Supporters Of Hunter Farm Plan Protest At Antwerp Twp Commission Meeting

Posted at 7:16 PM, Aug 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-12 19:46:59-04

Van Buren County, — Mich. Supporters are making signs to hold in support of the Hunter Family farm near Mattawan for Wednesday’s planning commission meeting in Van Buren County’s Antwerp Township.

“This has been my dream for a very long time,” Kelly Vander Kley-Hunter.

Kelly and her husband Dave built the farm to teach their children about hard work.

“They`ve embraced this dream, my children have grown so much,” said Kelly.

The family said they were blindsided when private company, LSL, based out of Grand Rapids at first told them in a letter that everything was OK.

Then, changed their mind and ordered them to get rid of some of the animals.

The township supervisor, Dan Ruzick, told us there had been some changes on the farm since LSL sent a letter to the family saying they were in compliance.

They released a statement saying, “Weeks later, it was discovered that more animals were being kept than originally determined.”

But, the family says the conditions of the farm have not changed.

We were able to obtain an email that Kelly had sent to the LSL Planning offices, saying, “Animals we have:  one horse, two donkeys and several chickens (that number changes frequently).  I have turkeys that will only be alive until fall.  Also, I have five ducks.’

Kelly and David said the family had been giving the township and the LSL company the correct information all along, well before they said they were in compliance and then changed their mind.

“I would describe the situation as confusing,” said Kelly.

LSL is no stranger to planning contracts in Michigan.

In addition to Antwerp Township, the company lists other clients as: Birmingham, Northville Township, Fenton, Grattan Township and Kalamazoo.

The Michigan Township Association said it’s not uncommon for Townships to contract out with a planning consultant for their expertise or in order to save money.

The Hunters say the problem in this case is the confusion.

Supporters are raising money for the Hunter family farm and the family’s legal expenses at the link below: