An argument over Garfield Lake Beach is heating up Hart Lake Township near Laporte. At a town hall meeting last night, the public and members of Cedar Point Realty went head to head over who owns the land between Pickerel Road and Garfield Lake. The town hall board and townspeople say that the land is co-owned and therefore public. “It’s an easement,” said one person. They continued, “Any highway that you own property on, it’s co-owned by either the county, state, federal.” Cedar Point Realty, the new owner, says that the road easement doesn’t stretch that far. “We’ve had four attorneys say the center line is 8 feet…that doesn’t encompass the lakeshore,” said broker Joe Arndt.
The public has used the beach for over 100 years, and the board refuses to close Pickerel Road to make prime lakeshore property for the new owners. One person said, “By shutting down the road and offering a little portion, all of the other land on the lake become prime lakeshore for them.” At the meeting, the realtors proposed donating land by the beach and building a board walk in exchange for closing Pickerel Road. “This is as close as we can get it to where the beach is,” said licensed salesperson Jed Shaw. “We can donate the land, it would be a nice parking area, and it would be controlled.”
But the township board and townspeople didn’t accept the offer. Township Chair Tom Lindahl said, “If you vote to close the road, who’s responsible for that lot? They say a lake association. There isn’t one.” The board approved a motion to keep Pickerel Road open near Garfield Lake Beach. Lindahl did say that the realtors would have the right to present the board with more proposals in the future.”
The next Hart Lake Town Hall meeting will be Tuesday, September 23rd.