agitated, so I called it," Saugatuck Police Chief Kenneth Giles said.
The one person detained was arrested for unruly behavior.
"There was a gentlemen, an older gentlemen, who just opened the door trying to hear, and I don't know what was said, but four policemen swarmed the guy, cuffed him and dragged him out. So then people started getting really upset," said resident Vicki Rosenberg.
On Tuesday, officials announced the public meeting has been re-scheduled for Friday, July 22, at 5 p.m inside the Saugatuck High School gym.
The proposed deal on the 320 acres was reached last month between McClendon and Saugatuck Township officials. The development includes plans for a restricted number of condos and houses, a hotel, golf course and marina.
The state will have significant oversight of the land, McClendon's spokespeople said.
But the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance is opposed to the plan, claiming there are already too many unsold homes in the area, and that further development would cause harm to the environment.
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