US (MI): Environmental regulations halt $2M Kimball Twp. greenhouse project

Local business owners plan to continue their farmers market in Kimball Township after environmental regulations effectively killed their greenhouse project.

"It's such a depressing reality," said Luke Marion, co-owner of the property for the project. "That's my livelihood. That's what puts food on my table. I don't have somebody paying me a paycheck. My business and my hard work is what brings in my food. So (the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy) knowingly cut that off."

Luke and Sindy Marion, owners of the property at 25 South Range Road, originally planned to develop the property into a 20,000-foot greenhouse project, complete with a year-round greenhouse, tree and shrub nursery, trial gardens and an event center. But the regulation of wetlands on the property by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy make construction difficult, if not impossible, Luke Marion said. 

Andrew Hartz, district supervisor in EGLE’s Water Resources Division Resource Unit, Wetlands, Lakes, and Streams,  disagreed, saying the department would like to see the violation addressed, and then EGLE would work with the owner to develop a site plan that avoids wetland impacts where practicable. 

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