LETTER: Protect waterfront views

Two weeks ago, the Sandusky City Commission, following the lead of area political subdivisions, voted to rescind two year old legislation supporting the Vermilion River scenic designation. Save our Shoreline Parks is very concerned the public's protection and rights to enjoy Lake Erie's shoreline is under attack.
Commentary
May 23, 2010

 

Two weeks ago, the Sandusky City Commission, following the lead of area political subdivisions, voted to rescind two year old legislation supporting the Vermilion River scenic designation.

Save our Shoreline Parks is very concerned the public's protection and rights to enjoy Lake Erie's shoreline is under attack.

SOSP's yearlong struggle to protect the public's open water rights north of the Sandusky Bay Pavilion (former Surf's Up) will come to a head Monday during a public hearing before the Sandusky City Commission. The City Commission appears poised to grant a transfer or sublease of the city controlled water area north of the pavilion to the Sandusky Yacht Club for dock expansion totaling 20 docks. SOSP intends to continue efforts to convince the City Commission, and ultimately Ohio Coastal Management officials, the deal is not in the public's best interest. With the Marina District a dead deal, it is not known for certain what public improvement is in the future for the Pavilion site.

While the City Commission's effort to be "business friendly" is commendable, be not mistaken. The Sandusky Yacht Club, an important part of Sandusky for 100 years, is a private club with 70% and 90% of its dues paying members and dock-holders residing outside the Sandusky area. The City Commission's front-line allegiance, no matter what kind of development, needs to be geared toward the residents they serve. It is not this community's, the City Commission's or Ohio DNR's responsibility to agree to relinquish public land, or water rights, in the name of facilitating a private entities emergence from fiscal crises caused from within the private organization.

Public and private property dollar values and aesthetic values along Lake Erie are directly tied to the quality of un-obstructed views of the lake. A $160,000 home on Columbus Avenue today would likely double in value with Lake Erie in the backyard. Likewise for public property-lose the view, lose the value.

Tim Schwanger, President

Save Our Shoreline Parks

Sandusky