2011-06-09 / Letters to the Editor

Higgins Lake lake shore drive in jeopardy

Believe it or not! A public scenic drive along the shores of Higgins Lake in Woodlawn Subdivision (Gerrish Township) is the object of a lawsuit requesting that it be vacated, and all but eight feet given to the property owners abutting this historic drive.

Meanwhile, most of the 350 plus residents of this subdivision have no knowledge that their lakefront road is being threatened. This scenic drive varies from about 50 to 60 feet in width but only 12 to 20 feet are currently being traveled upon by vehicles. For over 100 years people have driven this public roadway. In the summer time subdivision residents of all ages enjoy walking, biking, jogging, and yes, driving this breathtaking stretch of lake shore.

Just whose idea was this lawsuit?

Cars, children on bikes, mothers pushing baby buggies on an eight foot path? What are they thinking? Such divisiveness speaks volumes concerning their motives! God forbid! Prime lakefront is currently appraised at $5,100 a front foot. Who wouldn’t like to be given about 4,000 feet, or over $20 million dollars worth of public lake shore property? Is this a crazy world or what? When this drive was platted in 1902, the platter dedicated the streets “to the use of the public.” Now certain people would like to dedicate Sheridan Drive to themselves.

For the past five years back-property residents in Sovereign Park have been in court trying to change the dedication of their lake shore road to allow lake shore activities, but the court has insisted that these dedications cannot be changed. We wait with baited breath to see where our circuit court goes with this public issue. Will the Roscommon County Road Commission and Gerrish Township, primary defendants in this case, rise up to protect this irreplaceable public resource?

I have been a back-lot property owner in this subdivision for over 60 years and this is just the latest attempt by certain people to privatize our public lakefront drive.

Paul Scheibner

Roscommon

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