Mt. Bohemia Controversy Continues

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Keweenaw Peninsula, MI, Aug. 10--Whether the Mt. Bohemia Ski Area project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is on or off depends on who's being asked. Developers of the resort, Crosswinds Communities of Novi, Michigan, claim that work on Mt. Bohemia is continuing and that two lifts and 10 ski runs will be running this winter. Opponents of the project, however, have marshaled forces to prevent the ski area from becoming a reality.

After failing to receive a grant to cover costs of a sewage treatment facility, the developers decided to go forward and pay for the facility themselves. Then, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community asked the company to cease work on the facility because of the possibility that Native American artifacts and burial grounds would be disturbed. Developers struck a deal to have Mt. Bohemia's sewage trucked away to an off site treatment facility.

In the meantime, local residents circulated petitions calling for a countywide referendum on the zoning for Mt. Bohemia. The county board rezoned the property from Conservation District-Environmental Protection to Resort Services, which then allowed ski-hill development.

In a July 10 meeting the Keweenaw Zoning Board of Appeals decided that no new construction permits for Mt. Bohemia would be issued until the zoning issues are settled. The referendum will most likely be placed on the November general election ballot. One appeals board member noted that if the referendum passes and the property reverts back to the Conservation District-Environmental Protection category no ski hill development would be allowed at the site.

Meanwhile, some vandalism has been reported at the hill and no trespassing signs have had to be posted.