Judge: Lakeshore homeowners can build sea wall

Rising Waters

A home in a West Olive neighborhood that is dangling from a cliff due to erosion. (Jan. 29, 2020)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ottawa County judge says two lakeshore homeowners may build a sea wall to protect their cottages from erosion despite objections from their neighbors.

In a written opinion, Judge Jon Hulsing ruled that Susan Wittenbach and Jeffrey Delongchamp’s easement to the beach allows for the construction of the rock revetment. He said they “may construct the revetment posthaste” to protect their homes off Lakeshore Drive in Grand Haven Township.

Neighbors had filed suit to stop the construction, saying it would interfere with their ability to use the shared beach area. But the judge said the sea wall would actually help stabilize the beach being swallowed up by high water levels.

Hulsing heard the case in court earlier this month and and issued his decision Wednesday.

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