In our opinion, Harbor Shores' revelation that this golf course project has been
    in the planning stages for almost 20 years is an indication that the Grand
    Boulevard development was the first step in weakening the park’s deed.

    As this proposal has evolved the pieces of nondisclosure, manipulation and
    deception have clearly fallen into public light.

    It is without pleasure that we show you how the entire area was not included in
    the planning of its future development while powerful corporate executives, who
    came here from other parts of the country, laid out their own plans for our lake
    front community that we were completely unaware of.

    Edgewater Presentation Board

    During the 2003 litigation, some of us wondered if Cornerstone Alliance and
    Whirlpool were involved in the Grand Boulevard Development in Jean Klock
    Park. Then a presentation board was discovered that was left behind in a local art
    gallery from a meeting the Chamber of Commerce (Cornerstone Alliance) had held
    the night before. This presentation board was dated 1999 and clearly showed the
    Grand Blvd. Development and indicated “recreational development" in the park.
    The board also appears to indicate that Whirlpool and Cornerstone Alliance were
    involved with the then undisclosed Grand Blvd. Development.

    View photo board

    Canoe Livery

    Grand Boulevard Renaissance Inc. stated throughout litigation - and published on
    their website - that the City of Benton Harbor would “replace each and every acre
    of property developed along Grand Boulevard with acreage on the Paw Paw
    River” for a canoe and small boat livery. The closest possible exchange of land of
    equal or greater value is required for mitigation properties and the riverfront was
    the only property similar to lake-front property that was available in the city.

    The purpose of mitigation is to create new parkland for that which was lost.
    Instead, the mitigated land that was swapped for the park were six scattered
    “green spaces” throughout the downtown area, one that’s contaminated with lead.
    Another, which is located along the St. Joe River, is the only parcel that’s
    marginally acceptable as replacement land for Jean Klock Park except that its one
    of three parcels that are existing parks. In all six cases no “new” parkland has been
    created. And the riverfront property that was promised in 2003 would be used for
    a boat launch and canoe livery but for the Harbor Shores golf course mitigation

    River Run

    On December 19, 2004, just 11 months after the Consent Judgment was handed
    down, the Herald Palladium announced plans for a 500 acre development called
    ‘River Run.’ The article titled ‘Road map to the future?’ said nothing about Jean
    Klock Park and included a map showing the project boundaries. Jean Klock Park
    did not appear within the indicated boundaries. Soon after we learned there were
    plans to use the park for a golf course and the following spring obtained a
    brownfield document that included an outdated map showing 2 holes of a golf
    course in Jean Klock Park.

    Road map to the future?

    Then on May 8, 2005 the Herald Palladium ran another article titled ‘River Run
    project aims for balance’. This article went into more detail about the golf course
    but still no mention of using the park. The article ended with a quote from Jeff
    Noel, Whirlpool’s vice president of communications and public affairs that, “There
    are no commitments or preconceived notions”… the current plan. Again, the
    map was included that showed JKP was outside of the boundaries of the proposed

    River Run project aims for balance

    'River Run' Changes name to 'Harbor Shores'
    When the Truth is Exposed

    By this time word was getting out about the threat to the park and the public began
    writing letters to the Editor. The Herald Palladium would not publish them saying
    they were “based on rumor.” The Friends of Jean Klock Park went to the paper
    with the outdated map and insisted that they publish the truth, which they did on
    July 3, 2005 in an article titled ‘Fight for Klock.’ In this article ‘River Run’
    became ‘Harbor Shores’ and a map of the park as a golf course appeared for the
    first time.

    Fight for Klock

    But on June 28, 2005, just five days earlier, and even though the Herald Palladium
    was aware of the plans to use the park, an article was published announcing that
    ‘River Run planning gets city’s approval’. In a grave injustice to the citizens they
    serve, the city leaders approved the plan without disclosing to the citizens that their
    park would be sacrificed for this project.

    River Run planning gets city’s approval

    No Opposition

    In March of 2006 it was learned that at the June 15, 2005 Michigan Natural
    Resources Trust Fund Board (MNRTF) meeting that the board had been told by
    Geoff Fields, the attorney that was hired to represent Benton Harbor for the
    Grand Blvd. project and who also represented Cornerstone Alliance, that there
    was no opposition to the mitigation and conversion of the Grand Blvd. property.
    This statement was made nearly 14 months after the Consent Judgment was
    handed down and the controversy had quieted down. But the discovery by some
    city residents that claims of no opposition to the mitigation were made, prompted
    those residents to go the April 19, 2006 Trust Fund Board meeting to go on record
    as being opposed to the previous conversion and the newly proposed one.
    June 15, 2005 MNRTF meeting minutes  [See pages 15-16 of PDF]
    April, 19 2006 MNRTF meeting minutes  [See pages 6-7 of PDF]

    90 Acres

    On February 22, 2006 Geoff Fields provided the Michigan Natural Resources
    Trust Fund Board with a preview of the proposal for a golf course within Jean
    Klock Park. In his statements he tells the Board that there are approximately 90
    acres of parkland within the boundaries of Jean Klock Park. As the city’s attorney
    he knew full well that there are only 73 acres left to Jean Klock Park due to
    MDOT using approximately 8 acres for the cloverleaf interchange for M-63 in the
    early '50’s, and the mitigation of 9 acres of parkland resulting from the Settlement
    Agreement and Consent Judgment. Using the original acreage of the parkland
    appeared as if less would be lost.

    Feb. 22, 2006 MNRTF meeting minutes [See pages 4-6 of PDF]

    Water View Rebuttal

    From the beginning the developers insisted that a water view was a requirement
    for a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course therefore Harbor Shores would not go
    through with the project if they couldn't obtain the park. We called Nicklaus
    Design and discovered that was not true, that the requirement was acreage. At the
    August 16, 2006 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board meeting we
    exposed the truth to the board.

    On August 22, 2006 at a public comment hearing for the project, we shared the
    truth with the residents. But once again the spin changed when Mark Mitchell,
    CEO of the Alliance, agreed that we were correct but that Jack Nicklaus would not
    designate the course a “Signature” course without the park. Then after the truth
    was revealed to the Trust Fund Board and the public, Harbor Shores used the
    water view requirement, again, with the Department of Environmental Quality in
    order to obtain that agency’s approval for the project.

    August 16, 2006 MNRTF meeting minutes [See pages 11-18 of PDF]

    Benton Harbor’s Legal Representation

    It was unknown to us that Geoff Fields, the attorney from Dickenson and Wright
    who was hired to represent the city for the Grand Blvd. Development, also
    represented Cornerstone Alliance at the same time. Mr. Fields was party to writing
    the language for the 2003 Settlement Agreement, giving him full advantage when
    he later represented the city for the Harbor Shores project and the time came for
    him to construct the golf course and lease agreement for the park.

    Soon after the lease agreement was signed by city officials, John Cameron, a real
    estate attorney and founder of Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment Inc.,
    joined Geoff Fields’ law firm. At that time, Geoff Fields resigned as the city’s legal
    representative for the Harbor Shores project citing “the Firm’s completion of its
    assigned task for the city of Benton Harbor on the Harbor Shores project.” Geoff
    Fields will still represent the city on any future litigation for the Grand Blvd.
    Development in regards to the former lawsuit.

    Letter of Resignation
Save Jean Klock Park
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