Kalamazoo Commissioners Should Side with the Cottage Owners and Vote NO on Condemnation

Kalamazoo Commissioners Should Side with the Cottage Owners and Vote NO on Condemnation

April 12, 2022
Signatures: 3,065Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

We need YOUR help to keep our family cottage.  If Kalamazoo County is successful in condemning our cottage, this government overreach could happen to anybody with no valid reason to do so.  THIS IS NOT ETHICAL.  THIS IS NOT RIGHT.  The government should not be able to take private property from families without good reason.

On April 19th, the Kalamazoo Commissioners will vote on a resolution of necessity which would give the County approval to condemn my family's cottage on Gourdneck Lake on the northeast edge of Prairie View Park. 

We need YOUR help.  If you support my family in keeping our private property and are against Kalamazoo County wasting tax payers' money (which would likely be in excess of $1 million) to try and take our cottage, PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION AND PASS IT ALONG TO THOSE YOU KNOW WHO LIVE IN KALAMAZOO COUNTY. 

Further details are below.


My family has enjoyed our cottage for over 60 years, a cottage that has existed since before Prairie View Park was ever established.  We've celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones.  We've gotten to know our relatives well here.  The cottage is much, much more than the cinder blocks that it's made of - it is a priceless gem that acts as a cornerstone for my family.  

In the early 1960s, Kalamazoo County tried and was unsuccessful to condemn our cottage.

In 1963, the owners of the cottage who were my grandparents, Harry and Helen Johnson, and my grandmother's four siblings and their spouses, entered into an agreement with the County with the understanding that should they ever sell the cottage outside of the family's bloodline, the County would have the "first option to purchase."  

More Recently:

In 2002, two of the original five families owned the cottage. All of the original owners of the cottage have now passed. When the last original owner of the cottage died in 2019, Kalamazoo County viewed the 1963 agreement to read that once the original owners passed, the County had the right to make an offer to purchase the property.  

The County recently made an offer to purchase our property for $310,000 of tax payers' money.  Our family rejected the offer; therefore, my family believes that the 1963 agreement is satisfied. 


It seems that many of the Commissioners will vote against my family and vote in favor of the County to pursue condemnation.  In order to condemn a private property, the County must show need.  The County has no need to take less than an acre parcel that our cottage sits on.  Prairie View Park has over 200 acres, and the park is under-used, poorly maintained and has no need to acquire more land.  

When asked what the County plans to do with the cottage, the Park Director said that "there are no plans."  When asked why the County should pursue condemnation of our cottage, the Park Director replied, "to complete Prairie View Park."  The County obviously has no need for the property.  Even more, the County is wasting valuable tax payers' money in pursuing our cottage.  

The County is ignoring other options that they could offer the family prior to pursuing condemnation that would save tax payers' money and save my family our cottage.

Please help our family by signing this petition and passing it on to others who reside in Kalamazoo County.  Also, would you please call and email your Kalamazoo County Commissioner and ask them to vote NO on the resolution of necessity to take the Johnson/Talanda cottage on Gourdneck Lake?  Click the link below for your Commissioner's contact information. 

We greatly appreciate your help in keeping our cottage!  


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Signatures: 3,065Next Goal: 5,000
Support now