Over 125 area
residents turned out at the Westchester Library Service Center to organize
to stop a proposed private banquet/conference center at the beach in the
Indiana Dunes State Park.
spokesperson for meeting sponsor DunesAction!, provided an overview of the
project planned by the DNR and Pavilion Partners to build the banquet center
at the beach.
Dunes Action’s theme is “this is the wrong project, wrong place, wrong
process and wrong partners,” and she gave a detailed presentation
illustrating each point.
Robertson said the
DNR kept the project secret. She provided an overview of how the plan came
to light and then introduced DunesAction! steering committee members.
hurts local businesses, they (PP LLC) will pay no property taxes, and have
the best possible view of the Indiana shoreline,” she said.
She said the plan
violates the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 and would
negatively impact the environment.
Also, the plan
includes bringing alcohol back to the beach, adversely affecting the safety
and family-friendly atmosphere of the park, she said.
Often erupting in
applause and cheers, those in attendance agreed to post yard signs and carry
petitions throughout Porter, LaPorte and Lake Counties to build opposition
to the proposal.
presentation over 100 yard signs were distributed and orders were taken for
the second printing.
Dunes Action! has
garnered over 3,000 signatures on petitions against the construction.
The group at
Monday’s meeting also signed postcards against the project, which will be
sent to Governor Mike Pence and to Cameron Clark, Director of the Indiana
Department of Natural Resources.
group is focusing on the PCCRVC public meeting Thursday, July 16, at 6 p.m.,
at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. Dunes ACTION! describes itself as
a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan coalition opposed to the DNR plan
to allow a private development company to build and operate a
conference/banquet center on the lakefront. It is on the web at